Africa’s first dedicated publication series on climate mobility was launched this week, welcomed by leading regional and international experts as an exciting and important innovation in discussions about climate change and human mobility in Africa.

Providing a go-to source of information for governments, policymakers and researchers, the new Climate Mobility Africa Insights series will provide up-to-date information and analysis of key law and policy issues relating to climate mobility on the continent. The series will not only advance knowledge and capacity among those on the ground, but it will also amplify the voices of African researchers in discussions and debates about this pressing global issue.

Insights has already published four policy briefs, six factsheets and a podcast, all accessible in English and French, and covering a range of law and policy topics, including climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, transhumance, human rights and sexual and gender-based violence.

Speaking at the launch, African Climate Mobility Initiative Youth Fellow Lukmon Akintola praised Insights as an important ‘entry point’ for policy makers and civil society groups seeking to understand the trends, challenges and opportunities that climate mobility presents.

Climate change, disasters and environmental degradation are among the leading drivers of human mobility across Africa – and are predicted to increase. To help affected populations to move safely and with dignity, and ensure their human rights are protected, evidence-based laws and policies are required.

While African law and policy frameworks are frequently praised for being more generous and progressive on issues of displacement and climate change than many of their international counterparts, in practice, the realisation of these opportunities on the ground is frequently hampered by gaps in knowledge and implementation. 

According to Professor Jane McAdam AO, Director of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, ‘researchers play a crucial role in explaining core ideas, providing an evidence base for policy makers, and drawing on their deep understanding and longer-term thinking about issues to inform public debate and public policy’.

Through a combination of short factsheets and more detailed policy briefs, Insights provides shared language and understandings, as well as practical recommendations, for advancing meaningful solutions on the ground. 

The Special Envoy for the Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement, Professor Walter Kälin, commended the ‘people-centred and policy-oriented’ approach of Insights researchers, noting that regional networks such as CMARN have the capacity to deliver large-scale evidence and information that is ‘detailed enough, and good enough, to convince policy makers’.

The new Insights publication series marks a significant milestone in the work of the Climate Mobility Africa Research Network (CMARN), an interdisciplinary, bi-lingual (EN+FR) network of researchers and policy makers established in 2021. Through regular meetings, webinars and workshops, the network advances knowledge and dialogue on critical issues of adaptation, protection and migration. There are also plans for dedicated training workshops and editorial support for authors – especially early career researchers and researchers based in Africa – who wish to publish their research.

In his closing comments at the Insights launch, CMARN Co-Chair Professor Ademola Jegede urged people to read Insights, share widely and consider submitting their own research for inclusion in the series. 

Read Insights in English and French. To hear more from the authors, listen to the Insights podcast in English and French.

CMARN and Insights are generously supported by Robert Bosch Stiftung. 


Main image: Wikimedia Commons