IOM, AMA and partners committed to climate action in urban areas

Participants of the training. Photo: IOM Ghana/Randi-Lyn Miller

Nadia Owusu, youth climate advocate. Photo: IOM Ghana/Juliane Reissig

AMA representative and IOM Ghana Chief of Mission opening the workshop. Photo: IOM Ghana/Randi-Lyn Miller

Accra – On 3 and 4 June 2024, ahead of World Environment Day on 5 June, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organised a training on human mobility in the context of climate change, with a focus on urban areas, for Steering Committee members of the project titled “Strengthening the Capacity of the City of Accra to Manage Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change”. The project is a collaboration between IOM and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) funded by the IOM Development Fund. 

The city of Accra has been impacted by rising temperatures, increasing sea levels, and flooding over the past decade, for example, which has led to the destruction of city infrastructure as well as human loss. While its climate resilience is at stake, Accra remains a territory of opportunity for migrants, both internally from other parts of Ghana as well as internationally from neighbouring countries, including from areas impacted by sea level rise, land degradation and erratic rainfall patterns. Yet, if no measures are taken now, 100,000 to 150,000 persons may be forced to leave coastal areas in Ghana by 2050 as a result of accelerating erosion and increased intensity and frequency of floodings, which will also be a reality for Accra. 

“The AMA has been intentional in addressing challenges related to migration and climate change in the city context. Enhancing the capacities of those working on the MECC nexus is crucial if we want to be successful in building a resilient and inclusive city that considers all citizens, including migrants,” said Elizabeth K. T. Sackey, Mayor of the City of Accra. 

The 2-day workshop brought together representatives from the Development Planning, Social Welfare, Waste Management, International Relations, Resilience and Sustainability, and Administration units of the AMA, from the Ministry of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CSOs and academia. What’s more, C40 Cities, a global network of nearly 100 mayors of the world's leading cities that are united in action to confront the climate crisis and a close climate action partner of AMA, and the migrant community were represented.  

“The partnership between IOM, AMA and all bodies represented in the Project Steering Committee, is key to ensure no one is left behind at a time when climate change impacts are felt especially by the most vulnerable, including those from migrant communities. It is encouraging to witness the commitment of all partners to focus their climate action on migration related aspects,” said IOM Ghana Chief of Mission, Fatou Diallo Ndiaye. 

Workshop participants overall improved their knowledge on the nexus between environment and human mobility; the drivers of environmental migration; the impacts of climate induced migration in urban areas; and existing legal and policy frameworks relevant to environmental migration at the international and continental levels. Going forward, thanks to the new knowledge gained, participants will be able to contribute to the development of policy interventions aimed at reducing vulnerabilities associated with climate change and human mobility in the city context. 

“As an internal migrant working in informal waste management, I know about the urgency to tackle climate action. I have found a new home in the city of Accra, and I am committed to contribute my part to help mitigate the impacts of climate change currently felt by the most vulnerable citizens,” said Lambima Mahama, representative from the migrant community of informal waste collectors. 

Both Ghana and AMA have made national and international commitments to promote and improve its citizens’ living standards, especially regarding climate change and migration. In 2022, the country signed the Kampala Declaration on Migration Environment and Climate Change. 

“It is now the time to champion and implement the Kampala Declaration within the Ghanaian context with youth as key stakeholders and collaborators. Partnering with the youth would help to ensure the development of concrete actions with and for migrants, including in the urban context,” said Nadia Owusu, youth climate advocate. 

The project assists the city of Accra to integrate human mobility induced by climate change into its local policies, strategies and city action plans, all geared towards responding to the needs of migrants and preventing future population displacement. The project will also foster technical knowledge exchanges with stakeholders from other countries across the continent. 


For more information contact:

Eric Kwame Akomanyi, IOM Ghana,

SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 13 - Climate Action