Improved Awareness on Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Amongst Stakeholders in Turkey

Related Sustainable Development Goals and Global Compact for Migration Objectives

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 15: Life on Land
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gcm 1
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gcm 7
GCM 23


Different forms of migration, such as disaster displacement, pastoralism, and labor migration, are shaped by climate impacts and environmental degradation. In Turkey, it is anticipated that within the next decade, there could be an increase in migration due to climate-related disasters such as floods and wildfires. On the other hand, the effects of water scarcity and desertification could impact employment, food security and agriculture, which is the main source of employment for refugees and seasonal migrants.

Yet climate change impacts and migration challenges in Turkey, including integrating and supporting refugees from Syria, have traditionally been dealt with separately. Migration and climate change actors are largely unaware of the interrelation between the sectors, rendering a coordinated national or municipal response difficult. After the recent displacement and evacuation associated with wildfires on the Mediterranean coasts, officials have been reaching out to IOM and UNDP to discuss the interlinkages between migration and climate change.

To understand the linkages between environment and climate change, check out our interactive feature and the IOM Environmental Migration Portal.

Key objective

Given the necessity to respond to climate-induced challenges, through this Joint Action, IOM and UNDP aimed to contribute to the mitigation and adaption to climate change impacts and related migration challenges in Turkey through policy advisory and awareness-raising. By working with and building capacities of national and municipality level stakeholders, an integrated approach to planning and implementation on the migration, environment, and climate change (MECC) nexus was assured.  

Main activities

 IOM and UNDP carried out the following activities: 

  • A stakeholder analysis was conducted to identify relevant stakeholders for awareness-raising and data collection on MECC in the Turkish context, and to gauge the current understanding of the issue.

  • Following the stakeholder analysis, a series of online consultations took place with national-level government authorities, municipal authorities, academics from key Turkish universities studying climate change and migration, civil society and donors to finalize a report aiming to showcase the links between migration and climate change and different vulnerable social groups. The consultations also gathered perspectives on the readiness of municipalities to address the MECC nexus over the next 10 years, in a gender-sensitive and inclusive manner.

  • Following the finalization of the report, IOM and UNDP organized a workshop to present the report findings and to share their perspectives, mandates and potential joint approaches going forward.  

  • A short video was made to utilize the key points from the report and to present them in a visually attractive way to increase awareness efforts.  

  • Lastly, a review event took place in mid-December 2021 and was attended by IOM and UNDP, government agencies including the Presidency on Migration Management, the Presidency on Climate Change, university representatives and donor bodies both online and in-person and served as a basis for engagement with the two key government entities. The net result of the lobbying efforts around the event has been to establish the issue of MECC as one of the 7 commissions supporting the development of the country’s climate change policy development

Key successes or innovative factors, good practices and lessons learned (if available)

The project was successful in its overall objective, as it has served as an entry point to mainstream migration into the key climate change adaptation policy in Turkey. The report increased awareness of MECC, and demonstrated the importance of intersecting issues, including gender. The joint collaboration has thus helped IOM and UNDP to establish more opportunities for future cooperation through new working relationships and through the identification of further areas for joint work. 

A joint approach such as this one is integral to achieving the SDGs, namely SDG 1 on no poverty, SDG 5 on gender equality, SDG 13 on climate action and SDG 15 on life on land. It also contributes to achieving the Global Compact for Migration's objectives, such as GCM objective 1 on collecting and utilizing accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies, GCM objective 2 on minimizing the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin, and GCM objective 7 on addressing and reducing vulnerabilities in migration.  


Local governments, national authorities, academia 

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