FAO Liaison Office in New York

FAO at International Migration Review Forum side event 'Linking Policy, Evidence and Practice from GCM to Paris Agreement: Human Mobility in the Changing Climate'


International Migration Review Framework 2022 – side event

'Linking Policy, Evidence and Practice from GCM to Paris Agreement: Human Mobility in the Changing Climate'

Co-organized by the Philippines and the UN Migration Network
(ILO, IOM, UNFCCC, FAO, Platform on Disaster Displacement, UNHCR)

Statement by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), delivered by

Lucas Tavares, Senior Liaison Officer, FAO Liaison Office with the UN in New York

As prepared for delivery


Thank you, Michelle. It is a pleasure to be here. 

In line with this segment’s theme, I would like to share two examples in which FAO is helping build sustainable pathways to resilience for rural people.

As we know, climate change is already affecting agriculture, food and water security, it is disrupting lives and livelihoods, and it is increasing the vulnerability of the world’s extreme poor.

This is particularly worrisome in rural areas, because that is where 80 percent of the extreme poor live and because rural populations are heavily dependent on climate-sensitive livelihoods and have fewer resources to adapt. 

In fact, evidence presented in the recent IPCC 6th Assessment report shows that rural people are increasingly compelled to migrate, may be forcibly displaced, or may become trapped in high-risk areas lacking the ability to move when rural livelihoods are compromised by the impacts of climate and environmental change. 

FAO is working with governments, rural populations and partners to address these adverse drivers. 

Actions include helping rural communities to better manage climate-related risks, to sustainably use and manage natural resources, and restore degraded ecosystems. 

To see this support in action, we can look at the Dry Corridor of Central America. Changes in temperatures and increasingly frequent and extreme weather events in the Dry Corridor are affecting agricultural production and food security, and pushing farmers to migrate.

To respond to this situation, FAO is implementing the RECLIMA project in El Salvador. RECLIMA is a USD 130 million project, financed by the Green Climate Fund and the Government of El Salvador. The project focuses on three areas.

First, RECLIMA is enhancing the climate resilience of 50,000 vulnerable family farmers in El Salvador by improving their access to water and building their capacities in sustainable agricultural practices. 

Second, the project is using an innovative landscape management approach to restore over 17 000 hectares of degraded ecosystems and protect water sources for one million people. 

Third, it is enhancing the capacity of local governments and improving institutional coordination for climate-responsive planning. 

As a whole, these actions will help family farmers become more resilient to climatic shocks. This makes RECLIMA an important element in El Salvador’s climate change adaptation strategy and to ensure that migration is a choice and not a necessity.

Now, while it is important to address the adverse drivers of migration, it is also key to recognise migration as a positive force. 

In this regard, new pathways for resilience should look at creating enabling conditions for migration to contribute to climate change adaptation and to the green transition. 

Given the complexity of the climate-migration nexus, we need holistic approaches and enhanced collaboration between policy actors at all levels to create these conditions. 

To support these efforts, FAO and the United Nations University are developing a Global Guide with two main objectives. First, integrate migration into National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) from a rural livelihoods-perspective. And, second, scale-up multi-sectoral coordination on migration, climate change and agriculture. 

To end, let me reiterate that as climate change increasingly affects food security and human mobility, we need to adopt inclusive climate action and resilient agri-food systems and promote safe and regular pathways for migration. Hopefully, these two examples I shared today show ways in which we can work together to achieve these goals. 

Thank you for your attention.