Interpretation of the Foresight report ‘Migration and Global Environmental Change’ for the Middle East and North Africa

Type

Journal Article

Author(s)

Zeitoun, M.

Title

Interpretation of the Foresight report ‘Migration and Global Environmental Change’ for the Middle East and North Africa

Date

2015

Journal

DEV Working Paper Series

Vol (No), pp

51

Abstract

This document interprets the Foresight Report Migration and Global Environmental Change (‘the Report) for the Middle East and North Africa region. The Report examines the influence that environmental change (‘EC’) has on five drivers of migration: economic, social, political, demographic, and environmental. It emphasises that the primary driver globally is economic, implying policy responses focused on decreasing the vulnerability of livelihoods. This interpretation summarises and interprets the Report’s findings for the MENA region until end 2011 , and draws a number of key messages. The main drivers of migration are political and economic, for instance, not environmental. Many people throughout the region remain ‘trapped’ by politics or economics, while the possibilities of migration to reduce vulnerability are squandered by a system that favours exploitation of the most vulnerable. The primary EC threats in the region are increased desiccation and sea-level rise, both of which are expected to continue to impact agricultural livelihoods in particular. While EC- influenced migration is typically seen as an additional threat, it can also be a force for economic and social development in both home and host communities. It is also found that EC or migration policy targeting the development of more resilient livelihoods is well-suited to address the concerns and leverage the benefits of migration, but will have to confront low economic growth rates, uncoordinated governance, and interests vested in the status quo.

Citation

Zeitoun, M. (2015). Interpretation of the Foresight report ‘Migration and Global Environmental Change’ for the Middle East and North Africa. DEV Working Paper Series, 51.