17.12.2018 - Natural Sciences Sector

Water and migration: the linkages


Worldwide, over 258 million migrants are currently living outside their country of birth, and their number is projected to further increase.

The reasons behind their migration are manifold: some are seeking new opportunities for work or education, others are on the move because they were forced to flee conflicts or wars or because of climate change-related effects, water stress or environmental degradation are negatively affecting their lives.

Climate change effects and migration are highly interrelated and are among the most pressing policy issues of our time. An important aspect is the direct impact increased climatic variability has on water resources quantity, quality, and temporal and geographic availability, as well as how it affects the livelihood of people.

On occasion of the International Migrants Day (18 December), UNESCO WWAP invites you to read its publication “Migration and its interdependencies with water scarcity, gender and youth employment”, which presents a comprehensive review of the climate, water and migration nexus, with specific focus on those who are more vulnerable, often including women and youth. It highlights the fundamental role played by water in securing social stability and resilience to environmental stresses, and calls for a major effort in the improvement of water security and governance.

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