Climate action crucial to fighting rural-urban migration -Experts to govt
Experts of the Rural-Urban Migration and Cross Border Migration in West Africa (MIGRAWARE), a research initiative under the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (BMBF), and other German and West African partners have called on West African policymakers to consider climate change and environmental factors during migration governance apart from mostly economic factors.
Presenting the findings at a validation workshop held in Accra, Dr. Justice Nana Inkoom, project coordinator, MIGRAWARE, from the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany stated that there were specific environmental and climate factors that influenced migration, underscoring some of them.
“Some of the environmental and climate factors of migration include inadequate rainfall, poor yields of crops, extreme weather conditions, floods, and inadequate farmlands among others. We are, therefore, proposing a migration governance framework that examines the reasons for rural-urban migration other than those traditionally known ones.” He said.
Dr. Inkoom also revealed that the MIGRAWARE project had developed an open-source analytical tool called the MIGRAWARE App. This app, set to be fully operational in July, aims to facilitate data collection and migration analyses. It will serve as a comprehensive source of information on migration, accessible to anyone interested in collecting migration data.
Speaking on the objectives of the project, Prof. Kofi Nyarko, with the Department of Geography and Regional Planning at the University of Cape Coast, and the lead researcher for the MIGRAWARE project in Ghana stated that the essence of the MIGRAWARE Project was to develop or framework to provide a recommendation to the government to govern migration settings and to help policymakers collect data and analyze climate change related issues. He also emphasized that the project would go a long way to help stakeholders in understanding migration decisions and the use of various environmental data via remote sensing and GIS to analyze the various elements that may influence data.
Addressing stakeholders at the opening session, the Executive Director of WASCAL, Dr. Moumini Savadogo congratulated the consortium for the good work done so far considering how critical the issue of migration is in West Africa. He further urged them all to accelerate their efforts to meet the project’s expectations.
Mr. Stephen Kankam, the Deputy Director of Hen Mpoano and a member of the MIGRAWARE project, recommended that the government integrate migration into other policy areas at the municipal level to enhance and address migration challenges effectively.
Dr. Marta Sapena, on MIGRAWARE project from the Germany Aerospace Centre (DLR), expressed her hopes of producing valuable information that will aid policymakers and stakeholders in making informed decisions when creating migration policies.
Over the past decades, drivers for global migration have shifted from the known conventional economic drivers to the now significant yet mundane multi-faceted set of factors influenced by climate variability. Despite passing a number of policies and regulations, several West African governments, through support from development partners and the growing scientific community are yet to come to terms with the climate-environment-migration nexus on one hand, and practically sustainable approaches to curb the situation on the other.
This was what led to the establishment of the project, MIGRAWARE. The project focuses on developing effective migration governance policies in the context of climate change and aims to provide valuable insights and recommendations to policymakers and stakeholders. It also emphasizes data collection, analysis, and the use of innovative technologies to understand migration patterns and their relationship with environmental factors.
MIGRAWARE is currently being implemented in Nigeria, Ghana, and Burkina through the collaborative effort of over twenty renowned scientists drawn from FUT-MINNA (Nigeria), Hen Mpoano, Ghana Statistical Service, Ministry of Interior Ghana, GIZ Government office, Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority, National Road Safety Commission Ghana, University of Cape Coast (Ghana), University of Nazi Boni (Burkina Faso), University of Halle-Wittenberg (Germany), University of Wurzburg (Germany), German Aerospace Centre (DRL), PiSolutions (Germany) and CoKnow (Germany).
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