Human migration has been described as one of the conflict constellations in regions affected by climate change, but can also contribute to climate adaptation. Migrant social networks can help to build social capital to increase the social resilience in the communities of origin and trigger innovations across regions by the transfer of knowledge, technology, remittances and other resources. These could increase the flexibility, diversity and creativity of communities in addressing climate stress and open new pathways for co-development connecting the home and host communities. Based on a conceptual framework connecting migration and adaptation, the paper explores possible opportunities, innovative approaches and institutional mechanisms for migration as a contribution to climate adaptation. The Western Sahel will be used as a case study region, with a focus on Mali, Mauritania and Senegal, using qualitative and quantitative analysis of remittances at the national level, and a micro-level analysis on the role of migrant networks in these countries in specific co-development projects in water, food and energy.