IOM and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have launched APMEN (Asia-Pacific Migration and Environment Network), an internet-based resource on interaction between the environment and migration in the Asian and Pacific region.
The site is designed to encourage the exchange of analysis, insights and experience; stimulate dialogue among researchers and policy specialists; raise public awareness of the issues concerned; and fill gaps in data, research, and knowledge.
“The environment has long had an impact on global migration flows, as people have historically left places with harsh or deteriorating conditions. Accelerated climate change is likely to increase the scale of migration flows in Asia and the Pacific, a region in which millions of people have already moved internally or across borders due to natural disasters and other environmental events,” says IOM Regional Director for Asia Andrew Bruce.
APMEN was created in line with IOM’s goal of helping to mitigate forced migration resulting from environmental factors. IOM’s activities to help reduce the vulnerability of populations exposed to environmental risk include directly assisting affected populations and building the capacities of governments and other actors to face the challenge of environmental migration.
“APMEN centralizes relevant research and information and offers a free virtual space for exchange and learning on migration and environment in the Asia-Pacific. It was created to make it easier for researchers, policy makers and key opinion leaders to come together and share information on this very important topic,” says Bruce.
The Asian Development Bank stresses the urgency of developing policies, appropriate institutions and mechanisms to cope with the expected impact of climate change on migration. APMEN is part of the bank’s work to generate policy options for addressing climate-induced migration in Asia and the Pacific.
“We need to better understand the scale of the challenge and the factors at play,” says the Director of ADB’s Poverty Reduction, Gender and Social Development Division, Bart W. Édes.
“APMEN is poised to be the largest repository of publications, news, events, photos and videos related to environmentally driven migration in the world’s most populous region. Our goal is to gather all pertinent information in a single location that can be easily accessed by the public. We also expect APMEN to emerge as a valuable forum in which researchers in the region can share and discuss their findings and approaches,” says Édes.
By logging on to www.apmen.iom.int, researchers can view country-specific data and download books, reports, papers and presentations from all over the region. They can also access the site’s photo and video galleries. Registered network members will be able to upload news, events, photos, videos and publications through an onsite sharing tool. They can also join in discussion in the members-only forum.