IOM Ireland and Nui Galway Aim to Develop the First Migration, Environment and Climate Change Country Profile in Europe

IOM Staff in Beira, Mozambique in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai which made landfall on 14 March 2019 leaving more than 73,000 people homeless. The response was supported by Irish Aid. ©IOM 2019/Amanda NERO

Dublin –IOM Ireland and the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) are collaborating on a research project to develop a Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) profile of Ireland, in which the current and future nexuses between the environment, climate and human migration are investigated.

Environmental change and disasters have always been major drivers of migration. However, climate change predictions for the 21st century indicate that even more people are expected to be on the move as extreme weather-related events, such as floods, droughts and storms become more frequent and intense, and changes in precipitation and temperature patterns impact livelihoods and human security.

The research “Assessing the Evidence: Migration, Environment and Climate Change in Ireland” is facilitated by the MECC Division of IOM and the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Master’s programme (MScCCAFS) at the Ryan Institute, NUI Galway.

This research project constitutes the first profile of a European country and will contribute to IOM Ireland’s involvement in processes related to MECC. The scope of the project includes the analysis of internal migration patterns within the Republic of Ireland, as well as generating insights into the potential for Ireland to be a ‘push’ or ‘pull’ factor for international environmental migrants from more vulnerable locations.

Environmental and climate risks are present in Ireland in the form of sudden onset events such as floods and storms, as well as the encroaching effects of slow onset events, such as coastal erosion, soil degradation and rising temperatures. These are already impacting Irish societies and local economies, critical infrastructure, industry, agriculture, jobs and healthcare, and will continue to do so as adverse impacts intensify under climate change.

The probability of Ireland’s current and future climate and environmental migrants must be evaluated in order to generate policies, programmes and procedures that would be most suitable for assisting vulnerable populations and staying vigilant in adaptation responses. This research will seek to address the silo currently present between migration, environment and climate change efforts and action in Ireland.

IOM recognizes the necessity to step up national, regional and international efforts to address human mobility challenges associated with environmental factors and climate change. IOM’s vision on Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) is that contemporary migration governance, policy and practice must reflect the significance of environmental, disaster and climate change factors on human mobility.

Find out more at IOM Environmental Migration:

For more information please contact Deborah Miranda at IOM Ireland, Tel: +353 83 424 1532  , Email: