E.g., 06/22/2021
E.g., 06/22/2021
Climate Change

Climate Change

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Climate change is a new driver of human migration that many people expect will dwarf all others in its impact. While the effects of climate change on migration have generated significant attention, some of the most commonly repeated predictions of the numbers of people who will be displaced are not informed by an understanding of migration dynamics. Displacement is almost always a result of a complex mix of factors; people adapt to changes and governments (and a few other powerful actors) can influence what kind of movements take place in response to environmental changes.

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SouthSudan AnitaKattakhuzy Oxfam

Nearly 4 million South Sudanese have been driven from their homes by violence or food insecurity since late 2013, roughly half seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Drought and conflict have converged in the young country to fuel one of the world's most severe humanitarian emergencies. This article examines refugee flows from South Sudan, underlying drivers, and regional and international responses to the crisis.

DroughtEthiopia UNICEFEthiopia Flickr

Climate-related displacement is not hypothetical: An average of 21.5 million people per year have been displaced since 2008 by natural disasters, and thousands more have fled slow-onset environmental hazards. While migration can serve as a safety valve to adapt to changing conditions, few orderly, legal channels exist for climate migrants (also known as environmental migrants), as this article explores.

Cover Top10 7NatDisasters

From earthquakes to drought, natural disasters and climate change played a key role in migration flows in 2015. Climate-induced migration surfaced as a concern at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (known as COP21) as international organizations and policymakers have begun to recognize the growing challenges, and potential protection obligations, of such movement.

Nepalearthquake2015 ILO Shukuko Koyama
Even as Nepal will lean more heavily on its international diaspora to help recover from devastating earthquakes that killed thousands and decimated parts of the country, the disasters have had effects on internal migration. Class and gender dynamics have long driven significant internal flows. This feature article explores migration trends in Nepal, including movement between ecological zones, growing urbanization, and the feminization of an increasingly mobile workforce.

Numerous researchers and organizations have predicted that climate change will trigger historically unprecedented waves of mass migration. MPI's Carolina Fritz examines the complex links between climate change and migration, how and where these links influence current and future migration patterns, and some of the problems with predicting future flows.

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Desherbinin Speaker CHANGINGCLIMATE3
Expert Q&A, Audio
November 17, 2020

The relationship between climate change and migration is long and complex. Human civilizations have been affected by environmental conditions for centuries, but we should be wary of arguments that huge numbers of people are inevitably destined to migrate in response to specific climate threats.

flickr Credit 2010CIAT NeilPalmer
Video, Audio
June 29, 2020

This MPI Europe discussion explored different migration policy options related to climate adaptation and the evolving landscape of climate finance tools. Speakers also examined what funding gaps and opportunities exist for collaboration with partner countries and what funding instruments might address the most pressing needs.

Demetrios Papademetriou and Antonio Vitorino
Video, Audio
March 6, 2019

In his first public address during his inaugural formal visit to Washington, DC.

EventPH 2014.03.20 Human Rights, Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration  A New Paradigm
Audio
March 20, 2014

This MPI event, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), discusses the critical issue of climate-related displacement in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on the vulnerability of environmental migrants and how the international legal framework can better ensure their protection.

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Recent Activity

Expert Q&A, Audio
November 17, 2020

The relationship between climate change and migration is long and complex. Human civilizations have been affected by environmental conditions for centuries, but we should be wary of arguments that huge numbers of people are inevitably destined to migrate in response to specific climate threats. In this episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration, we chat with Alex de Sherbinin of Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network about what the research shows—and does not show.

Articles

Climate-induced migration can lead to tensions and violence between host communities and new arrivals. This conflict can flare up at various levels, including among rural farmers and herders in relatively peaceful countries such as Tanzania.

Articles

Climate change is affecting human movement now, causing internal displacement and international migration, and will do so in the future. But the impact is often indirect, and rarely is the process as straightforward as one might think. This article provides an overview of research on how climatic hazards drive and affect migration, reviewing which types of people might migrate and under what conditions.

Video, Audio, Webinars
June 29, 2020

This MPI Europe discussion explored different migration policy options related to climate adaptation and the evolving landscape of climate finance tools. Speakers also examined what funding gaps and opportunities exist for collaboration with partner countries and what funding instruments might address the most pressing needs. The conversation also explored the implications of COVID-19 for migration and climate adaptation funding approaches.

Articles

Coastal communities in India are confronting the effects of sea-level rise, erosion, flooding, and cyclones. This article examines displacement and migration from Odisha, the Sundarbans delta, and Majuli island in the state of Assam, examining national and state responses and the principles that could inform the design of policies to address displacement due to climate-related hazards.

Articles

While migration once was a lower-priority topic for African governments, the last decade has seen a deepening in governance. Policymakers have integrated migration into their national development strategies and mainstreamed it across policy domains such as health and education. The actions are promising on paper, yet questions remain about the extent to which they will translate to more effective migration management.

Video, Audio
March 6, 2019

In his first public address during his inaugural formal visit to Washington, DC. International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director General António Vitorino discussed his vision for the agency; reforms in the UN system designed to address migration matters better; the coordination of efforts between IOM, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and other international partners in addressing humanitarian protection; and the operational steps IOM is taking to respond to forced migration and displacement in hotspots around the world, including Venezuela, Bangladesh, and Libya.

Articles

Indonesia, which has a long history as a major origin for migrant labor in the Asia-Pacific and beyond, more recently has reluctantly found itself a transit and destination country, including for asylum seekers. Still, policymakers remain focused on protection of its nationals abroad rather than on assuring the status of Chinese and other foreigners in the country. This country profile explores Indonesia's rich migration history. 

 

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