Environmental Migration

Food security and emigration | Why people f lee and the impact on family members left behind in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras | Summary

Emigration (or out-migration) trends in Central America are conditioned by political and socioeconomic conditions in the region and increase in response to civil strife and poverty. This study collected and analysed data on food security and environmental and climatic factors as potential triggers for out-migration. The geographical focus of the study was El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, particularly the most vulnerable part of these countries known as the Dry Corridor.


Food security and emigration | Why people f lee and the impact on family members left behind in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras | Research report

Building on the results and recommendations of the exploratory study on the links between Migration and Food Security (“Hunger without Borders”, 2015), WFP and its partners decided to further study linkages between food insecurity and migration, relying on qualitative and quantitative analysis. 

Planned Relocation: Four points to consider in a changing environment

Caribbean countries are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, both in the form of sudden-onset disasters (hurricanes, floods) as well as slow onset events such as sea level rise and land degradation. 

Desastres: el factor que desplaza internamente a más personas en América
On May 2019, the Internal Displacement Observatory (IDMC) published its global report on internal displacement due to conflicts and disasters. The report details new occurrences and confirms the persistence of political instability, chronic poverty and inequality, environmental and climate change as drivers of cyclical and protracted displacement.

Central and North America: Migration and displacement in the context of disasters and environmental change

This paper aims to brief policymakers on the nexus of migration, displacement, disasters and environmental change in Central and North America, as well as on normative and policy responses, specifically focusing on cross-border movements within the region.

Internal displacement, extractive transnational corporations and the protection of rights of affected communities

The export of raw materials, hydrocarbons, and minerals occupy a prominent place in Latin America’s economic model. However, due to the extraction characteristics of some of these resources, environmental conflicts appear in several places around the continent.

Joki and Bevelyn alongside their disabled brother and parents are the sole family living on the tiny island of Huene. Originally linked to a nearby island, the island has been slowly shrinking over the years making it increasingly difficult to grow crops. It is likely that Joki and Bevelyn will be the last generation to live on the island. Photos: IOM 2016 / Muse Mohammed

Although the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change points that Parties have common but differentiated responsibilities on mitigating the effects of climate change, the harsh truth is that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are suffering disproportionately from those effects, despite contributing less than 1 per cent total greenhouse gas emissions. Disasters due to natural hazards, many of which are exacerbated by climate change and which are increasing in frequency and intensity, have taken a heavy toll in the Caribbean. In 2017, the Atlantic Hurricane season displaced over 3 million people in a month.

Following the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in 2016, United Nations Member States, for the first time of their history, committed to develop, negotiate and adopt a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The GCM is a non-binding cooperation framework that articulates a common set of commitments, on the basis of 23 objectives, for states to respond to the challenges and opportunities of contemporary international migration, and formulates provisions for implementation, follow up and review.


A child accessing fresh water in Papua New Guinea. Photo: Muse Mohammed/IOM

The international community has, for good reason, sought to emphasize the importance of migration as a global public policy issue. With heightened awareness of the multiple implications of poorly managed migration, and with the international community focused on developing a new global compact to address it, the opportunity for a more nuanced, more sophisticated approach to migration has presented itself. With this has come the opportunity to better understand migration and its links with other policy issues that at first thought might seem unrelated.