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ParlAmericas held a virtual learning lab on ‘Mobilizing parliaments to address climate migration’ within the framework of VIII Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean

In her welcoming remarks, Senator the Honourable Rosa Galvez (Canada), President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change, stated, “Today we have gathered to prioritize the protection of people. As parliamentarians, we need to examine what strategies we can support in order to build resilience and prevent forced climate migration. We know the facts: as a consequence of the changing climate, we can expect an increase in frequency and intensity of natural hazards. This is a timely conversation for the countries most vulnerable to extreme natural hazards, as well as the neighbouring countries that may become hosts for climate migrants.”

The session included a multi-stakeholder dialogue that included legislative, gender, and science and technology perspectives on climate migration and disaster resilience-building. Moderated by the Honourable Member of the National Assembly Juan Diego Vásquez (Panama), it featured the participation of the Honourable Member of the Chamber of Representatives Julia Miranda Londoño (Colombia); Pablo Escribano, Regional Thematic Specialist on Migration, Environment and Climate Change of the International Organization for Migration; and Vanya David, President of the Dominica National Council of Women. Key elements of the dialogue included a presentation on Colombia’s bill to address the displacement of persons due to climatic causes, an overview of the patterns of climate migration in the Latin America and Caribbean region, and evidence in support of inclusive relocation strategies recognizing that natural hazards exacerbate socio-economic disparities, such as gender inequality, which persist even after relocation.

To conclude the session, Senator Anthony Vieira (Trinidad and Tobago), Vice-President for the Caribbean of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change, offered final reflections on the importance of parliamentary action to support disaster risk management: "As responsible parliamentarians, we cannot sit on the sidelines or remain silent. We have a duty to inform, and to confront the emerging crisis by ensuring that our respective governments take all necessary and appropriate action.”