At the global level, the role of migration in the environment and climate action is now firmly anchored in several key policies and processes such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the Sustainable Development Goals and the Our Common Agenda and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
These global commitments have resulted in climate migration issues being integrated into the work of numerous UN agencies and interagency bodies, which have all recognized that the climate crisis presents a significant opportunity for the UN system to strengthen its concrete, coherent and joined-up responses to address challenges and maximize opportunities linked to migration and the protection of the human rights of migrants in a changing climate.
The UN Network on Migration (UNNM) workplan (2021 – 2022) for example, includes a thematic priority on climate change and migration. The strategic goal of this thematic priority is to ensure that the climate discourse fully embraces the migration dimension and vice-versa, including that the outcomes of upcoming UNFCCC COPs, the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), and the Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement comprise concrete, actionable recommendations that address the human mobility dimensions of climate change.
At the Asia-Pacific regional level, the UNNM has similarly established a workstream on climate change and migration, currently involving the participation of ILO, IOM, OHCHR, UNDP and UNFPA. Other workstreams of the regional UNNM are also addressing the issue. However, opportunities may exist to better integrate climate migration considerations into the UN’s joint activities at the regional and sub-regional levels, including in the context of interagency mechanisms relevant to broader climate change issues.
For example, several Issue-based Coalitions (IBCs), co-chaired by UN Regional Directors and supported by a Secretariat from the lead agencies, produce yearly priority themes for joint planning, monitoring, advocacy, technical support and policy analysis. The IBCs also explore possibilities for a regional joint programme and/or programming. These bodies currently include IBCs on Raising Ambitions on Climate Action, Building Resilience (which includes a working group on Disaster Displacement), and a Networking Group on Human Mobility and Urbanisation, all of which touch upon issues relevant to human mobility linked to climate change.
Other interagency mechanisms are also in place across the region – including in specific sub-regional or national contexts – and may similarly focus on issues relevant to climate change and human mobility. Some may be convened on an ad hoc basis, for example to collate UN system-wide inputs to Common Country Analyses, UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks or other national policy frameworks or planning documents.
In order to determine whether, and if so to what extent climate migration issues may be integrated into the UN’s regional and sub-regional mechanisms across the Asia-Pacific, it is first critical to understand what bodies are in place currently, to what extent these bodies address, or could address, human mobility in the context of climate change, and to identify any gaps or needs in the existing architecture. Addressing these questions is the core focus of this consultancy.
2. Description of the assignment2.1 Objective
Undertake a review of current UN interagency mechanisms across the Asia Pacific region (including at the regional and sub-regional levels) to inform discussions within the UN Network on Migration on whether, and in what way, to better integrate the thematic issue of human mobility and climate change in interagency mechanisms.
2.2 Requested services and responsibilities
The expert/consultant is envisaged to carry out the following activities:
Undertake desk research and expert interviews to identify UN interagency mechanisms currently in place across the Asia Pacific region and the extent to which those mechanisms address issues related to human mobility and climate change.
Based on the findings of that review, develop draft recommendations on whether and how human mobility linked to climate change could be better integrated into interagency mechanisms across the region, including, where relevant, in different sub-regions.
Submit a draft of the review report and options paper (including recommendations) to the UN Network on Migration Regional Secretariat for review and inputs.
Revise the draft review report and options paper by incorporating comments from members of the regional UN Network on Migration and polishing the drafts to a publishable standard.
The expert/consultant is required to provide the following deliverables:
A review report, in English, reviewing the UN interagency mechanisms currently in place, and the extent to which these mechanisms address issues related to human mobility in the context of climate change.
Based on the review report, an options paper (in English, and no more than 10 pages) with the major findings and a set of recommendations on whether and how human mobility linked to climate change should be better integrated into interagency mechanisms across the region, including, where relevant, in different sub-regions.