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First Workshop on Climate Induced Migration and Displacement in the Middle East and North Africa

June 15, 2010

Marseille, June 15, 2010 - The World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD) are organising the first workshop on climate induced migration and Displacement in the Middle East and North Africa, on 15th and 16th June 2010 in Marseille, France.
For countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) forecasting and anticipating migration caused by climate change will be one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Considered as one of the planet’s hotspots, this region will be highly exposed to the impacts of climate change.
According to experts, the average temperature in the region could rise by 2° by 2050, and by 4° by the end of the century, while rainfall will decrease by between 20% and 30% by 2050. Simultaneously, there may be a noticeable increase in extreme weather phenomena such as floods and droughts.
These changes can increase rural depopulation, with considerable economic and social consequences. Income from agriculture will see a reduction by an average of 20% throughout the MENA region, which will at the same time experience a significant growth in population. In Morocco, where agriculture today represents around 15% of GNP (80% in rural areas) and 85% of total water consumption, income from agriculture could decrease by as much as 40%.
Governments thus have to anticipate population movements in order to put into place long-term strategies, both on the economic level and in terms of urban and land planning.
During the workshop organised on the 15th and 16th of June by the World Bank and the AFD, in partnership with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNI-EHS) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), around twenty specialists will present research and practical examples taken from countries in the region. As well as the impact of migration on urban development and planning, participants will also discuss how migration will adapt to climate change, including the necessity of finding new sources of revenue outside the agricultural sector for those rural populations who are dependent upon it.
The aim is to draw up an overview of existing research and identify where gaps exist in order to initiate additional research and come up with concrete propositions for governments in the area.
About the Marseille Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI): the CMI is a multi-partner platform for the development and dissemination of knowledge on the subjects of (i) urban and spatial development; (ii) Environment and water; (iii) Transport and logistics; (iv) Skills, employment, and labor mobility (including youth issues); (v) Knowledge economy, innovation, and technology. The CMI partners include France, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, the City of Marseille, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). CMI administration is currently handled by the World Bank.
The Marseille Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), Villa Valmer, 271 Corniche Kennedy, Marseille

Media Contacts
In Washington, DC
Hafed Al-Ghwell
In France
Nathalie Abu-Ata