Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Migration is a key part of our society. With around 750 million migrants across the globe, migration should be incorporated into sustainable development planning, and in particular in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is a key conclusion of a recently published article in The Lancet Planetary Health, which was the result of a workshop organized by MISTY: Migration, Transformation, Sustainability.

As the SDGs were being negotiated, many European countries were dealing with large influxes of migrants from Syria and other conflict-affected countries. The SDGs reflect the idea that migration is temporary, and that it should be planned in an “orderly, safe [and] regular” manner. Benefits from migration are mainly considered in the form of remittances to the country of origin, but this fails to recognize that migrants are often economically very active, a source of cultural diversity, and thereby significantly contribute to innovation and economic growth. Migration should be addressed as an inherent part of (sustainable) development, including in the country of destination.

Migration and sustainable cities Take SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities, for example. Many city slums are a result of people migrating to cities in search of new (employment) opportunities. This means that the social integration of these migrants into urban planning is key to creating sustainable cities around the world, and thereby achieving the SDGs.

Migration and climate change Another example is the intricate links between climate change and migration – there are currently already 25 million migrants due to weather-related disasters. To make societies more resilient and adaptable to such climatic changes in the long run, it is crucial to incorporate migration as an inherent part of managing social transformations.

This article was written by Marjanneke Vijge, Utrecht University, and first posted on the GlobalGoals project website.

Further reading Adger, W.N., Boyd, E., Fábos, A., Fransen, S., Jolivet, D., Neville, G., de Campos, R.S. and Vijge, M.J. (2019). Migration transforms the conditions for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Lancet Planetary Health, 3(11), 440-442.

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The research team at the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) are delighted to share the link to the online version of their book titled “Impact of Migration on Poverty and Growth in Bangladesh”. The hard copy of the book was published in early 2019. The poverty analysis is based on a panel survey conducted by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and RMMRU that interviewed the same 6,143 households in two waves with a three year interval. The book highlights that poverty of international migrant households further reduced 3% in these three years. However, the poverty status of the households is not static. 64% of the households which were poor in the wave 1 (2014) survey transitioned out of poverty during wave 2 (2017), whereas 57% of those who were poor in the wave 2 survey were non-poor in wave 1 and so transitioned into poverty between the two waves. The book is co-authored by Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui, professor of Political Science, University of Dhaka and founding chair RMMRU; Dr. Ananta Neelim, assistant professor of Economics, RMIT University, Australia; Dr. C. Rashaad Shabab, senior teaching fellow, University of Sussex and Mr. Mahmudol Hasan, Research Coordinator of RMMRU.

The web link for the book is http://www.rmmru.org/newsite/publications/e-book/.

To purchase the hard copy please contact Ashraka Saleem Trishita. Email: trishitasaleem@yahoo.com.

Please feel free to share the link with relevant readers.

Thank you

Professor Tasneem Siddiqui

University of Dhaka and

Founding Chair, RMMRU

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Updated: Jan 31, 2020

The Dartington team [L-R Emily Boyd; Majanneke J. Vijge ; George Neville: Neil Adger; Dominique Jolivet: Ricardo Safra De Campos: Sonja Fransen and Anita Fabos]

One of the principle aims of the MISTY project is to understand the transformative potential of migration and mobility on individuals and societies, and subsequently develop insight on sustainability strategies at local, national and international scales. It is therefore no great leap to suggest that the project’s goals and implications are firmly embedded within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But given that there is no overarching SDG dedicated to migration and mobility, how exactly do these variables interact with this global blueprint designed to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all?

It is this key question that prompted representatives from the University of Exeter, Utrecht University, Lund University, Clark University and the University of Amsterdam to descend on picturesque Dartington Hall – tucked away from sleepy Totnes in south-west England – for a two-day workshop funded by the Europe Network Fund. Specifically, we had the tasks of mapping the potential linkages between migration and the SDGs, and ultimately determine how the movement of people affects the implementation and attainment of these global targets.

[Dartington Hall. Photo: George Neville]

Ahead of the meeting, several researchers undertook a scoping exercise to familiarise with the breadth of the SDGs, understand existing data and evidence on migration-SDG interactions, and conceptualise migration systems and types through modelling. The first day of the workshop was subsequently structured around these three themes, interspersed with ‘walkshops’ around the stunning grounds of this country estate. Participants from Utrecht, Lund and Exeter presented their findings and facilitated the sessions, connected by the red thread of how we take this knowledge forward in the context of the MISTY project. The outcomes were twofold and comprised the programme for the workshop’s second day. Firstly, to draft an agenda-setting paper that highlights how migration indeed transforms the conditions for the achievement of the SDGs, which has since been submitted as a commentary to The Lancet Planetary Health. Secondly, to design an expert elicitation study on migration-SDG linkages as an addendum to the founding three themes of the MISTY project, to be carried out either in the form of another work package or through funding for another researcher. A productive few days!

This article was written by George Neville, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies.


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