Global Perspectives | Bericht | 23. April 2021

Klimawandel und Migration in Afrika: A Call for Action

Recap des GP Salon "Klimawandel und Migration in Afrika: A Call for Action"

In den letzten Jahren hat die globale Gesellschaft zunehmend die Dringlichkeit des Klimawandels und seine Einflussnahme auf Migration erkannt. Doch für viele Menschen, vor allem in Afrika, ist dies bereits seit Jahrzehnten Realität: Sie verlassen ihre Heimat aufgrund von Katastrophen wie Zyklonen, Überschwemmungen oder langfristigen Klimaveränderungen wie Dürren oder einem Anstieg des Meeresspiegels. Bis 2050 könnten in Subsahara-Afrika bis zu 86 Millionen Menschen aufgrund des Klimawandels zur Umsiedlung gezwungen sein. Die Zeit zum Handeln ist jetzt!

Über diesen „Call for Action“ sprachen wir mit H.E Prof. Judi Wakhungu, Botschafterin von Kenia in Frankreich, Portugal, Serbien & Vatikanstadt und ehemalige Ministerin für Umwelt und natürliche Ressourcen in Kenia, Maureen Achieng, Leiterin der Internationalen Organisation für Migration (IOM) in Äthiopien und Repräsentantin bei der Afrikanischen Union und der Wirtschaftskommission der Vereinten Nationen für Afrika (UNECA), und Omid Nouripour, Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestags und Außenpolitischer Sprecher der Bundestagsfraktion B90/Die Grünen.

Hier finden Sie eine kurze Zusammenfassung des GP Salons sowie eine englische Zusammenfassung:

Recap GP Salon "Klimawandel und Migration in Afrika: A Call for Action"

“Climate change is the biggest crisis that all countries are facing at the moment. […] Extreme weather is what we’re going to be dealing with for the foreseeable future.”, warns Prof. Judi Wakhungu and highlights the urgency of climate action.

Africa is disproportionately affected by the consequences of climate change, despite being one of the lowest contributors to global emissions, in the past and still today. Omid Nouripour notes: “It’s also a question of history and colonialism, which, of course, is one of the reasons why a lot of countries in the Global South are now lacking capacity and capability to face the huge challenge [of climate change].” Germany should recognize it’s responsibility in dealing with climate mobility and strive for equal dialogue with affected communities. “We could adopt a lot of things and we can learn a lot also from [states like] Kenya.”

On the international level there are no binding legal frameworks protecting climate refugees or climate migrants. As Maureen Achieng reports, there are “no provisions for accessing residence in Europe for Africa”, that is particularly hit by changes in climate. But she also points to the African Union’s Kampala convention, which has been adopted in 2009 and “has given a lot of African governments the legal framework and the basis from which to also develop their own national legal frameworks”. But to ensure that the convention is well known across all African countries and domesticated, more work needs to be done, Mrs Achieng claims.

Going forward, Judi Wakhugu calls for the AU, EU and other multilateral partners to be more transparent. An equal partnership considering “all levels from the community to the national level to the regional level and then to the broader international level” as well as the inclusion of private sector, government, civil society and NGOs is highly needed.

Omid Nouripour prompts all Europeans to listen, if we want to change our mindsets. Maureen Achieng agrees with him and points to the importance of reliable data in this discussion: “We need a lot more courage in talking about migration, integrating with our domestic audiences more than is currently happening. And these are conversations that need to be based on good data, not on myths and fears and a lot of misinformation about migration and migrants.”

Judi Wakhungu calls for action: “Migration is as old as humanity. Climate change and what we are experiencing now, especially the acceleration of climate change, is human-induced. And we can do something about this and we know what to do.”

 


 

Lesen Sie das vollständige englische Transkript hier:

Prof. Judi Wakhungu on the reality of climate change

Judi Wakhungu: Climate change is the biggest crisis that all countries are facing at the moment, it doesn’t matter where you are. We have one planet and this is planet Earth. We have no home to go to apart from this planet. Whether we face cyclones, sea level rise, droughts, floods. It doesn’t matter, extreme weather is what we’re going to be dealing with for the foreseeable future.

Maureen Achieng on migration policies in Africa

Maureen Achieng: So, it is very commendable that the African Union Commission has seen its feet not only to develop protocols that enhance human mobility and the free trade that comes with it, but also protocols, transhumanist protocols that seek to facilitate the movement of nomadic populations, one third of which are resident on this continent. We need to ensure that those policies take account of the broader continental ambitions of a more integrated continent that encourages and facilitates free movement. So, again, important to emphasize that the policies are there. It’s the implementation that sometimes is lagging behind. But I don’t think Africa can be faulted for lacking in ambition. To see free movement and free movement that takes account of the impacts of climate change is continuing to wreak across the continent.

Omid Nouripour on Germany’s responsibility

Omid Nouripour: The first step is to understand that we have a huge responsibility not only for us, but for the entire globe. And yet we’ve been a bigger part of the problem, not only the past, but still today. It’s highly important that we act. And of course, the first thing is not that important who we are active for because the benefit going to be for anybody when it comes to prevention, but not when it comes to the question of resilience and the question of adaption. And this is a moment when countries like Germany have to understand that they have a huge responsibility. And this is not only about how many, about the rate of carbon emissions, but it’s also a question of history and about colonialism, which, of course, is one of the reasons why a lot of countries in the global south – not only in Africa, but especially in Africa – are now lacking capacity and capability to face the huge challenge that you’re talking about.

It just means that it’s not about coming over and saying we’re going to help. It’s coming over and have a dialogue and an equal dialogue. The law just being mentioned by Judi Wakhungu is a terrific one. It’s amazing that Kenya is a leader in this issue. And we could adopt a lot of things, we can learn a lot also from Kenya. Like there are a couple of things we can offer, and this mindset is so important.

On the international legal frameworks and recognition of climate change as root cause

Omid Nouripour: Of course, the question of the root causes of migration is always a super important issue. To be honest, I developed some kind of analogy against the terminus for the last year because it’s used for everything and it is misused by a lot of people. But of course, helping that people first can stay where they are. And if it’s too late to try to help those countries who are generous to them and then try to help them. And if this is not enough, if they need help, we have to understand that this is our duty.

I fully agree with the question of recognizing climate change as a cause legally by the United Nations, so by the international community as the reason for migration. We know that this is happening.

Maureen Achieng: There is no category such as climate refugees. So no, there are no provisions for accessing residence in Europe, for Africa, and that is the victim of climate change. Important to note, Christine, is that most Africans are migrating across borders, not across oceans. So most Africans who are seeking refuge from environments that are degraded from climates that can no longer support their livelihoods are not crossing the oceans, many of them actually move within the same country. They’re internally displaced and occasionally they move across borders. Very few of them really just make their way across ocean.

Bringing it back to the issue of climate induced migration. I would like to point to the African Union’s Kampala convention, which has been in place for decades now, and which has given a lot of African governments the legal framework and the basis from which to also develop their own national legal frameworks to be able to better govern human mobility within their national spaces. So, we have on the continent a lot to work with in terms of policy frameworks. The question again is how we ensure that the provisions of the convention are well known across all African countries and domesticated.

 A Call for Action

Judi Wakhungu: From my own experience, I can tell you that what is needed is transparency, transparency and mutual respect. It affects all of us. Coming back to the issue of migration, as Maureen Achieng stated, people don’t want to move. You know, people do not want to move, they want to stay at home. It is a catastrophe that is displacing families unnecessarily. So as equal partners, AU, EU and other multilateral partners, and even at the bilateral level, we need to be more transparent. We need to include all levels from the community to the national level to the regional level and then to the broader international level. Let us also remember that implementation and execution also mean that the private sector, government, civil society, NGOs must also work together as partners and stop this culture of suspecting each other. Now we must exercise what I call a bravity of words: I don’t like speaking. I like acting. So, let’s not speak, let’s not write any more reports, the science is out there, the relations that are out there, we have all the information that’s required at the moment to make these transformative decisions, including all partners. So bravity of words and extravagance in action is what we need.

Omid Nouripour: If we as Europeans want to change our mindsets, we have to listen. We see that there is this lack of initiative on the national and continental levels when it comes to the proper and efficient and necessary dialogue and cooperation. We have to talk also about the municipality level. We should put much more effort into this partnership and then bring much more cooperation and the national level.

Maureen Achieng: The one is that I think we need bold, ambitious agendas on the continent. A lot of what holds up holds us back in many fields, both on this continent and beyond is Short-Termism. Agenda 2063 takes a long-term view on some of these problems. And I think because of Agenda 2063 and specifically its 10-year action plan, we have Africa moving towards continental integration at a pace that even five years ago was unthinkable.

Second is that I think partners, Western partners need to look at what Africa’s ambitions are and support these and ensure that none of that funding that is given in any way undermines, even if inadvertently, some of these very clear directions that the continent has set for itself. Africa will be better off, more integrated rather than fragmented, as is the case. And I would add Europe and the West would be better off with an Africa that is stronger, more integrated and more economically prosperous. And then to that point, I think we need a lot more courage in talking about migration, integrating with our domestic audiences than is currently happening. And these are conversations that need to be based on good data, not on myths and fears and a lot of misinformation about migration and migrants.

Judi Wakhungu: Let me just conclude by saying that, you know, migration is as old as humanity. Climate change and what we are experiencing now, especially the acceleration of climate change, is human-induced. And we can do something about this and we know what to do. As we move forward to COP 26, it behooves the large polluters to do their part, to be ambitious enough and not to deal cards under the table the way they normally do, let us move forward together to address this particular issue of the climate crisis that we’re in. If we thought that 2020 was bad, 2021 is going to be worse: more hurricanes, more cyclones, we are already going to face the El Nino more and more. So, if the catastrophes are going to increase, we are one race, one people, one planet. The brains that got us into this problem are the same brains that are going to get us out of it. Migration is part and parcel of who we’ve always been. Let us accommodate each other and work with each other as human beings.

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