Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy (MECLEP)

Duration: Three years (January 2014 – December 2016)
Estimated budget: 2.4 million Euros

“Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy” aims to contribute to the global knowledge base on the relationship between migration and environmental change, including climate change. The innovative research will aim to formulate policy options on how migration can benefit adaptation strategies to environmental and climate change.

Project Location

The 6 project countries are Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kenya, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam.


Environmental change is one of the major concerns for the international community. Although precise estimates are unavailable, it is commonly understood that due to changes in the environment, more and more people will migrate in coming years, in particular within and between developing countries. At the same time, migration will most likely have a growing impact on the environment. For example, internal migration to cities is expected to continue to increase. Today, over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, many of which are in coastal areas and are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. The effects of these changes will vary and the impact will differ between each region of the world.

Despite a growing body of studies on the topic of migration, environment and climate change, there is still a lack in reliable data and policy oriented research which can respond to the increasing demand and reflect the needs of policymakers.

The MECLEP project will therefore fill an important gap as it is a policy oriented programme of work based on three main components of activities.


Project Activities and Outputs


  • Strengthen knowledge- and information-sharing with new evidence
  • Explore how migration can contribute to adaptation strategies in diverse settings
    • Conceptual terminology assessment

    • National country-level assessments and household-level surveys

    • Final comparative report with migration-and-environment scenario building

    • Local researcher capacity-building workshops

    • Global online information-sharing platform

The MECLEP Working Paper Series covers the methodological issues involved in the project's research.

Working paper No. 1/2016 presents the methodological basis for the Migration, Environmental and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy (MECLEP) project, funded by the European Union. Migration as adaptation has been widely discussed but remains empirically understudied. The authors call for a reconceptualization of the migration–adaptation nexus and a deeper understanding of how migration affects adaptive capacities. Research should analyse migration as one possible adaptation strategy among many others, acknowledging both the positive and negative outcomes, and should focus on adaptation for whom: the migrants themselves, community of origin and community of destination. 

This paper provides a comparative analysis of the advantages and challenges of the proposed methodological approaches. For an increased understanding and to provide empirical evidence for policymaking, the authors suggest putting migration corridors at the heart of the analysis and recommend employing a mixture of both traditional qualitative and quantitative methods.





  • Enhance government capacity to take action on environmental migration

    • Training manual on migration, environment and climate change

    • Training workshops in the 6 pilot countries


  • Facilitate policy coherence and cooperation nationally and regionally

    • National level technical working groups

    • National policy consultations



EUR 1.9 million of the budget is funded by the European Union under the Thematic Programme on Migration and Asylum (TPMA).



The project is implemented by IOM through a consortium of six research partners.

University of Versailles Saint-Quentin,

  Bielefeld University,

  Center for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM), University of Liège,

Research Center on Citizenship, Migration and the City (CIMIC), Erasmus University Rotterdam,

The Netherlands
  Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO),

Costa Rica
  Institute for the Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), United Nations University,



Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Sociales (CIES), Iberoamerican University,

Dominican Republic
  Research Institute for Climate Change, DRAGON Institute, Can Tho University, Mekong,

Viet Nam
  Institute of Geography, University of Neuchâtel,



Project Leaflet 

 Download leaflet [ENESFR]