26.02.2013 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Investigating the link between environmental change and migration in the Sahel

Environmental changes push more and more people to migrate. © UNESOC/Anne Müller

Changes in the environment leads to migration of people, which again leads to major social change and issues related to social inclusion and human rights.

To investigate the exact nature and impact of these changes, UNESCO is launching two studies on the relationship between environmental degradation and migration in the Sahel.The studies will be carried out in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire and will be launched during workshops in the two countries. The workshop in Dakar, Senegal takes place on 27-28 February 2013 and the workshop in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire will take place from 6-7 March 2013.

The studies will incorporate both existing data and generate new empirical knowledge. They will lead to a publication, presenting the evidence collected and their policy implications and recommendations that will be made available to countries in the region and other areas affected by similar phenomena.

“We want to get a better understanding of the phenomenon,” says Marema Toure Thiam, head of Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar. “It’s an effort to involve governments, research organization, media and development partners to ensure that the needs of migrants, for example in terms of social services are taken into account in planning processes,” she adds.

The studies are hence strongly oriented towards public action with a regional perspective.

This activity is funded through UNESCO’s Emergency Fund.

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