Drivers of Climate-Induced Displacement in Iraq: Climate Vulnerability Assessment (October 2023)
05 November 2023
Climate change and environmental degradation have contributed to the displacement of at least 55,290 individuals in assessed locations in central and southern Iraq between January 2016 and October 2022. This figure represents an estimated 15 per cent of the original population that used to reside in these locations. In other words, more than 1 in 10 people from these locations have been displaced in the past six years. Given the uptick in environmental migration observed in 2022, this trend is expected to worsen, particularly in the absence of adequate mitigation and adaptation strategies.
To better understand the root causes of these movements, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) developed a tool to assess a location’s vulnerability to climate-induced displacement. The tool measured four dimensions: 1) environmental hazards and water access, 2) services and infrastructure, 3) livelihoods and mitigation measures and 4) tension and conflict. This assessment examined conditions in locations that have already recorded climate-induced displacement, as measured by IOM DTM’s Climate Emergency Tracking tool. Data collection for this assessment took place between August and October 2022 across nine governorates, 29 districts and 262 locations. IOM’s Rapid Assessment and Response Teams (RARTs) collected these data through interviews with key informants (KIs) at the location level. These interviews were triangulated using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) anomaly data, which measure changes in the ‘greenness’ of vegetation cover and are used as a proxy to compare the density and health of vegetation over time. The NDVI anomaly data were extracted from the United States Geological Survey/National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Landsat remote sensing data and analysed in partnership with the World Food Programme’s Vulnerability and Analysis Mapping team.