Brief background: In West Africa, population movements have always been linked to the environment, be it in form of displacement in the context of disasters, transhumance or longer-term labour migration in the context of agricultural activities. Over the last decades, the adverse effects of climate change have intensified environmental events and processes in the region, such as droughts, desertification, water scarcity, rising sea levels, coastal erosion and flooding, compelling more people directly and indirectly to leave their homes. States have made commitments in the GCM to address these dynamics in Objectives 2 and 5, and the Paris Agreement together with the Recommendations of the UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement call for addressing these trends.
Side event objectives:
- Raise awareness of the links between migration, displacement, planned relocation and disasters, climate change and environmental degradation in West Africa.
- Demonstrate how partnerships contribute to facilitating pathways for regular migration and minimizing displacement in the context of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters in line with the guiding principles and commitments of States in the GCM, especially Objectives 2 and 5, and the Paris Agreement and the recommendations of the UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement.
- Highlight solutions for people compelled to move in the context of disasters, climate change and environmental degradation in West Africa.
Keynote Remarks: Ms. Aissata Kane, Senior Regional Adviser for Sub-Saharan Africa, International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- Dr. Amadou Diaw, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, Government of Senegal
- Dr. Bondi Gevao, Executive Chairman, Environment Protection Agency, Government of Sierra Leone
- Representative of the NGO Trees for the Future
- Representative of academia (Dr Mamadou Ndongo Dime, Professor, Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis, Senegal or Dr. Cheikh Tidiane Wade, Lecturer, Assane Seck University, Ziguinchor, Senegal)
- Representative of journalists (the winner from the IOM West Africa journalist competition)
- Ms. Hind Aïssaoui Bennani, IOM Regional Thematic Specialist on Migration, Environment and Climate Change, Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Dakar, Senegal