ASSESSING IMPACTS OF WATER AND CLIMATE-INDUCED MIGRATION ON WOMEN AND GIRLS

Outline
Team
  • Expected start date:
    2020•08•01
    Expected end date:
    2021•08•31
    Institute:
    UNU-INWEH
    Project Status:
    Ongoing
    Project Type:
    Research
    Project Manager :
    Nidhi Nagabhatla

    Migration and forced displacements are results of stressed resource systems and socio-economic uncertainties. Migration has been a long-standing adaptation measure in various marginal and vulnerable communities; it is often linked to water and climate events. Over 60% of total forced displacements at present are already due to climate and water-related factors, and by 2050 there will be up to 200 million people so displaced. The situation calls for an in-depth investigation to address the direct and indirect impacts of water-related stressors on human migration and related gender inequities.

    UNU-INWEH collaborates with UNESCO, the International Organization on Migration (IOM), FAO, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other agencies and institutions to help better understand the complex causes and consequences of water-related displacement specifically on women and girls and distill lessons from key water-related migration processes and crises internationally. Besides, UNU-‘INWEH’s recent global analysis of ‘countries’ response plans to humanitarian crises pointed to the lack of universal policy around the provision of menstrual hygiene management and to significant temporal and spatial variation between ‘countries’ ability to address ‘women’s unique needs in humanitarian contexts (refugee camps, hosting sites, transit zones..), further aggravated by involuntary migration.

    UNU-INWEH, in partnership with the University of Kinshasa, via the collaboration on the Project “Addressing climate and water-driven migration and conflict interlinkages to build community resilience in the Congo basin”funded by The International Development Research Centre (IDRC)- Canada isstudying large-scale migration of communities in the Congo Basin, focusing on women and girls, to identify gender-specific climate adaptation and conflict resolution options. The Congo Basin is a water vein of Central Africa and holds more than 50% of Africa’s surface water. Management of water provisioning services and climate adaptation planning remains a critical challenge for the region. During the implementation of the Project, an integrated framework to assess impacts of the water crisis and climate change on human displacement will be designed by employing a mixed tool methodology – primary and secondary data, qualitative and quantitative indicators, and indexes. The status and trends of water risks and climate change impacts will be depicted at the basin, national and provincial levels while commenting on the hydroclimatic variability and its influence on migration trends.

    Also, noting that water- and climate risks differ regionally due to differences in land and water use and environmental conditions- how these conditions directly or indirectly influence migration and forced displacement can be context-specific or a mix of various social, economic, political dimensions. Similarly, the impact of such crises on different gender groups may vary. To this narrative, this Project will unpack the Water–Migration-Gender Nexus, and related consequences for communities through a three-lens perspective: (1) local scale views of changes through narratives and empirical analysis (Congo Project funded by IDRC); (2) scientific perspectives for effective migration assessment through evaluation of observed data, trends and projections; and (3) guidelines for gender-sensitive water management, mainly for the subsistence communities who depend on land and water resources for livelihood and income generation and are most vulnerable to water and climate risks.

    The Project fits with theUNU- INWEH 2020-2025 Strategic Plan thematic outlay and overarching mission to provide policymakers with reliable analysis and practical solutions to complex and pressing water challenges- in this case, water, and gender interlinkages, water-related conflicts, and migration. These challenges remain at the forefront of action at the United Nations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), primarily SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 6 (water and sanitation needs), and SDG 16 (inclusive policies and effective institutions). The Project will present assessment tools and up to date analysis for communities and countries, with a focus on women and girls and populations living in vulnerable settings. The enhanced understanding generated via activities undertaken during the project implementation will potentially benefit hundreds of millions of vulnerable people in the Global South. The framing of “water and migration” is gaining attention globally, and therefore assessments of various complexities and outcomes related to water- and climate crisis need better and focused attention. Besides, identifying viable options for managing water and climate-related risks will help to alleviate water-related conflicts and address better address the resulting migration pathways.

    This Project builds on the previous UNU-INWEH project “Water Security and Nexus” (Pelikan Code:9822), which was implemented from 2017 until early 2020.

    Migration and forced displacements are results of stressed resource systems and socio-economic uncertainties. Migration has been a long-standing adaptation measure in various marginal and vulnerable communities; it is often linked to water and climate events. Over 60% of total forced displacements at present are already due to climate and water-related factors, and by 2050 there will be up to 200 million people so displaced. The situation calls for an in-depth investigation to address the direct and indirect impacts of water-related stressors on human migration and related gender inequities.

    UNU-INWEH collaborates with UNESCO, the International Organization on Migration (IOM), FAO, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other agencies and institutions to help better understand the complex causes and consequences of water-related displacement specifically on women and girls and distill lessons from key water-related migration processes and crises internationally. Besides, UNU-‘INWEH’s recent global analysis of ‘countries’ response plans to humanitarian crises pointed to the lack of universal policy around the provision of menstrual hygiene management and to significant temporal and spatial variation between ‘countries’ ability to address ‘women’s unique needs in humanitarian contexts (refugee camps, hosting sites, transit zones..), further aggravated by involuntary migration.

    UNU-INWEH, in partnership with the University of Kinshasa, via the collaboration on the Project “Addressing climate and water-driven migration and conflict interlinkages to build community resilience in the Congo basin”funded by The International Development Research Centre (IDRC)- Canada isstudying large-scale migration of communities in the Congo Basin, focusing on women and girls, to identify gender-specific climate adaptation and conflict resolution options. The Congo Basin is a water vein of Central Africa and holds more than 50% of Africa’s surface water. Management of water provisioning services and climate adaptation planning remains a critical challenge for the region. During the implementation of the Project, an integrated framework to assess impacts of the water crisis and climate change on human displacement will be designed by employing a mixed tool methodology – primary and secondary data, qualitative and quantitative indicators, and indexes. The status and trends of water risks and climate change impacts will be depicted at the basin, national and provincial levels while commenting on the hydroclimatic variability and its influence on migration trends.

    Also, noting that water- and climate risks differ regionally due to differences in land and water use and environmental conditions- how these conditions directly or indirectly influence migration and forced displacement can be context-specific or a mix of various social, economic, political dimensions. Similarly, the impact of such crises on different gender groups may vary. To this narrative, this Project will unpack the Water–Migration-Gender Nexus, and related consequences for communities through a three-lens perspective: (1) local scale views of changes through narratives and empirical analysis (Congo Project funded by IDRC); (2) scientific perspectives for effective migration assessment through evaluation of observed data, trends and projections; and (3) guidelines for gender-sensitive water management, mainly for the subsistence communities who depend on land and water resources for livelihood and income generation and are most vulnerable to water and climate risks.

    The Project fits with theUNU- INWEH 2020-2025 Strategic Plan thematic outlay and overarching mission to provide policymakers with reliable analysis and practical solutions to complex and pressing water challenges- in this case, water, and gender interlinkages, water-related conflicts, and migration. These challenges remain at the forefront of action at the United Nations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), primarily SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 6 (water and sanitation needs), and SDG 16 (inclusive policies and effective institutions). The Project will present assessment tools and up to date analysis for communities and countries, with a focus on women and girls and populations living in vulnerable settings. The enhanced understanding generated via activities undertaken during the project implementation will potentially benefit hundreds of millions of vulnerable people in the Global South. The framing of “water and migration” is gaining attention globally, and therefore assessments of various complexities and outcomes related to water- and climate crisis need better and focused attention. Besides, identifying viable options for managing water and climate-related risks will help to alleviate water-related conflicts and address better address the resulting migration pathways.

    This Project builds on the previous UNU-INWEH project “Water Security and Nexus” (Pelikan Code:9822), which was implemented from 2017 until early 2020.