In Côte d’Ivoire, Protections for Migrant Workers and the Environment Go Hand in Hand
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – The rapid growth of cities in the developing world is putting a strain on urban food supply systems. Agriculture is increasingly absent from cities, in a context or rapid urbanization and heightened demographic pressure. Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) strengthens cities’ resilience to climate change.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Côte d'Ivoire combines efforts to protect both migrant workers and the environment. As part of a project aimed at highlighting the positive contribution of UPA to the resilience of the territories where it is practiced, IOM recently organized a dialogue on human mobility in the context of climate change with a focus on nature-based solutions.
Hosted from November 6 to 8 in Abidjan, the event was an occasion for discussions about sustainable development and concrete solutions in favour of migrant workers in agriculture; field results from pilot projects were also presented. Nearly 50 participants were present, representing key technical Ivorian Government ministries, local administrative authorities, United Nations agencies, civil society, and technical and financial partners.
This dialogue was anchored in the objectives of IOM’s MiTSA project, which aimed to “protect and integrate migrant labour and the environment into urban and peri-urban agriculture in Senegal and Côte D’Ivoire”.
"When we look at our achievements today, we are proud of our work. The project was difficult at the beginning, but now we see how motivating it was," says Perside Elégbédé, an international migrant from Benin and beneficiary of the MiTSA project in Bingerville.
The project also placed emphasis on the role played by migrant workers in responding to the multiple challenges experienced in urban and peri-urban territories such as urbanization, climate change and access to land. Throughout, IOM welcomed the commitment of government and local actors to dialogue around human mobility in the context of climate change, with a focus on nature-based solutions in West Africa.
“The MiTSA project helped show that nature-based solutions exist and that migrant workers feel valued by the implementation of these initiatives,” said Ms. Liliane Assogba Sessou of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature - Central and West Africa Program.
The event also provided an opportunity to formally close the MiTSA project, which was implemented by IOM and financed by the Government of France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.
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