Climate-Induced Migration in North Africa: A Case Study of Morocco

by Furqan Khan, Tayyaba Zaman Janjua
National Defence University, Pakistan.

Abstract: Climate-induced migration has become an imminent issue in the geographically diverse North African region. It is estimated that around 2.5 million people suffered climigration from the sub-Saharan regions to the coastal cities in Morocco along the Mediterranean, where the existing economic pressure is swelling up to threaten economic well-being and even social norms. Such climate-led migration is induced by water and food shortage resulting from the decline in soil fertility, salinization, desertification, and severity in temperature, especially in the sub-Saharan region. Therefore, the paper explores internal and external dimensions inducing climate change and its impact on migration in Morocco. The study uses the theory of the spillover effect to identify implications of climate-induced migration for economic, social, and political domains. It analyzes the policy actions of the Moroccan government in dealing with the Climate-induced migration. Finally, the research formulates certain policy recommendations that can help to mitigate threats of the climigration in North Africa in general and Morocco in particular.


North Africa, with direct and indirect implications of climate conditions, is increasingly becoming a hotspot for global climate change. Situated in proximity to the Middle East and Europe, the region is experiencing an increase in average temperature, water shortages, and rapid population growth. However, apart from being a problem in itself, climate change is driving other socio-economic, political, and security problems for the region and beyond. For example, climate change is causing migration within North Africa as well as across the Strait of Gibraltar

The conviction supporting climate change as the primary reason behind migration is widely contested. However, political discourse and academic research provide sufficient empirical evidence to support the nexus between migration and climate change. According to the latest World Bank report on internal climate migration in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America, around 143 million people or 2.8% of the total population of the three regions together will migrate from areas with low productivity and pervasive climate conditions to productive and conducive areas by 2050.1 However, it suggests that North Africa will experience the highest rate of climate-induced migration.2

The existing literature mentions several rationales behind migration; ranging from the critical geographical characteristics of North Africa to insufficient adaptability. Morocco is considered to be predominantly vulnerable to severe climate conditions with abrupt temperature changes, low precipitation, water scarcity, and slow and rapid on-set processes that force people to migrate from rural areas to the cities on Mediterranean coasts and Europe with wider social, political, and economic implications. Therefore, the research takes Morocco as the case study to explain the general pattern of climate change in North Africa, the resulting migration, and its consequences for social, economic, and political domains.This paper is divided into six sections. In the first part, the theory of spillover effect explains the spiral impacts of climigration in different domains. The second part describes the climate conditions and its successive patterns in North Africa as a region and Morocco as the case study. The third portion underlines the slow-onset processes and sudden-onset disasters as the causes of migration. The fourth section examines the implications of climate-induced migration on the domestic, regional, and international levels. The fifth section identifies major policy initiatives taken by the Moroccan government at home, regional states in North Africa, and international initiatives in averting the negative implications of climate-induced migration. Finally, the paper identifies legal and normative gaps in the existing framework to suggest a viable recommendation for effective migration management.

Theoretical Framework – Spillover Effect Theory

The theory of the spillover effect explains the ripple effect of one domain and implications on other areas; the political, economic, social, and ecological. The theory originates from the neo-functionalism paradigm, where it serves to explain integration among states resulting from cooperation in one area and its spilling over to the others. The theory owes its origin to economics, where economic development at the macro-level spirals and expands resulting in either desirable or undesirable socio-economic consequences.3 Hence, it is important to note that the theory puts different variables into play where changes in intensity or degree of scope at the macro or micro level of one variable become stimuli affecting others. Such an effect creates overall changes to the system, from horizontal dimensions (across different domains at a particular level) to vertical (across the extended level of analysis).4

In vertical spill-over, climate change becomes a stimulus whose direct impact on migration does not remain limited to the domestic domain, but extends in scope to the regional and international level, but with variable correlative strength. For example, migration in North African countries, such as Morocco, happens more often internally rather than externally. Such internal migration at the domestic level takes place with two distinctive patterns; from rural areas to cities and in the form of mobile pastoralism.5 Similarly, the intra-continental migration in North Africa takes place more than inter-continental migration into Europe or elsewhere. UN officials estimate that out of a total of 17 million African migrants, a mere 3% reached Europe while 93.7% of migration took place within the region.6 The strength of the linkage between the three levels depends upon socio-economic conditions, the capacity of mobilization, and the adaptive capacity of the people across the three domains.

In horizontal spill-over, climate change induces migration which spills its effects over to other domains at domestic, regional, and international levels. the effects include socio-cultural changes, economic pressures, and political instability at the three levels. Mobile pastoralism, the traditional way of life of the Berber community in Morocco, is on the decline as Berbers have started to live in fixed communities like Arabs. The climate critical migration from rural areas adjacent to the Sahara Desert coastal cities, such as Casablanca and Rabat, intensifies employment demands and the need for other socio-economic imperatives. Moreover, climate-induced migration triggers political conflicts, especially affecting migrant’s management. Hence, the vertical and horizontal spill-over lens demonstrates and problematizes the issue of climate-induced migration in North Africa, particularly in Morocco. 

The Climate-Migration-Socioeconomic Correlation

Climate change is a threat multiplier with direct and indirect consequences on forced migration across the North African region in general, and Morocco in particular. Forced migration spills into the socio-economic and political spheres at the domestic, regional, and international levels. By exacerbating migration, climate change brings social changes, economic pressures, and political instability. For example, estimates from the United Nations International Migration Organization suggest that, by 2050, between 25 million to 1 billion people will be displaced purely due to environmental reasons.7

The causal link between climate change and migration can be explained by four main elements: changing climate conditions and their effect on the quality and quantity of natural resources, resulting effects on the ecological order; changes in standards of living due to migration, and changes in migration patterns and adaptability. The link between climate change and migration is also evident when looking at the interaction between the aforementioned elements and socio-economic factors at domestic, regional, and international levels. For example, while studying Ghana with controlled socio-demographic factors, no link was found unless socio-demographic factors were considered in a successive study by Ocelo.8 According to a national survey in which 28.1% of the displaced agricultural households were involved, 92.1% were believed to be affected by adverse climatic conditions in Morocco.9 Therefore, the socio-demographic factors are essentials to understand the direct link between Climate Change and Global migration. 

However, it is difficult to assess the number of climate-induced migrants. This is the reason as to why the data used in the research reflects upon the horizontal and vertical impacts of migration overall. Generally, experts believe that despite the considerable influence of climate change over migration patterns, the uncertainty of measurement and complexity of socio-economic and demographic rationales for migration makes it more difficult to establish whether or not migration is caused by climate change or by other push or pull factors. 

North African Pattern of Climate-Induced Migration 

North African climate generally varies across coastal and inland areas. Along the coasts, the Mediterranean influence induces a mild climate that is characterized by sufficient rainfall (400-600mm/year) with dampened winters and dry summers.10 The inland climate, however, are mostly semi-arid and arid desert climates, which are identified by extreme temperatures; cold winters, and hot summers with insufficient rainfall (semi-arid 200-400mm, deserts <100mm).11 The North African region is predominantly semi-arid or desert, therefore, it remains dry most of the year. The coastal regions, however, have frequent rainfall between October and March that usually end up with devastating floods and droughts, especially in the capital cities. Similarly, Sirocco is a special feature of the North African climate; a combination of sandy winds arising from the Saharan Desert which run towards the North and across the Mediterranean, eventually touching Europe.

These severe climatic conditions have become a major source of natural disasters in the region. During the last two decades, North Africa has suffered from 115 major climate-induced disasters which mostly include flood and riverine with a minimum of 5% droughts.12 These disasters led to immense human and material loss including killings of 275, 000 people from droughts of 1999, and loss of 295 million USD, while affecting 230, 000 others from 21 floods between 1995 and 2016.13 Such lingering climatic conditions adversely challenge the survivability of people in poor countries in the African continent, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, North Africa is increasingly becoming a hotspot for climigration. North Africa, due to the bridging nature of its geographic location, is used as a transit route for the migration into Europe. For example, there were around 100,000 foreign migrants only in Algeria in which almost 40% saw the country as the final destination while the other 40% as a transit to Europe.14 

Trends across Morocco

The trend of migration in North African countries like Morocco can be explained in the context of both internal and external migration.The internal migration within Morocco is more than external migration to Europe. Inhabitants in the South and North are vulnerable to devastating environmental challenges, including low precipitation and droughts in the South while dry areas and low water availability in the North. The insufficient water supply hampers agricultural production which provides more than 40% of the employment opportunities.15 Resultantly, insufficient opportunities from the agricultural sector push people from rural areas, which consists of 70% population, to the urban areas which house 90% of the country’s industry. This puts more population pressure on urban areas where the rural to urban trend of migration creates multiple challenges for the Moroccan government. This is the reason why urbanization in Morocco has increased from 53-56% between 2000 and 2010. On the other hand, with the rise of the sea levels, the possibility of floods along the 3500km coastline is an emerging threat that can potentially induce future internal migration. 

Morocco, because of its proximity, acts as a transit for migrants from sub-Saharan Africa to Southern Europe. The nature of Moroccan migration continued to change over the decades, for instance, in the 1960s, most of the Moroccan migrants in Europe were guest workers which complemented family unification till the 1990s. It was after the 1990s that migration accelerated from Morocco into Europe, mainly because of increasing development in agricultural and construction sectors, complemented by the devastating climatic conditions at home.16 Most migrants from Morocco include regional migrants from the poor and climate affected countries of sub-Saharan Africa. According to a report by the Migration Policy Institute, there are around 700, 000 sub-Saharan migrants living in Morocco, a country with a small population of only 34 million. Most of these migrants try to flee to Europe and North America but often fail and are arrested. The UN Migration Agency estimates that some 45, 505 migrants used the sea to reach Europe out of whom 14, 680 reached Spain in southern Europe through the Mediterranean. 

Causes of Climate-Induced Migration

Morocco, like many regions of the world, is facing intense slow onset-processes and rapid onset-disasters which are causing numerous social, economic, and political changes, including mass migration as the only alternative.

Slow-Onset Processes

Due to extreme weather conditions, Southern Morocco is losing its aridity, resulting in droughts and desertification. Estimates suggest that around 90% of Morocco’s land is desertified posing consequences on the agricultural sector.17 Because of the positive relations between desertification and agricultural production, the Moroccan population migrates from the South to Mediterranean costs to earn their living.

Even in the 2175km long coastal region with 80% of the population and major industries, continuous soil erosion threatens the ‘low lying’ ecosystem of the coast, which the IPCC suggests is expected to erode with 0.1m by 2030 and 0.17m by 2050 with more major floods and storms. 18 Specifically, the Saidia and Tangier region, which houses 60% of the population, faces erosion of 2-3m which the IAEA says could be averted up-to 60% by using isotopes. 19 40% of Morocco’s vulnerable land is losing a 100 million tons of soil each year as well as reduced water reservoirs resulting in forced migration for survival. The extreme climatic conditions such as soil erosion, salinization, and shifting patterns of precipitation reduce the productivity of Moroccan land. For instance, salination will reduce 50% of production within the next 20 years, and the IPCC considers the decrease in tree density along the Western Sahel zone and semiarid parts of the country as the other reasons. Therefore, people dependent on agricultural production migrate to escape adverse environmental factors. 

Sudden-onset Disaster

In Morocco, a survey in 2009-2010 found that every fourth house was vulnerable to weather shocks.20 Such weather shocks like floods and droughts are the pushing factors for migration especially for agricultural households, as they affect agricultural production and revenues. In 2007, Spain arrested illegal migrants among whom two-thirds were farmers from the Khouribga in Morocco. 21 The 2016 floods in Morocco were the worst of the last 30 years costing 120,000 people their jobs and displaced thousands of others.The Moroccan government reported to UNFCCC the weather shocks, especially the thunderstorms and windstorms from the Atlas Mountains. For instance, in 2014, a series of storms relocated around 170,000 people against unfavorable environmental conditions. 22 Moreover, frequent earthquakes resulted in forced migration similar to those of the 1960s, which made 35,000 people homeless; the Al Hoceima earthquake that left thousands of people homeless in 2004. 23

Impacts of Climate-Induced Migration

1. Domestic Level

Displacement from climate-induced changes is a major issue in Morocco. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), almost 32,393 people were displaced due to sudden-onset hazards such as earthquakes, Tsunami, and high floods in Southern Morocco between 2008 and 2014.24 Such climigration has social, economic, and political impacts on the country. Socially, traditional nomadic life in Morocco becomes the primary victim, where Berbers have given up Mobile Pastoralism to live in fixed communities in urban areas like the Arabs, or have at least adopted Sedentary Pastoralism. Economically, because of Morocco’s heavy dependence on agriculture affected by climate change, the country faces severe economic pressures in coastal cities like Casablanca and Rabat. The World Bank estimates Morocco’s unemployment rate at 9.002% in 2019 and is increasing in cities with 80% of the total population. 25 IPCC identifies climigration as a threat to many aspects of human security. Political violence and unwelcoming situations for migrants cause political tensions in receiving cities or regions. Besides political division over the settlement of the migrants, migrants arrange for themselves political platforms to secure their rights in the state.

2. Regional Level

Morocco attracts more migrants from North Africa than other regional countries with around 7 Million migrants that either cross the Strait of Gibraltar into Europe, or end up as permanent immigrants in Morocco. The continuous migration pressures from North and sub-Saharan Africa cultivates xenophobic sentiments in the Moroccan society. The social racist stereotypes in Morocco cast Africans from the neighboring countries as criminals, drug dealers, and prostitutes.26 For example, the televised mockery of black immigrants by the Moroccan comedian attracted widespread critics. The Human Rights Watch has documented numerous cases of police violence under Morocco’s National Immigration Policy. Despite these challenges, sub-Saharan migrants are using art and music as a mutual language to build social and cultural bridges with the Moroccan society. For example, the Ghanian Born Reuben Yemoh Odoi traveled all across the Saharan desert to reach Morocco, and made his name in “find[ing] the truth in [his] music and art”.27

Economic imperatives being a major push factor for climigration have increased competition, shared employment opportunities, and resources in the population, stressing the coastal areas of Morocco. Despite European financial support, Morocco faces, and will continue to face socio-economic challenges of climigration from the regional countries. To prevent migrants flow into Europe, European countries have provided financial cooperation to Morocco to manage migrants in the country. Resultantly, the migrants face issues with identity and legal status, which includes political subjectivization and basic human rights. 

3. International Level

Most migrants leave to Morocco to eventually arrive at their final destination; Europe. According to the Pew Research Centre Analysis, almost 1 million new migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have relocated between 2010 and 2017 (4.15 million total).28 Such cross-Mediterranean migration causes social stress due to occupation of resources and opportunities by outsiders; for instance, xenophobic behavior has developed in Britain towards the other European nationals, due to social values largely incompatible with European social realities.

Migration, and climate-induced migration in particular, brings multiple economic challenges and opportunities for sending and receiving states. The sending states lose technical and professional workforce but receive billions of dollars in remittances. For example in 2006, Morocco became the top remittance receiver in Africa with 5.2 billion US Dollars and 3 million migrants abroad. On the other hand, the receiving states feel economic pressures but also gain a cheap labor force. Insecurity from African migrants has cultivated special European political behavior towards the region. The European Union has provided financial assistance, politically pressurizing Morocco and other North African transit states in ensuring strict barriers to migration from Africa. Some migrants return with newly acquired norms and political values. The political spillover benefits the Western countries for their mature democratic and institutional setup that spills to impact political behavior across developing countries.

Policy Actions and Results

1. Domestic Policies

I. Plan Maroc Vert

Forty percent of the Moroccan population is directly or indirectly linked to the agriculture sector who, in turn, become the primary victims of climate changes in Morocco. Under the Plan Maroc Vert in 2008, a comprehensive strategy of 300 projects with USD 2 Million was designed, allowing farmers to use alternative crops which would be less sensitive to the volatile climatic stress. Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur, appreciated the plan for reducing poverty from 16% in 2010 to 10% in 2015 and its role in achieving the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 which is to halve the “proportion of hungry people”. 29

II. High Commission for Water, Forest and the Fight against Desertification

The HCWFD was established to devise national strategic responses to the increasing desertification and its influence over migration patterns. According to the HCWFD, 80% of Moroccan land is prone to desertification, making a large part of the country increasingly inhabitable. Morocco has devised a 10-year plan to fight desertification until the year 2024.30 Growing water scarcity and moving dunes pose significant challenges to the local population and forces them to migrate. The HCWFD plans to encourage reforestation and prevent forest fires that destroy 30,000 hectares each year.

III. National Initiative for Human Development (2005)

Poverty remains one of the outcomes of severe climatic conditions, affecting agriculture and spilling over to affect food security. Though the rate of poverty has decreased from 19% in 1999 to 15% in 2004, climate-led poverty as a push factor for migration has been growing over the past few years.31 The National Initiative for Human Development (NIHD) of 2005 was launched to achieve an “effective decentralized system of governance” and to contribute to “natural resource management”.32 The objectives of the initiative are consistent with the obligations held upon Morocco in the Rio Conventions. 

2. Regional Policies

III. AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA)

In July 2001, the African Union Council of Ministers debated addressing the migration issues at the regional level, which later established the MPFA in 2006. The AU plan was revised in 2018 and it sets its sights to address the migration challenges at the continental level. The framework encompasses nine different areas which include labor migration, irregular migration, forced migration, and others.

III. National Initiative for Human Development (2005)

In addition, Morocco and Algeria have introduced legislation protecting migrant rights; thus giving them a reason to stay and not migrate to Europe. For example in 2017, Algeria announced plans for residency rights and work permits. Hence, the domestic legislation in-laws under a regional approach are essential to improve migration management in the region and provide opportunities for sub-Saharan states. 

3. International Policies

I. EU Regional Protection Programmes (RPP)

Migration from the third world, especially from North Africa, is a source of potential and danger for European countries. The European Union in its Immigration Pact of 2008 differentiated between potential and dangerous migrants; they pressured North African transit countries to prevent migrant flow into Europe. In December 2011, for instance, the EU launched it’s (RPP) in North Africa to encourage refugee management beyond European Borders.33 The program includes efforts to build the capacity of the North African countries in managing the refugee crisis in the region.

II. Valletta Summit – 2015

The EU in 2015 invited African states to the Valletta Summit which was aimed to “emphasize the principles of solidarity, partnership and shared responsibility for managing migration flows in all their aspects”.34 The Joint Action Plan formulated five main objectives to ensure cooperation between Europe and Africa that include addressing root causes, managing legal migration, ensuring asylum rights, preventing irregular migration, and resettlement of migrants.35

III. Marshal Plan with Africa

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested developing Africa’s economic potential and infrastructural capacity to help them manage and accommodate migrants and reduce their influx into Europe. The “Marshall Plan with Africa” was introduced to address the humanitarian, socio-economic concerns, and other pushing factors for migration to Europe. Described as the ‘Golden Ticket’ and ‘Silver Bullet’ for African economic development, the plan boosts African social status and provides the luxuries of high-end trade with Europe.36 It offers Afrikaners with African solutions, providing them with new jobs, expanding their opportunities, and improving living standards. 

IV. Mobility Partnerships

Migration among EU countries is managed under the framework of the European Union, countries that are not part of the EU, or cannot be assimilated, are engaged through Migration Partnerships. This partnership includes financial cooperation such as the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (ETFA). The ETFA has spent almost 174 Million Euros between 2016 and 2017 on migration management between Morocco and other sub-Saharan countries, improving governance and social-economic conditions of migrants from North and sub-Saharan Africa. 37

African countries enjoy relatively low incentives, for example, European countries are interested in ensuring the resettlement of migrants and border control in Africa. However, African countries seek cooperation in the establishment of ‘legal channels’ for migration to Europe to provide better economic opportunities.38 Similarly, the Readmission agreement of 1992 between Morocco and Spain could not be materialized owing to its unpopularity in Morocco. Hence, conflict of interests coupled with different social, political, and economic realities reduce the degree of states’ willingness to cooperate over migrant management.


1. Expanding Migrant’s Legal Definition

Climate-Induced migrants hold no international legal identity to claim rights and duties. Their condition makes the ensuring of protection and rights difficult. The complexity of their circumstances and the diverse contexts in which they exist complicates the legal codification of environmental migrants.39 Further, the displacement by slow and rapid onset processes is associated with other factors that complicate the status of migrants as climate-driven. Among them are the quest for economic opportunities, poverty, governance, and conflicts. In addition, the coexistence of voluntary and forced migration, of internal, regional and international migration, and finally of slow-onset processes and rapid-onset disasters constitute impediment in formulating a legal framework to define environmental migrants.40 The terms environmental or climate refugee cannot be used given the criteria set by the Geneva Convention of 1951 (no persecution of migrants from the environment), therefore, the convention lacks instruments to protect climate affected migrants.

The United Nations definition for internally displaced people, which says that “persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or to avoid the effects of [. . .] natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border”, is sufficient for legal protection.41 However, the definition does not include migration due to slow-onset processes. Therefore, in absence of a legal definition for the environmental migrants, the protection of environmentally displaced individuals can be ensured by focusing on the rights of the individuals, not on the rationales behind migration or the factors causing displacement. 

2. Normative Gaps

Because of the lack of legislation and the inability of the 1951 Geneva Convention to protect environmentally displaced people, are neither refugees nor migrants, and they are entitled neither to the rights granted to the refugees that flee due to persecution or war nor are legally honored to the basic human rights. Climate change diminishes living opportunities, constrains the movement of action, and forcibly displaces people under pressures of slow-onset processes or rapid-onset disasters. Therefore, effective policy-making should be made to uphold humanitarian principles in dealing with environmental migrants by filling the normative gaps in migrant’s policy-making.

3. Strengthening of Empirical Evidence

Migration remains a multi-causal phenomenon driven by economic disparities, social vulnerabilities, political instability, and lack of access to natural resources, ethnic conflicts, wars, and adverse climatic conditions. Therefore, it is hard to differentiate between climate induced-migration migration and migration caused by other factors. Such intricate calculation and hazy determinism are attributed partly to the methodological issues with blurred definition and contextualization.42 Hence, “resilience, social variability, abject poverty, lack of adequate predictive models” makes the anticipated flow of migrants impractical to quantify, especially in Europe which is expected to get millions of ‘environmental migrants’ by the end of 2020.43

Therefore, it is important to develop a strong empirical link between the environment and migration. Such a link can be developed by drawing a defined context for migration with reasonable environmental rationales. Without such a defined contextualization and empirical link, academic boasting about climate-induced migration will remain irrelevant for policy and practice to mitigate the threats faced by climate-induced migration. 44

4. Avoiding Selective Mobility

The unequal treatment of migrants, based on their potential and capabilities, remains another hurdle in comprehensively addressing the issues of migration. For example, mobility partnerships with North African countries reflect the EU’s political management of the migrant’s issue. It seems interested in migrants who could become potential for its economic development as can be used as cheap labor, but also takes strict measures in border control; thereby inhibiting the flow of unskilled migrants. Therefore, the European Union should be convinced in its policies to the fact that the migration problem cannot be solved and illegal trafficking cannot be overcome unless a comprehensive management framework is developed for every type of migrant, irrespective of their status, potential, or origin.

5. Strong African Union with Integrated Approach

The Migration Policy Framework for Africa sufficiently defines nine different dimensions of migration across a multitude of domains at domestic, regional, and international levels. However, the suggestive nature of the framework reflects a broader weakness of the African Union in shaping the regional approach. Therefore, the Union should be granted legal powers to manage migration and address the socio-economic pushing factors. This is not feasible without a smart bargain between the African Union and the European Union, keeping the position of Europe in context as the popular migrant’s destination. Hence, more powers of legal pursuance at the regional level coupled with European cooperation on reconcilable terms can ensure an integrated approach on behalf of the Union to solve the climate-related problems in the continent.


Climate-Induced Migration is emerging to challenge the existing social, economic, political, and ecological domains at the domestic, regional, and international levels. The strength of the causal relationship among the three variables i.e. Climate, Migration, and Socio-economic factors, is identifiable to be considered for an integrated response from states, regional and international organizations. As evident across the distributive analysis of the horizontal domains and vertical levels of climate-induced changes, the inter-link between climate and migration turns out in strong relation to induce socio-economic and political implications.

Besides the strength of the causal relation, a clear identification of the cause itself is instrumental in understanding the climate-induced migration. Such causes range from slow-onset processes of gradual progress to sudden on-set disasters of weather shocks. Therefore, the location of the cause supported by strong empirical evidence is the key to half the solution to climigration. The twofold three-axis implications of climate-induced migration reasonably suggest a deeper link between Climate Change and the potential willingness to migrate within states, across North Africa and into Europe. The tri-level mobility is accompanied by implications of a multitude of dimensions that include social changes, economic impacts, and political impacts of a limited degree. 

However, there is no direct dissociative mechanism to individually engage climate change and migration that can lead to a viable solution. Instead, taking the Climate-Induced Migration as an intertwined problem and formulate integrated solutions to address the challenges faced of Climigration. Also, the insufficient empirical linkage inhibits the manifestation of the problem in the policy framework of states and international organizations. Therefore, experts should reflect upon the unnoticed linkage that exists across the Climate Change, Migration, and Socio-Economic implications and help it become an agenda for future policy formulation at domestic, regional, and international levels.


  1.  The World Bank. (2018). Report on Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration.
  2.  Iman B. & Reinhart. (2018, April 24). Desire to Migrate Rises in North Africa. Gallup.
  3.  Trachuk, A. & Linder, N. (2019, February 7). Knowledge Spillover Effects: Impact of Export Learning Effects on Companies’ Innovative Activities. Current Issues in Knowledge Management.
  4.  Ibid.
  5.  Julian S. T. & Mariam T. (2016, March). Environmental Migration in Morocco: Stocktaking, Challenges, and Opportunities. Policy Brief Series, 2(3).
  6.  Kingsley, P. (2016, November 26). The Small African Region with More Migrants than all of Europe. Guardian Africa Network.
  7.  Basetta, F. (2019). Environmental Migrants: Up to 1 Billion by 2050. Foresight CMCC Observatory on Climate Policies and Future.
  8.  Marion B. et. al. (2019). Migration Influenced by Environmental Change in Africa: A Systematic Review of Empirical Evidence. Demographic Research. (41)18. pp. 491-544.
  9.  Piguit, E. & Laczko, F. (2014). People on the Move in a Changing Climate: The Regional Impact of Environmental Change on Migration”, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Published by Springer. P.122. 
  10.  (2009, August). North Africa: Impact of Climate Change to 2030 (Selected Countries). A Commission Research Report by the National Intelligence Council, P. 8.
  11. Ibid.
  12.  Ruef, H. & Ariza, C. (2016, June). The Climate Change, Migration, and Economic Development Nexus in North Africa: An Overview. Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Switzerland.
  13. Ibid.
  14.  Wodon, Q. (2014). Climate Change and Migration: Evidence from the Middle East and North Africa. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank. P. 43. 
  15.  Wodon, Q. (2014). P. 51.
  16.  Jill Jager et al. (2009). Environmental Change and Forced Migration Scenarios EACH – FOR Synthesis Project.
  17.  G. A. Heshmati. (2013, January 10). Desertification and Its Control on Morocco. Combating Desertification in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East: Prove Practices.
  18.  Grant, P. (2011, July 13). Climate Change Financing and Aid Effectiveness: Morocco Case Study. OECD, P. 10.
  19.  Khouakhi, Abdou et al. (2013, March). Vulnerability Assessment of Al-Hoceima Bay (Moroccan Mediterranean Coast): A Coastal Management Tool to Reduce Potential Impacts of Sea-Level Rise and Storm Surges. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue. pp. 968-971. 
  20.  Cong Nguyen et al. (2014, June 29). Extreme Weather Events and Migration: The Case Study of Morocco”, Munich Personal RePEc Achieve (MPRA), P. 1.
  21.  Woden Q., Minh & Quentin. (2014). Climate Change and Migration: Evidence from the Middle East and North Africa. World Bank. Page 52. 
  22.  Julian & Hind. (2016). Assessing the Evidence: Migration, Environment, and Climate Change in North Africa. International Organization for Migration (IMO). P. 22.
  23.  Ibid.
  24.  (2020, January 21). Country Information: Morocco. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
  25.  (2019, December). Unemployment, total (% of the total labor force) (Modelled ILO Estimate) – Morocco. International Labour Organization Statistics, World Bank.
  26.  Bouknight, S. (2019, June 9). Acting against Racism and Xenophobia in Morocco. Inside Arabia Voice of the Arab People.
  27.  Rotinwa, A. (2019, June 3). As Morocco Swells with Migrants: Music is a Common Language. The Christian Science Monitor.
  28.  (2018, March 22). At least A Million sub-Saharan Africans Moved to Europe Since 2010. Pew Research Center. sub-Saharan-africans-moved-to-europe-since-2010/
  29.  (2015, November 13). Plan Maroc Vert – Spotlight on Morocco’s Agricultural Policy. Gro Intelligence.
  30.  (2015, April 24). Morocco Sets on 10 Year Plan to Hold back the Desert. Euro news.
  31.  (2011, April). Mainstreaming the GE Aspects in the Planning and Monitoring Process of the NHDI in Morocco. United Nations Development Program.
  32.  Ibid.
  33.  Sergio Carrera et al. (2012, August). EU Migration Policy in Wake of the Arab Spring: What Prospects for the EU-Southern Mediterranean Relations? European Commission Research Area MEDPRO, Technical Report.
  34.  (2015). What is the Joint Valletta Action Plan? Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development – Rabat Process.
  35.  Ibid.
  36.  Jerven, M. (2018, September 27). Marshal Plan for Africa. TRT World.
  37.  (2020, January 19). North Africa: Our Work. International Cooperation and Development European Commission.
  38.  Ibid.
  39.  (2014). IOM Outlook on Migration, Environment and Climate Change”, UN International Organization for Migration (IOM).
  40.  Ibid.
  41.  (1998). Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement: introduction Scope and Purpose. United Nations.
  42.  Stojanov, R. et al. (2014, October 28). Contextualizing Topologies of Environmentally Induced Population Movement. Disaster Prevention and Management, (23)5. pp. 508-523.
  43.  Goff, L. et al. (2012). Climate-Induced Migration from North Africa to Europe: Security Challenges and Opportunities. Brown Journal of World Affairs, (18)2, pp. 195-213.
  44.  Ibid.

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