Assessing the evidence: migration, environment and climate change in Morocco

Assessing the evidence: migration, environment and climate change in Morocco

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.

This report: (a) carefully lists both the slow-onset and the sudden-onset climate impacts and (where possible) points to migratory movements and trends connected to or induced by these impacts; (b) discusses the state of different policy areas with respect to environmental migration, their interconnectedness and their potential for further development; and (c) assesses the state of research and identifies major knowledge gaps that should be filled through future research.

The report concludes the following:

  • Morocco is vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Both slow-onset processes, such as desertification, sea-level rise and salinization, as well as sudden-onset events, such as floods and storms, are expected to worsen in the future, affecting more people in all parts of the country
  • displacement due to extreme weather events is already a reality and slow-onset climate impacts are likely to already impact the movement of people – notably rural-to-urban migration and the settlement of nomadic pastoralist communities. Internal and international immigration movements also have an impact on vulnerable degraded areas. The country’s seismic activity further enlarges the risk of environmentally induced displacement
  • major migration policy and climate policy developments are under way and high on the Moroccan policy agenda. However, both policy areas need to be better linked to effectively tackle the many dimensions of environmental and climate migration as a cross-cutting issue
  • more empirical research is needed on the linkages between migration, environment and climate change, in order to understand the realities of human mobility in a changing climate and support the policymaking process through evidence. Research in Morocco has until now focused on specific climate stressors or migratory movements. In a next phase, it should stress the linkages and the interconnectedness
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.