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Knowledge Forum

National Consultation on Mainstreaming Human Mobility in Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in Pakistan




Serena Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan

Date & Time

16 October 2017 to 17 October 2017

Kawal Waqar, Nadia Ali, Zoe Nasim

Developing countries, especially poor and vulnerable populations in these countries, are disproportionately bearing the adverse impacts of environmental shocks and stressors. People are responding to these impacts with a mix of in-situ and ex-situ strategies, including mobility. Human mobility manifests in various forms—as displacement, migration, and resettlement—in the communities affected by disasters and environmental change. The loss of place of residence or economic disruption due to extreme weather events results in a largely temporary displacement of the population. Though most of the people displaced by disasters remain within their country, some may move to a neighbouring one.

In addition, migration for work is often considered to be a household strategy to minimize the risks of environmental stressors. Remittances are important for households that adopt migration as a strategy to minimize risks, seek employment, increase income, and accumulate investment capital. Moreover, migrants facilitate the circulation of ideas, practices, and identities between the destination and origin communities. Some governments are considering relocation and resettlement as potential strategies to address observed climate change and projected changes in resource productivity and risks.

The relationship between human mobility and climate change remains on the fringe of policy discourse in Hindu Kush Himalayan countries, where migration itself exists in the periphery of policy discourse. Mainstreaming human mobility in climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development goals remains a work-in-progress.

The mandate for addressing human mobility remains fragmented within different government institutions that have little opportunity to discuss relevant issues and synergize their responses. Generally, different government institutions represent countries in different global processes such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Global Forum on Migration and Development, and Sustainable Development Goals. The government position on human mobility is seldom synergized between different government institutions in the context of these global processes. There needs to be a shared understanding and common approach regarding human mobility among different government agencies that are part of the aforementioned processes. Recently, there have been some positive developments. For instance, the theme of Migration, Remittances and Adaptation has been mainstreamed in the Gilgit Baltistan Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan with the objective of increasing the climate resilience of migrant-sending mountain communities through non-traditional climate change adaptation strategies.


The objective of this national consultation is to bring together policymakers and experts from Pakistan with the aim of mainstreaming human mobility in national policies on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development goals (specifically Goal 13), with a particular focus on preparing a model framework of action. There is also the expectation that good practices and lessons learned from across the country as well as from the Regional Knowledge Forum on Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Sustainable Development Goals that was held in Kathmandu from 14 to 15 September 2017 will be shared.

Expected results 

  • Take stock of the integration of human mobility in current discussions and policies related to climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development.
  • Build a shared understanding of various forms of human mobility and their implications for policy-making among different government institutions.
  • Recognize the key mobility flows (e.g., displacement, labour migration, and resettlement) in the context of climate change; map key actors and mandates, including overlaps between the mandates of different government institutions; and identify knowledge and capacity gaps as well as opportunities for inter-ministerial collaboration.
  • Identify areas within programmes on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development goals, where the role of human mobility could be mainstreamed.

Concrete outputs

  • A ‘model’ framework for fostering a better understanding of human mobility across different policy domains.
  • Key messages for fostering a better understanding of human mobility across different policy domains.


Twenty representatives from federal and provincial ministries of Pakistan, plus representatives from a limited number of international organizations and non-government organizations.

Supporter and organizers

Generously supported by the European Union (EU), the national consultation will be organized by World Wide Fund for Nature, Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) in collaboration with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and International Organization for Migration (IOM).