Updated: Sep 22, 2022
By Elnura Omurkulova-Ozierska, GDC Project Assistant
Over the last decades the disasters and natural hazards in all continents almost doubled: intensified drought, wildfires, extreme weather events, rise of sea level, melting glaciers and other climate change consequences have affected millions of people in different ways, including forced migration and internal displacement. In 2021 according to Global Report on Internal Displacement out of 38 million displacements more than 23 million people were displaced due to disasters.
This year the UN Environment Programme launched campaign #OnlyOneEarth for World Environment Day on 5th of June, 2022. This campaign and many other global initiatives callsfor collective and collaborative transformative actions on a global, regional and national scale to protect the environment and heal the planet. For the last few years diasporas were globally recognized as equal partners with the abilities to contribute to climate change consequences. This year the diasporas’ engagement in climate change and environment was discussed at the high-level events of the first International Migration Review Forum in New York, Global Diaspora Summit in Dublin and in other national and international venues.
Some diaspora countries of origin are already implementing the partnership initiatives to engage diasporas in environmental projects via improving remittance systems and enabling migrants and diasporas transfer skills and resources back to their home countries. Diasporas are raising financial help by using different mechanisms from
and diaspora bonds to impact investments to their home countries. According to research done by international organizations and research centers, the diasporas’ engagement in climate and environment can be classified as following:
- Diasporas’ humanitarian role in disaster response: raising funds, supporting reconstruction of broken due to hazards, infrastructure, health assistance, remittances flow to families, etc.
- Diasporas–led projects addressing the climate change and adaptation to it: access to water, energy, agricultural projects, and other issues.
- Diaspora-led dialogue and political engagement to lobby the global awareness to climate change in their countries of origin that is to some extent neglected by global actors (Africa, Asia and Pacific and other regions).
- Diaspora youth-led initiatives and influencers contributing to knowledge sharing, sustainability and justice issues, organizing campaigns and other events to raise awareness to climate change issues in developing countries.
If you are a diaspora-led organization or individual already contributing to climate change adaptation or looking for opportunities to help, keep up to date with the GDC and iDiaspora websites for more information.
The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Diaspora Confederation (GDC).