World Green Economy Leaders Look for Ways to Combat Environmental Degradation Driving Distress Migration by Sparking a New Green Revolution

Two hundred and fifty million people live and work today outside the country of their birth. Another 750 million migrate within their home lands. Migration is an important driver of development and progress – spreading ideas and driving innovation – but with increasing rates of distress migration, the issue has also become politically divisive in many countries. 

Environmental change and environmental degradation – desertification, deforestation, land degradation, climate change and water scarcity – are fundamentally redrawing the map of our world.  Never in history has the need to safeguard natural resources and the environment been more strongly demonstrated than now, when climate distress and conflicts - often sparked by competition for scare natural resources – have been so acute, and driven millions to seek shelter in safe havens.  

Facing the intertwined challenges posed by migration and environmental sustainability, the UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative co-organized a session, Migration, environmental sustainability and action for inclusive green growth: Addressing the drivers of migration through sustainable development,climate resilience and inclusive growth, at the Second Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial Conference, held in Berlin, Germany on 27 and 28 March 2017.  This interactive dialogue highlighted successful policies and programmes that have already started to transform economies in ways that open opportunities to the poor and marginalized communities most at risk from climate, disaster and conflict-induced stress.

The session was chaired by H.E. Nestor Batio Bassiere, Minister of the Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change of Burkina Faso, and co-chaired by Tim Scott (Senior Policy Adviser, Environment, United Nations Development Programme , and featured as panelists:

  • Isabell Kempf, Co-director, UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative 
  • Aidai Kurmanova, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Krygyz Republic 
  • Javier Mejia, Vice Minister of Labour, Colombia 
  • Hameeda Deedat, Acting Executive Director, NALEDI, South Africa 
  • Ashok Khosla, Chairman of Development Alternative Group, India

The session was recorded on YouTube:

The second conference on the Partnership for Action on Green Economy - an alliance of five UN agencies, namely UN Environment, International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and 11 countries was hosted by the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safetly.  

UNDP-UN Enviornment Poverty-Environment Initiative's participation in the PAGE Ministerial Conference was made possible through the contributions of the Governments of Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Union to the Poverty-Environment Initiative global programme (2013-2017). 



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