In the first months of 2018 three studies recently published by the World Bank (WB),the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) prominently addressed the link between degradation of land, water stress and higher food prices with migration. Whereas academic debate on the contribution of climate change and other environmental stresses to migration is ongoing1, international organisations published comprehensive reports underlining the need to act now. The FAO and WB shied away from the more politically sensitive issue of irregular migration from Africa to Europe. Neither do the reports quantify to what extent interventions in the sphere of land, food and water could play a role in preventing migration and influence decisions to return.
This Alert reviews these studies, points to their commonalities and differences, the methods used and policy recommendations made.
- 1. See for an overview: Van Schaik, L. and Bakker, T. Climate-migration-security: Policy Brief Making the most of a contested relationship, 2017.