Vanuatu Prepares Its Population Displacement Policy

Policy recognizes that displacement is triggered not only by natural hazards and the increasing impacts of climate change, but also by other crises, including development-induced displacement

By Fern Napwatt

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 01, 2017) – Population displacement and planned relocation were the focus of national consultations held by the Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation in Port Vila on Wednesday this week.

According to a statement, the Ministry, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), presented the draft National Policy on Climate Change and Disaster-Induced Displacement at the consultations, representing a significant milestone in the Government’s efforts to address internal displacement in Vanuatu.

In opening the consultations, the Director General of the Ministry of Climate Change, Mr. Jesse Benjamin, explained how the draft policy will help guide emergency and development planners to work together with the Government of Vanuatu to establish solutions for communities affected by displacement, including people at risk of displacement, internal migrants and host communities.

In the report,the policy also recognizes that displacement is triggered not only by natural hazards and the increasing impacts of climate change, but also by other crises, including development-induced displacement.

“In addressing displacement in this comprehensive way, we are equipping ourselves with a policy that reflects the inter-sectoral nature of these challenges,” Mr Benjamin explained.

“Vanuatu is among the first countries in the world to prepare such a policy and is venturing into new territory with this initiative,” Dr. Lesikimakuata Korovavala, Chief of Mission of IOM stated.

Representatives from Line Ministries, all Provincial Governments, NGOs, CSOs, Vanuatu Christian Council, Chiefs, customary land owners and representatives of the private sector and Chamber of Commerce and Industries were invited to the event.

Participants discussed their own experiences of planning for relocation and debated how to address these challenges, especially at the community level.

Mr. Benjamin also expressed appreciation to the IOM Development Fund (IDF) for funding the Displacement Policy project and IOM’s technical assistance to the Government of Vanuatu in helping it achieve its goals under the National Sustainable Development Plan 2016-2030.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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