Annex 11: Guidance for mainstreaming environmental and climate considerations into reintegration programming

Key Messages

Target audience

Policymakers-icon Created with Sketch. Policymakers
Programme managers/ developers
Local Government
Implementing partners
Service providers
Case managers/other staff

Importance of mainstreaming environmental and climate concerns into reintegration programming

There is an increasing awareness of the role environmental factors play – in conjunction with others – in driving migration, and of the ways in which climate change impacts exacerbate these factors. It is also understood that people who return, for whatever reason, to environmentally degraded or hazard-exposed areas are likely to find it very difficult to re-establish secure livelihoods that are often largely dependent on natural resources. These challenges impact the sustainability of reintegration for returnees. In view of this, IOM has started to reflect on how to connect its reintegration programmes with climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and environmental sustainability efforts.108

Mainstreaming environmental dimensions into reintegration programmes is essential to the sustainability of their outcomes for both returnees and their communities. In full acknowledgment of this, IOM’s definition of “sustainable reintegration” makes clear that:

“Reintegration can be considered sustainable when returnees have reached levels of economic self-sufficiency, social stability within their communities, and psychosocial well-being that allow them to cope with (re) migration drivers.”109 These include environmental shocks and pressures (due to sudden-onset and slowonset disasters, and longer-term environmental degradation processes) that can put pressures on livelihoods and communities and compel people to leave again.

To this end, it is essential to minimize the environmental impacts of the reintegration operations, but also to contribute throughout the reintegration process to the implementation of sustainable practices (in the agricultural sector, for instance) within the communities of return. These objectives can be pursued through the involvement of returnees in the development of activities, and their employment, in sectors contributing to sustainable ecosystem management, natural resource conservation, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and so forth.

This approach offers many benefits. Green jobs110 can be created in any country, regardless of its level of economic development, in both urban and rural areas, and in all sectors (agriculture, services, industry) and with the involvement of private entrepreneurs and companies, public authorities, NGOs, returnees themselves and members of their communities. By creating such opportunities that benefit both returnees and their communities, this approach promotes migrant reintegration as a strategy to address some of the environmental, including climate, challenges in areas of return. As a result, it can help address factors that might compel people to (re)migrate away from these areas. Finally, such sustainable reintegration programmes empower returnees and promote a more positive perception of their return and presence in the communities, contributing to the building of social cohesion and to the prevention or management of potential related tensions.

Exploring opportunities for integrating environmental dimensions into reintegration activities also represents an innovative response to international policy commitments to address the environmental drivers of migration, such as those made in the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in 2018. It can contribute, in particular, to meeting objectives 2 (“Minimizing the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin” which contains a specific section on “Natural disasters, the adverse effects of climate change, and environmental degradation”), and 5 (“Enhance availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration”) of the Global Compact for Migration. It also helps to achieve objective 21 of the Global Compact for Migration, promoting sustainable reintegration, return and admission (“Cooperate in facilitating safe and dignified return and readmission, as well as sustainable reintegration”). The guidance provided in the present document is also aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction111. The guidelines also respond to calls by States112 to improve cooperation on sustainable reintegration.

Aim and scope of this annex

This guidance document aims to encourage reflection and initiatives to better understand opportunities and challenges associated with the inclusion of environmental dimensions into reintegration programmes. It also aims to guide practitioners and decision makers in designing and implementing reintegration programmes that fully integrate environmental perspectives — an emerging area of work and approach, for which few examples of previous activities or tools are available.

All around the world, areas to which migrants are returning face numerous environmental and climate challenges, such as land degradation, water scarcity, pollution or extreme events. The return of migrants can potentially exacerbate pressures on already stretched resources and fragile ecosystems, and thus be considered as undesirable by their communities. Developing reintegration programmes that contribute to building resilience to the environmental challenges faced by communities is therefore essential both to ensure the sustainability of the reintegration outcomes and to support more environmentally and socially sustainable practices for the whole community.

This document should be considered as a basic awareness-raising and guidance tool for stakeholders involved in reintegration activities, and as the foundation for future efforts towards more established practical guidelines to develop and implement environmentally sustainable reintegration programmes, in cooperation with sustainability specialists. It is composed of policy and programme-level suggestions relating to environmental perspectives that are important to reintegration programmes, but does not go into the detailed considerations on reintegration programmes in general (such as assessment, counselling and case management of individual returnees, psychosocial support and so forth. Readers should consult the corresponding modules of the Reintegration Handbook for this type of information. This document will also complement rather than replace the usual environmental screening for project proposals (or environmental impact assessment where relevant).

In developing this guidance document, IOM draws on its unique position as an organization with extensive experience in both reintegration programmes and on the linkages between migration and the environment. IOM has been designing, delivering and supporting assisted voluntary return and reintegration worldwide for 40 years. It has also been at the forefront of efforts to bring environmental migration to the heart of international, regional and national concerns. Beginning with research activities as far back as the 1990s, these efforts were scaled up from 2007 onwards, in response to a request from Member States to expand the Organization’s work in this area, including in regard to climate change.113

Structure of the annex

This guidance document supports IOM’s integrated approach to reintegration and therefore should be read in conjunction with the broader guidelines on reintegration contained in the main modules of the Reintegration Handbook. It thus follows the same structure, proposing a checklist, or a set of guiding questions, for each level at which reintegration assistance occurs – individual, community, structural – and a section on monitoring and evaluation. These checklists should help to incorporate environmental considerations and identify opportunities at each level, such as supporting returnees in business creation or training in green economy sectors (individual level); developing community-based projects that involve both returnees and community members and seek to improve resilience and stability of the targeted area (community level); or sensitizing local and national authorities and promoting public–private partnerships to create an enabling environment for sustainable reintegration programmes (structural level). Each section will also include case studies of activities involving returnees and their communities that have been, or could be, integrated into reintegration programmes to make their outcomes more sustainable.

Target audience

This document is aimed at all stakeholders involved in reintegration policies and programmes, such as national and local public authorities (including technical ministries and agencies), Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, development agencies, donors, NGOs, IOs, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction specialists, and livelihoods experts. The guidance it provides is of particular relevance for staff at the organizations responsible for developing and delivering reintegration programmes (hereinafter referred to as the ‘lead reintegration organization’),114 such as project and programme developers, programme implementation staff and M&E specialists.

108 For instance, IOM organized a workshop held on 3 and 4 July 2019 in Rabat, Morocco to discuss opportunities for environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient reintegration of returning migrants.

109 Towards an Integrated Approach to Reintegration in the Context of Return (IOM, 2017).

110 ILO defines green jobs as “decent jobs that contribute to, preserve or restore the environment, be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.” Brochure: ‘The Green Jobs Programme of the ILO’ (2015).

111 In particular Priority 2 “Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk”, Priority 3 “Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience”, and Priority 4 “Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to ‘Build Back Better’ in recovery, rehabilitation and rehabilitation". The Sendai Framework specifically acknowledges the role of migrants in DRR: “Migrants contribute to the resilience of communities and societies, and their knowledge, skills and capacities can be useful in the design and implementation of disaster risk reduction”.

112 For example, commitments made by EU and African States at the Valletta Summit on Migration (2015), to “improve cooperation on return and sustainable reintegration,” and to “address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement resulting from state fragility and insecurity, as well as from environmental trends.”

113 As part of the Director General’s IOM Strategic Vision 2019–2023 for IOM, and in response to the demand of Member States for IOM to invest more in understanding and responding to the emerging drivers of migration, notably environmental degradation and climate change, IOM is developing an institutional strategy on migration, environment and climate change.

114 Depending on the country in question, the lead reintegration entity may be a national public institution (a ministry for example), an international organization (such as IOM for example) or an NGO.

This section provides guidance on how to integrate environmental considerations into activities directly supporting individual returnees and their families, especially through the counselling process. Sample questions are provided for each step of the reintegration process.

At the individual level, returnees should be informed of environmental considerations when deciding on their reintegration plan and case managers should be able to refer them to training programmes, jobs and initiatives that take these considerations into account. It should be emphasized to returnees that green jobs are, for instance, likely to be in growth sectors and thus to provide employment and income opportunities over the longer term.

This section focuses primarily on the economic dimension of the integrated approach to reintegration, with three core areas considered:

  • Support for business development (“green entrepreneurship”);
  • Access to training; and
  • Insertion of returnees into the job market.

Counselling sessions

Has the reintegration case manager provided appropriate information to the returnee on environmental challenges, risks and opportunities in areas of reintegration?

☐ Has the reintegration case manager provided appropriate information to the returnee on environmental challenges, risks and opportunities in areas of reintegration?

☐ Has the returnee been informed about employment, training and business opportunities in green economy sectors (renewable energy, sustainable farming and so forth)?115

- Where conditions allow, such information should be provided prior to departure from the host country as part of pre-departure counselling and included in country fact sheets.

Skills assessment

☐ Does the returnee already possess skills or qualifications and knowledge in green economy (agroforestry, energy efficiency, waste management, green construction, recycling, ecosystems restoration), climate change adaptation (CCA) or disaster risk reduction (DRR) sectors?

- The returnee should be primarily oriented in sectors where he or she already possesses skills or expresses an interest in training.

☐ Are there credit options for these kinds of activities accessible to the returnee?

Personal network assessment

☐ Does the returnee have existing contacts, personal networks (family, friends, relatives) working in green economy, CCA or DRR sectors in the area of return?

Health and risk assessment

☐ Does the returnee present as having adequate health conditions for working in green economy, CCA and DRR sectors, especially if it requires physical effort (such as in the agricultural or construction sectors)?

Reintegration planning and follow-up

☐ Does the feasibility grid used by the case manager to help the returnee design an individual reintegration plan integrate environmental criteria?

- The feasibility grid should include at least one environment-related business opportunity, but also environmental criteria to ensure that the reintegration plan does not have negative environmental consequences, and that businesses created are not subject to high environmental risks such as natural resource scarcity, disaster risk or adverse impacts of climate change.

Economic and social reintegration assistance

☐ Does training in business development projects include a module on environmental challenges and opportunities tailored to the area of return, as well as information on opportunities for business creation in green economy, CCA and DRR sectors?

☐ Is access to relevant technical and vocational training (and financial support to follow such training) facilitated to provide the returnee with the skills to engage in green jobs or green entrepreneurship?

☐ Does the lead reintegration organization have established partnerships with specialized entities (public, private, voluntary sectors) to support green entrepreneurship (for example, reducing energy and raw material consumption, limiting greenhouse gas emissions, assessing the market demand for sustainable products or services, identifying green financing opportunities, developing sustainable agricultural practices, minimizing waste and pollution, greening strategies for businesses, and so forth)?

☐ Where business opportunities in environment-related domains already exist in the community, can the case manager propose insertion of the returnee into them, to avoid duplication of projects and favour social cohesion?

- The selected reintegration project should also be subjected to an environmental screening tool.116

- To note that insertion into an existing business should only be sought if it does not perpetuate possible existing social barriers, such as ethnicity-based dynamics.

Created with Sketch. Case Study 1:

Environmentally friendly technical training for returnees from Morocco

Migrants in Morocco who have decided to return to their countries of origin, often find themselves having to wait for a few weeks before their actual departure. To capitalize on this pre-departure period and help them prepare for their return, they can access two technical modules, on transformation and handicraft, as part of the FORAS Project.

These modules were developed as a result of a study to identify the main economic reintegration opportunities in the five initially targeted countries (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali and Senegal).

Beneficiaries of the training in the transformation and conservation of farm products acquire skills in the value addition of agricultural products, through the observation and practice of different conservation and processing techniques. For example, they learn how to make shampoo and other honey-based cosmetics, produce jams and dry fruits and vegetables.

Beneficiaries of the course on handicrafts learn different modern and traditional decoration and painting techniques, the use and transformation of recycled products to produce small objects, and the creation of small furniture.

These modules are complemented by one course on life and soft skills and personal development, and another on business development.

Such courses contribute to the engaging of beneficiaries in income-generating activities that are environmentally friendly. They can also be used to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment so that activities on which their livelihoods may depend are sustainable.

Created with Sketch. Tips for success:
  • Undertake an analysis to identify promising areas of environmentally friendly economic activities in the country of origin.
  • Closely coordinate activities between the host country and the country of origin to leverage the training opportunities available in the host country, to benefit the reintegration process in the country of origin.

115 See ILO’s definition of “green jobs”, footnote 2. The green economy is also, more generally, defined by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as low carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive.

116 Examples of environmental screening questions can also be found at the end of each module of the IOM Project Handbook (2nd edition, Geneva, 2017). It may be necessary or advisable to engage with and refer to specialist organizations. In some cases, national legislation may require a full Environmental Assessment Impact (EIA) but this is usually for large-scale projects.

This section provides guidance on how to integrate environmental considerations into community-level projects,117 one of the main avenues through which reintegration programmes can contribute to building resilience to environmental challenges in areas of return. For instance, a strong advantage to the creation of green jobs at the community level is that it does not generally require specialized, high-skilled labour (that is building basic irrigation infrastructure, basic slope stabilization or soil conservation infrastructure) so they are easily accessible to returnees and local community members with basic training. By contributing to long-term access to natural resources or to increasing resilience to climate change impacts and natural hazards, reintegration projects with an environmental dimension also help to strengthen the social stability and cohesion of the community.

Beyond the returnees’ technical contributions to community-level projects, making full use of their skills can also contribute to the mitigation of potentially negative perceptions of the returnees as “failed migrants” and thus address the psychosocial and social cohesion dimension of reintegration.

Such projects may cover different areas of interventions, such as:

  • Improving access to a sustainable supply of water and energy for household consumption, through, for instance, rehabilitation or construction of irrigation canals, or a community forestry project which ensures a sustainable supply of firewood.
  • Reducing disaster risk, through, for instance, building basic flood prevention infrastructure such as levee and drainage systems or strengthening buildings to make them more resistant to storms or earthquakes.
  • Reducing waste and pollution, through, for instance. sensitization programmes, recycling and waste management schemes.
  • Rehabilitation of agricultural land through soil conservation, sustainable water management practices and reforestation, through, for instance, agroforestry schemes, community tree-planting, or construction of check dams.

If such projects already exist in the area of return, it can greatly reduce costs and oversight to consider a partnership with the organizations implementing them.

Integrating a reintegration component in such ongoing projects, however, can also pose challenges related to matching the skills and motivation of returnees with a local project’s needs, and obtaining acceptance from local communities for the integration of returnees. If such challenges are properly addressed (for example through training, awareness-raising or adaptation of the project), these approaches can also contribute to social cohesion.

To be as supportive and beneficial as possible, community-level initiatives should consider the following elements:

Defining and engaging the community

☐ Has the lead reintegration organization informed local communities and authorities about the project?

☐ Has the lead reintegration organization established a close coordination with local communities and authorities to engage them in the project and avoid duplication of existing businesses and initiatives and to ensure local acceptance and ownership of new businesses involving returnees?

- To note that insertion into an existing business should only be sought if it does not perpetuate possible existing social barriers, such as ethnicity-based dynamics.

☐ Does the project create (employment) opportunities for both returnees and community members and thus contribute to the economic development of the entire community and promote social cohesion?

☐ Are environmental challenges and opportunities related to the project addressed during focus groups to ensure that those engaged in the project are sensitized and knowledgeable about them?

☐ Are the traditional know-hows and good practices of the community in relation to sustainability taken into account when designing the reintegration project?

Community assessments and projects

☐ What are the main environmental challenges identified in and by the community of return?

☐ What are the natural hazards the community most frequently faces? What measures does the community currently have in place to reduce risks and cope with the impacts of such hazards?

☐ How is the community hazard profile expected to change in the future?

☐ What is the local availability of natural resources and what are the challenges the community is facing this?

☐ Is the area already experiencing intracommunal or intercommunal tensions or conflict, including those relating to access to natural resources?

☐ Have relevant local and national stakeholders, including environmental management, disaster risk reduction and adaptation experts and authorities been involved in community assessments as part of the design of reintegration programmes?

☐ Are key environmental challenges and opportunities included in the feasibility grid used to select reintegration projects (for an example see Annex 5 of IOM’s Reintegration Handbook, 2019)?

- Environmental challenges and opportunities should be included in the feasibility grid to ensure that the reintegration project does not have negative environmental consequences and is not subject to significant environmental risks due to, for instance, natural resource scarcity, natural hazards and disaster or the adverse impacts of climate change.

Reintegration assistance at the community level

☐ Does the project design consider skills that returnees and local community members might have (or might lack) for addressing environmental challenges?

☐ What are the knowledge and skills’ gaps, and related training needs, at community level on issues such as energy production and consumption, agroecology or water management?

- Are other community projects with an environmental sustainability focus ongoing in the area of return? If that is the case, can the inclusion of returnees within these projects be considered?

Created with Sketch. Case Study 2:

Community waste management project in Côte d’Ivoire

As a result of rapid population increase and urbanization, Côte d’Ivoire is facing critical waste management issues, as landfills are located well outside overcrowded urban centres. With no collection and transportation system in place, garbage often piles up in open dumpsters inside the country’s cities. Daloa, the third most populated city in the country, is no exception to this worsening environmental and public health problem.

Within the framework of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, IOM partnered with CARE International in Côte d’Ivoire to launch a EUR 300,000 community-based reintegration project focused on city cleaning and waste management, with the involvement of returnees and community members.118

In Daloa, more than 200 people from both groups were selected to support existing waste management structures, and were equipped with motorized transporter tricycles, gloves, boots and other equipment. These workers now collect waste against a monthly fee ranging from CFA 1,000 for households to CFA 5,000 CFA for restaurants (1.5 to 7.5 euros).

The project has significant development opportunities: while only 2 per cent of Daloa’s population has subscribed to this service so far (the fee can be high, considering the minimum salary in Côte d’Ivoire is just over CFA 65,000), the project aims to reach 25 per cent of the population in the near future. In addition, there are plans to couple waste management with a waste recycling system, thereby generating additional jobs and incomes, and helping to address broader environmental issues.

Beyond its economic impact on beneficiaries, the project also has a significant psychosocial impact on returnees. Every returnee is accompanied by a mentor from the community whose role is to teach them new skills, to help them adjust to life back in Côte d’Ivoire, and to provide them with emotional support. Additionally, the project has important environmental as well as health impacts on people living close to makeshift landfills.

Since the launch of the project in January 2019, IOM has ensured the monthly monitoring of the project’s activities and has supported it through sensitization activities on the need for waste management across the city.

Created with Sketch.  Tips for success:
  • Aim to couple waste management with sensitization activities on the need for waste management and its benefits.
  • Complement waste collection with recycling to further benefit from the process and provide additional services to the community.
Created with Sketch. Case Study 3:

Pilot project for farmers returning to Casamance in Senegal

The village of Medina Touat is located in Kolda, a region affected by the Casamance conflict and among the poorest areas in Senegal. While the region has traditionally been very fertile, offering significant farming opportunities, climate change and ecosystem degradation have depleted local soils and are now threatening livelihoods of those local communities that depend mostly on agriculture. To survive, communities have turned to illegal deforestation, which aggravates biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, soil stabilization practices and emigration. Over the last decades, Casamance has become the area of Senegal from which most people emigrate. Return and reintegration of migrants to the area is difficult due to the lack of local economic opportunities and support structures for returnees, as well as continuing environmental pressures.

As part of the project Mainstreaming Environmental Dimensions into Reintegration Support to Reduce the Effects of Climate Change on Migration in West Africa, in 2019, IOM Senegal implemented a pilot project in the village of Medina Touat. This is creating economic opportunities for returnees contributing to managing climate change impacts in the region, reducing pressure on natural resources and increasing resilience of local communities through increased food security.119

Funded by the Government of France, the pilot project was implemented in partnership with the NGO Trees for the Future (TREES) and aimed to inform and train a selected group of returnees in agroforestry and sustainable agricultural techniques – following the TREES Forest Garden Approach – as well as income-generating practices. Trainees attended a course at Sow Ranch, a demonstration farm next to Medina Touat. Hectares of land have been allocated to establish a farming perimeter where returnees cultivate fruits and vegetables that will contribute to the local economy and food security of the entire community. The activities also help protect the local environment by preventing the felling of nearby forests for fuelwood and food products, and thus also contributes to mitigating climate change.

Following expressions of interest in the activities by local community members and local authorities, the project has been extended to target other groups beyond returnees, adopting a more inclusive approach that now increasingly contributes to building social cohesion. Several IOM offices and local and national authorities also indicated their interest in replicating such projects in other regions of Senegal, and in different countries.

Created with Sketch. Tips for success:
  • Partner with a local expert agency that can train beneficiaries on specific sustainable agricultural techniques.
  • Ensure that climate change mitigation activities can also generate a regular income.

117 The term “community” is defined as “a number of persons who regularly interact with one another, within a specific geographical territory, and who tend to share common values, beliefs and attitudes.” IOM Handbook on Protection and Assistance for Migrants Vulnerable to Violence, Exploitation and Abuse (2019).

118 Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Sahel and Lake Chad 01 May 2017 to 30 November 2020; funded by the EU, implemented by IOM.

119 Available at and foresti%C3%A8re-c6347cf4abc4 (in French).

This section provides guidance to lead reintegration organizations on how to integrate environmental considerations into reintegration programmes. Structural interventions aim to create the overall political, institutional, economic and social conditions for sustainable reintegration programming. They encompass initiatives seeking to ensure the engagement, capacity-building and ownership of key stakeholders – such as national and local public authorities, civil society organizations, private sector actors – and to strengthen or establish coordination mechanisms to mainstream environmental considerations into reintegration programmes.

Such initiatives may include:

  • Reforestation initiatives, pasture regeneration or mangrove rehabilitation;
  • Sustainable land management and land rehabilitation practices;
  • Water management and water access;
  • Clean energy;
  • Hazard-resistant infrastructure and housing and nature-based solutions to disasters or hazards.

Engaging local and national authorities is essential to ensure a minimum level of local ownership and continued funding. Should this not be possible, other funding options can be considered, such as levying small charges on water for household consumption or agricultural production, or on waste collection services.

Whenever possible, and especially if the project is beyond the available budget of a reintegration programme, partnerships should be explored with national and local public authorities, international organizations, development agencies, private sector companies, INGOs and civil society organizations (including diaspora associations). Furthermore, gender and social inclusion should be a key consideration of the project.

Some partners may be unable to provide financial support but might be able to assist with in-kind contributions such as land, skills training or project-oversight support. For example, national authorities may be able support through technical line ministries and agencies, such as those responsible for infrastructure, local government or environmental protection.

The following elements should be addressed to ensure the proper integration of an environmental dimension within broader reintegration policy and frameworks, coordination structures and initiatives.

Stakeholder engagement, capacity-building and ownership

☐ What are the national and local priority sectors where investment is needed in order to develop environmentally sustainable reintegration programmes? Have relevant national stakeholders (such as the nodal agency on climate action) and international organizations (such as ILO) been consulted to identify these sectors?

☐ Has a stakeholder (both public and private) mapping been conducted during the design phase of the reintegration programme to identify relevant partners and to ascertain their mandates, experience, capacities and ability to support?

- For instance, has contact been established with companies operating in the green economy?

☐ Have partners (such as NGOs, international organizations, national stakeholders) with mandates and expertise on environmental issues that address a potential lack of in-house capacity, been consulted with a view to designing and implementing reintegration programmes that integrate environmental dimensions?

☐ Have stakeholders on gender, marginalized population groups and indigenous communities been consulted with a view to designing and implementing reintegration programmes that integrate environmental dimensions?

☐ Are the relevant stakeholders, including reintegration case managers, trained in the reintegrationenvironment nexus?120

- Reintegration case managers play a key role in advising returnees on the opportunities available in the area of return for livelihoods, so it is important to build their awareness and capacities on the topic.

- Generic training, and, to the extent possible, country- or region-specific training, should be provided to relevant stakeholders involved in reintegration programmes, such as local officials or case managers, that cover common environmental challenges and opportunities for individuals and communities to engage in activities contributing to environmental sustainability and resilience to climate change impacts and disasters

Effective international cooperation

☐ Were opportunities for multi-stakeholder partnerships and co-funding for the reintegration project explored?

☐ Have awareness-raising activities been conducted in host countries and countries of origin on the environmental challenges and opportunities linked to reintegration in the country of origin?

☐ Do these awareness-raising activities target the following audiences:

- National and local authorities;

- Public and private employment agencies;

- Training providers;

- Private entrepreneurs;

- NGOs working in the fields of reintegration, adaptation to climate change, climate change mitigation, ecosystem management and conservation, disaster risk reduction;

- Other relevant stakeholders, including women’s groups, marginalized population groups, indigenous populations and people with disabilities.

Strengthening national frameworks

☐ Is the reintegration project coordinated and coherent with existing national green economy and green jobs programmes, so as to ensure long-term opportunities and full commitment of local and national stakeholders?

- Green works in the fields of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction are usually publicly funded and employment-intensive.121 While related green jobs are usually for a limited duration, such projects may also create longer-term jobs, such as in the maintenance of constructed infrastructure, or farming of rehabilitated land, if well-coordinated and consistent with existing green jobs programmes.

- Which sectors and sectoral employer federations represent those sectors? 122

☐ Is the project accompanied by policy and advocacy efforts to ensure that environmentally sustainable reintegration is embedded in local and national migration and development strategies and relevant sectoral policies in the country of origin?123

- Reintegration policies: promote environmental sustainability and encourage the incorporation of environmental challenges and opportunities within existing reintegration approaches.

- Development policies:124 mobilize diaspora groups to invest in community-level environmental sustainability projects and to benefit from technical support provided by diaspora members with relevant skills (engineering, agronomy, waste management and so forth).

- Employment policies: facilitate the recognition of returnees’ environmentally relevant qualifications and experience obtained abroad and facilitate access of returnees to skills’ development policy and support programmes for the creation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in relevant sectors for the green economy.

- Climate change adaptation policies: include reintegration considerations into community-based adaptation approaches.

Created with Sketch. Case Study 4:

Technical workshop on Climate-resilient Reintegration of Returning Migrants in Rabat, Morocco

In West Africa, environmental challenges already contribute to the drive of migration from rural areas, where livelihoods in key sectors (agriculture, mining and fisheries) are largely dependent on natural resources. Simultaneously, these challenges impact the sustainability of reintegration for returnees, limiting their livelihoods’ options and access to natural resources.

In order to discuss these challenges and identify opportunities for integrating environmental dimensions into reintegration activities, IOM organized a two day-workshop in July 2019 in Rabat, Morocco.125

The workshop was held within the framework of the IOM project Mainstreaming Environmental Dimensions into Reintegration Support to Reduce the Effects of Climate Change on Migration in West Africa, funded by the Government of France. The workshop gathered experts, policymakers and academics from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe to exchange knowledge and good practices on environmentally sustainable reintegration activities, build a shared understanding of opportunities and challenges associated with related programming and gather recommendations to develop such reintegration programmes.

Similar workshops could be conducted in other regions or in specific countries to raise awareness for policymakers and practitioners and engage them in the creation of an enabling policy environment for developing environmentally sustainable reintegration programmes. It is also the occasion to develop relevant partnerships with stakeholders, both public and private, willing to engage and invest in such reintegration activities.

Created with Sketch. Tips for success:
  • Compruebe que las competencias adquiridas sean transferibles y puedan utilizarse en los países de origen.
  • Foster a positive setting to promote the exchange of knowledge and good practices between participants with different areas of expertise.
  • When possible, couple presentations and discussions in plenary and in small groups with a field visit to offer a practical example of topics being discussed.

120 IOM MECC has developed the Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Training Manual with the support of the EU and the IOM Development Fund. This manual can be used to train, and raise awareness among, policymakers and practitioners on the migrationenvironment nexus, and provide practical and concrete tools for formulating national and regional policies to address this critical issue. This manual does not specifically address the reintegration–environment nexus but can serve as a basis for, and be adapted to, delivering training workshops in the context of a reintegration programme. For more information please contact the MECC Division:

121 For an overview see ILO (2011) Local investments for climate change adaptation: Green jobs through green works.

122 For more detailed consideration of private sector engagement for reintegration, see section 4.1.1 of the IOM Reintegration Handbook “Stakeholder Engagement” (p. 142).

123 These elements are suggestions that should not be seen as comprehensive. Many other opportunities to integrate environmentally sustainable reintegration considerations into national frameworks may exist and should be explored, dependent on a country’s specificities.

124 Migration and development policies seek to ensure that migration makes a positive contribution to the social and economic development of origin and destination countries, while being beneficial to the situation of migrants and their families.

125 See:

This section provides some pointers for staff tasked with developing and monitoring individual and communitybased reintegration projects and internal or external evaluation specialists. It should be read in conjunction with Module 5 of the Reintegration Handbook, dedicated to monitoring and evaluation of reintegration programmes, and for general guidance on key topics such as selection of indicators or how to undertake an evaluation. The guidance and suggestions below do not replace specialized tools for project-level monitoring and evaluation that are available from a range of sources. For example, and depending on the focus of the project, relevant specialized M&E tools can be consulted in relation to local economic development projects, climate change adaptation or disaster risk reduction.126

The following elements should be addressed to ensure proper integration of environmental dimensions into monitoring and evaluation:


When monitoring sustainable reintegration programmes and progress made towards achieving the intended results, the environmental issue(s) that such programmes aim to tackle should be included in questions such as:

  • What does success in the context of this reintegration programme look like? 
  • How is success expected to be achieved?
  • What evidence is needed to demonstrate success of the programme?

In order to achieve this, the following questions should be considered:

☐ Have environmental issues been considered in the situation and problem analyses carried out during the project’s conceptualization phase?

- Is an environmental assessment needed?

☐ Are the desired links between the intended reintegration programme and environmental results clearly articulated?

☐ Are the aims to achieve the results outlined?

☐ Is it stipulated how progress towards these results will be measured?

☐ Have environmental aspects been included in the logic and assumptions underpinning the theory of change, including the pathways of “how and why” changes happen? For example:

- IF returnees are trained (based on their needs and motivation) and they are supported with sustainable livelihoods’ initiatives;

THEN their knowledge and (vocational) skills on the environment will be enhanced which may help them in engaging in green economy activities and to earn a salary which may in turn have a positive effect on their income. The positive effect on their income may enhance their social and economic well-being and eventually increase their resilience. The positive effect of the green economy may also reduce environmental degradation and help with climate change adaptation;


i) Enhanced environmental knowledge and skills will increase the returnee’s agency in addressing environmental issues and promoting local development; or

ii) Environmental degradation or lack of sustainable livelihood options as push factors to migrate have been addressed; or

iii) When returnees have the agency and ownership over the design and implementation of evidencebased sustainable solutions they are more likely to continue utilizing the benefits that arise to help them stabilize their local living conditions.

☐ Are environmental aspects reflected in the results framework and matrix (activities, outputs, outcomes, objectives)?127

☐ Do the monitoring data collection tools include relevant questions on environmental elements?

☐ Do the monitoring data collection tools include relevant questions on gender and social inclusion?

☐ Do monitoring staff have the capacity to incorporate environmental aspects into the monitoring plans and data collection tools?

☐ Are environmental sustainability elements incorporated into knowledge products?

☐ Are there learnings that can be incorporated into the project from previous initiatives?

☐ What learnings can be documented during the project implementation period and how can these be used to inform and adjust ongoing programming and future related programmes?


Evaluations are recommended for all sustainable reintegration programmes, with the type, scope, timing and approach being dependent on its intended use. When designing evaluations on sustainable reintegration programmes, environmental elements should be considered when identifying what information is needed and by whom, and how the information collected will be used. The following are additional points to be considered for evaluations:

☐ Is there an evaluation component incorporated in the programme budget and workplan?

☐ Are environmental issues considered in the evaluation design and criteria (relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability)?

☐ Does the evaluator have the skills and knowledge to assess environmental issues together with those related to the sustainable reintegration of returnees?

Example of Indicators (not conclusive, depending on the project scope)

Examples of outcome level indicators (disaggregated by gender, age, ethnicity and type of respondent, to the extent possible):

  • Percentage of returnees and non-migrant community members who report being employed in green sectors (baseline required);
  • Percentage of community leaders, non-migrant community members and returnees who report being satisfied with the environmental initiatives and durable solutions implemented under the project;
  • Percentage of returnees, non-migrant community members and key stakeholders (state and nonstate) who report being able to apply the skills and knowledge gained through the IOM training under the project (6–12 months after training; disaggregated by type of training);
  • Number of reintegration solutions and responses implemented by key stakeholders (state and non-state) on environmental sustainability with support of the project (disaggregated by type of solution and response);
  • Number of of reintegration-related policy documents (strategies, frameworks, policies, plans) that have been updated to include environmental considerations with support of the project;
  • Percentage of public–private actors who report being engaged in green economy initiatives supported by the project (baseline required).

Examples of output level indicators (disaggregated by gender, age, ethnicity, and type of respondent, to the extent possible):

  • Number of returnees, non-migrant community members and key stakeholders (state and nonstate) trained in sustainable ecosystem management, natural resource conservation, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (disaggregated by type of training);
  • Number of returnees, non-migrant community members and key stakeholders (state and nonstate) who score 80 per cent and above in a post-training questionnaire;
  • Percentage of non-migrant community members who report having the intention of applying the new skills and knowledge acquired through the IOM training under the project (immediately after training);
  • Number of workshops held on sustainable ecosystem management, natural resource conservation, climate change adaptation or disaster risk reduction with support of the project (disaggregated by type of workshop);
  • Number of communities benefiting from local environmental initiatives supported by the project;
  • Number of new local environmental initiatives supported by the project involving returnees;
  • Number of beneficiaries who have participated in an environmental vocational training under the project;
  • Number of environmental assessment reports supported by the project that are available.


126 See for example:

127 See table 5.4: Results-monitoring framework of the IOM Reintegration Handbook (p.180).

Community-based climate change adaptation

International Labour Organization (ILO)

2011 Local Investments for Climate Change Adaptation: Green Jobs through Green Works. ILO, Geneva.

Environment–migration nexus

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

2013 Compendium of IOM Activities in Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience. IOM, Geneva.

2014 Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy – Glossary. IOM, Geneva.

2014 IOM Outlook on Migration, Environment and Climate Change. IOM, Geneva.

2016 Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Training Manual (Facilitator’s Guide). IOM, Geneva.128

n.d. IOM Environmental Migration Portal. IOM, Geneva.

n.d. Country Profiles (Assessments). IOM, Geneva.

n.d. Policy Brief Series. IOM, Geneva.

Ionesco, D., D. Mokhnacheva, and F. Gemenne

2017 The Atlas of Environmental Migration. Routledge, London.

UK Foresight

2011 Migration and Global Environmental Change: Future Challenges and Opportunities. Final Project Report. The Government Office for Science, London.

Environmental Sustainability Programme129

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

2017 Annual report for 2017, Council, 109th Session, 18 June.

2018 Annual report for 2018, Council, 110th Session, 12 June.

2019 Update on policies and practices related to migration, the environment and climate change and IOM’s Environmental sustainability programme, Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance, Twenty-fourth Session.

Green economy and Green jobs

International Labour Organization (ILO)

2015 Anticipating skill needs for green jobs: A practical guide. ILO, Geneva.

ILO web resources

2015 The Green Jobs Programme of the ILO. ILO, Geneva.

2016 What is a green job? ILO, Geneva.

n.d. Resource guide on green jobs. ILO, Geneva. Contains several document and tools.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

2011 Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication. UNEP, Geneva.

UN PAGE initiative

2013 PAGE is a partnership consisting of five UN agencies - UN Environment, ILO, UNITAR, UNIDO and UNDP (with support from eight donors). It was established in 2013 to provide countries with assistance in planning and implementing their transition to a greener and more inclusive economic model

Land restoration

The Great Green Wall Initiative

2007 Launched by the African Union as an African-led initiative, the Great Green Wall Initiative aims to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes and transform millions of lives in one of the world’s poorest regions, the Sahel.

The 3S initiative

2016 The 3S initiative, ‘Sustainability, Stability and Security’, is an intergovernmental initiative co-led by Morocco and Senegal (secretariat provided by UNCCD), which seeks to provide 2 million jobs on 10 million hectares of rehabilitated land in Africa. Many of the planned programme interventions target migration (reducing out-migration, and facilitating return migration).

128 For more information please contact the MECC Division:
129 In 2017, IOM launched its Environmental Sustainability Programme with the objective of mainstreaming environmental sustainability principles in the Organization (C/109/4). In line with the commitments and standards of the United Nations, it made an institutional commitment to improve the environmental sustainability of its operations at three different levels: strategy/policy, programme/project and facility/operations.

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