Meeting of the IOM Project Steering Committee “Addressing human mobility in a changing climate in the mountainous areas of Kazakhstan”

On February 24, 2023, IOM Office in Astana hosted a meeting of the steering committee within the framework of the IOM project “Addressing human mobility in a changing climate in the mountainous areas of Kazakhstan”. The Steering Committee consists of representatives of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Public Administration. The participants also proposed to add representatives of Kazhydromet and the Ministry of Emergency Situations to the members of the steering committee. In addition to the presentation of the project and current tasks, recommendations were developed during the meeting regarding the vision of the potential results of the project and challenges during its implementation.

Mountainous areas worldwide are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Average global warming of 1.5ºC and above is projected to have devastating impacts for mountain systems, including glacier retreat, increase in hazard risk and loss of biodiversity. However, in comparison to Small Island Developing States, mountainous countries have not managed to develop collective advocacy efforts that catch the attention of global policymakers and donors.

Kazakhstan is considered highly sensitive to the observed and projected impacts of climate change. Climate change is expected to increase temperature and aridity in the country, disrupting the regularity of precipitation (rainfall and snowfall), and resulting in heatwaves, droughts, and floods.

While in the short-term, glacial loss may provide a “runoff dividend”, experts project increased water scarcity in the long-term. As a result, the number of internal climate migrants in Kazakhstan is projected to increase between now and 2050. Some estimates project that between 3.1 to 4.6 percent of the projected population in Kazakhstan will need to migrate internally due to climate change by the middle of the century.

The project will contribute to enhancing the regional evidence base on how climate change impacts shape human mobility and how human mobility contributes to climate change adaptation in Kazakhstan.

The project "Addressing human mobility in a changing climate in the mountainous areas of Kazakhstan" is being implemented by IOM, with the support provided by the IOM International Development Fund (IDF) and the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM USA).

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities