All evidence points towards climate- and environmentally induced migration becoming one of the major policy challenges of this century. Adequate planning for and management of this phenomenon will be critical for human security.
Estimates of the potential number of ‘climate change migrants’ vary hugely. In order to persuade policymakers of the need to act and to provide a sound basis for appropriate responses, there is an urgent need for better analysis, better data and better predictions.
There is currently no consensus on definitions in this field of study. The resulting variety of terms is not just confusing but unhelpful.
Refugees or migrants? In need of new forms of legal protection or adequately protected by existing instruments? No obvious or absolute answers.
Global environmental change is expected to have particular impact on islands around the world.
An integrated approach to climate change demands that human rights and adaptation strategies are pursued hand-in-hand.
Migration from northern Ghana is a strategy for dealing with structural environmental scarcity rather than degradation.
Gaps in protection still remain for those people displaced by climate change within their own countries.
Three of the 24 EACH-FOR case-studies are in Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – where environmental challenges are triggering displacement.
It has been, and it will continue to be, difficult to identify any simple or straightforward links between environmentally induced migration and conflict.
What dangers does climate change pose to societies most vulnerable to changes in local environmental conditions?
The essential sectors of humanitarian relief will all see major changes in the way that assistance is delivered.
Environmental change in the highlands of Ethiopia contributes, in a variety of ways, to encouraging migration out of rural areas.
The pastoralist community of northern Kenya has been ravaged by both droughts and floods.
There are no easy solutions to the emerging implications for health of climate change-related migration.
Forced migration due to climate change will severely challenge the resilience of communities forced to migrate as well as the capacities of local and national governments.
With the prospect of more extreme weather events, it makes sense to strengthen the efforts of governments and communities to reduce disaster risks.
Climate change in Nigeria is very real and needs urgent attention.
Existing human rights obligations already oblige states to take measures to mitigate the risks of natural or man-made disasters – including those due to climate change – and thus to prevent displacement.
Until recently, the humanitarian community had largely ignored the problem of climate change, thinking that mitigation – the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – would minimise the need for adaptation to effects of climate change. Events appear to be proving us wrong.
A recent study using mapping techniques to analyse vulnerability over the next 20-30 years highlights potential “hotspots” and offers insights for mitigating the effects.
Adaptation in the most exposed and vulnerable states must be an international task.
Our generation has failed to live up to its obligations to prevent climate change and any steps we take now, however welcome, will not totally reverse the trends. We need urgently to prepare now for the human consequences of climate change.
Adaptation to climate change has become an important issue, both at international climate policy level and at the level of practical implementation on the ground.
Climate change threatens to destroy coral reef ecosystems. When reefs die, economic and food security is threatened, forcing people to move.
As well as developing adaptation strategies, the people of Kiribati are having to consider the possibility of permanent relocation.
Climate change adaptation strategies are urgently needed in Bangladesh but they must be community-led.
Communicating about climate change is crucial for effective disaster risk management.
Empirical modelling techniques are the only way to effectively simulate migration resulting from a complex combination of pressures and opportunities.
Given the magnitude of the challenges ahead, we urgently need to develop a policy-oriented global research agenda.
It remains doubtful whether national and international policymakers are yet willing or able to act to prevent or mitigate the displacement impacts of climate change.
While the tragedy and suffering have made a deep impression, it is people’s courage and hope that keep me going.
Rule of law programmes usually take place after conflicts have ended but it is never too early to start programmes which encourage a return to the rule of law and respect for human rights.
In February 2008, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime staged a major global event on human trafficking – the Vienna Forum, which captured wide international attention and received broad global acclaim.
HIV-positive refugees’ access to medical care in Egypt is impeded by the lack of medical services and by the intense stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.
Significant gaps in Mexico’s legal process are increasing refugee vulnerability.
Satellite imagery is becoming an increasingly important tool for the humanitarian community.
There is a longstanding and well-documented relationship between human displacement and witchcraft allegations.
Reproductive Health (RH) in Emergencies Conference 2008 was held 18-20 June in Kampala, Uganda, to address current RH issues in emergency settings and to contribute to the expansion of comprehensive RH services in such settings.