A new RUSI study examining climate change implications was presented in February 2013 to Mexican legislators and experts in Washington DC.
The findings of RUSI's Whitehall Report, 'Climate Change, Migration and Security: Best-Practice Policy and Operational Options for Mexico', was presented at a major policy institute in Mexico and in the United States in February 2013. The report was produced by the Climate Change and Security Programme at RUSI in collaboration with Dr Jorge Mora from the Tecnológico de Monterrey and scientists from the Atmospheric Sciences Centre at the UNAM in Mexico. It was commissioned by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office through the British Embassy in Mexico City.
Methodology and Outcomes
The study investigates possible linkages between environmental changes, migration and its repercussions on national and human security in Mexico. Bridging the gap between policy and science, the study's approach involved a qualitative and quantitative analysis coupled with an extensive literature review and an econometric model (Multinominal Logit Model - MLM). The study used as inputs demographic variables, temperature and precipitation variables with a resolution at a municipal level and soil type variables.
The outcomes demonstrate that changes in the climate have an impact upon the decision to migrate and the security risks will mainly be associated with resource stress. It would thus affect the availability and management of key resources both for sending as well as for recipient communities. Resource (water, food, land and energy) stress may arise in places already vulnerable to overcrowding, leading to resource scarcity and potentially heightening existing tensions.
During her visit to Mexico City, Elizabeth Deheza, the lead author of this new Whitehall Report, presented the findings of the study to various stakeholders including governmental institutions such as the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC).
The Whitehall Report was also presented by Elizabeth Deheza and the co-author Dr Jorge Mora to the academic community at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), a leading university for Environmental and Climate Change studies, achieving a good reception from leading scientific research in Mexico on 11 February 2013. Several NGOs, government officials, stakeholders and press also attended the event and leading newspapers such as La Reforma reported the findings and the implications of this new study.
On 13 February, 2013 the report was presented to legislators at the Mexican Congress, at an event organised by GLOBE Mexico, a partner of RUSI for this study.
Moving north of the border, the study was finally launched at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC (video below) on 15 February 2013 to a wide audience of climate change and security experts. This event was organised by the Environmental and Security Program (ESCP) and co-sponsored by the Mexico Institute.
The aim of the project was to raise awareness of the impact of climate-induced migration in Mexico and its security implications contributing to a global evidence base and forming part of a frame of reference for policy makers and future studies.
This study is available here.