Climate change is impacting the lives and livelihoods of people around the world and is one of the greatest challenges of our time, requiring urgent collective action.
Diaspora groups are powerhouses of innovation in their countries of residence and origin. Their contribution, for example through remittances, direct investment, philanthropy and skills transfer, is widely recognised. They are also among the first to respond when a disaster strikes in their countries of origin, but governments are yet to develop frameworks, policies and programmes that can unlock diasporas’ global connections and potential in accelerating climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Diaspora groups have the knowledge, skills, and global connections that are crucial to accelerate climate action in their countries of origins and on a larger scale.
The UK is home to some of the largest diaspora communities worldwide and to help leverage this untapped potential, IOM UK launches the Diaspora for Climate Action (D4C) project.The project will enable diaspora members to build connections with key stakeholders in Bangladesh, Jamaica, Ghana and Albania that can help them achieve more effective and coordinated climate action, and greater and longer-lasting impacts on climate-vulnerable populations.
This initiative is funded by IOM Development Fund, working with IOM missions and relevant ministries in these four countries, and will contribute to government efforts to address the adverse impacts of climate change and promote sustainable development. D4C aims to create a model for other countries to promote the unique role diaspora can play in shaping national climate action policies and interventions alongside governments and other actors.
In November 2022, IOM UK supported the participation of UK-based diaspora representative in key dialogues at Cop27.
"Member States and policymakers should create the enabling environment for the diaspora to support climate action. Climate programmes need to be inclusive so that people in the diaspora have opportunities to make connections and build networks for climate action in their countries of origin."
Gideon Commey, environmental activist from Ghana and doctoral researcher in food systems in the UK. Read more.
IOM defines Diaspora as ‘Migrants or descendants of migrants whose identity and sense of belonging, either real or symbolic, have been shaped by their migration experience and background. They maintain links with their homelands, and to each other, based on a shared sense of history, identity, or mutual experiences in the destination country’ (IOM Glossary, 2019).
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