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09 Nov 2016

Assessing The Evidence: Migration, Environment and Climate Change in Morocco

As a polymorphic migratory profile and a climate-vulnerable country, Morocco is particularly concerned with environmental-induced mobility. On one hand, environmental and climatic factors account for migration to Morocco from sub-Saharan and movements out of and within the country, especially to the major coastal cities; and on the other hand, they also put further pressure on natural resources in the most part of rural areas. With the severe impacts of climate change expected to rise in intensity in the coming decades, sudden-onset events, such as floods and storms, as well as slow-onset processes, such as droughts and desertification, will further intensify these movements and challenge local and national policymakers.

As of now, the evidence base for understanding and making visible the migration, environment and climate change nexus in Morocco is scarce. This report sets out to provide a first comprehensive overview of the linkages between climate change and migration. In the first part, it describes the different environmental challenges Morocco is facing, and sheds light on the migration movements that are caused by or connected to them. In the second part, the report reviews the applicable policy frameworks and offers initial suggestions on how to provide for a more coherent policy approach, which is directly needed to tackle the challenges the country is facing in the coming years and decades.

Being a first synthesis of the current knowledge on the issue, the report calls for more refined research to be carried out. Morocco’s leading role in the international efforts on combating climate change offers a perfect opportunity to fuel research efforts and thus enable informed policy development on the matter.