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Date: 8-9 May 2008
Venue: United Nations Headquarters, New York

Coordinator: Sarah Rosengaertner


While international attention to the humanitarian consequences of climate change and environmental degradation has increased over the past year, its specific interaction with migration - in particular the impact of environmental degradation on human mobility – still remains comparatively little explored.

In the context of this year’s Commission on Sustainable Development (5-16 May 2008), this seminar explored existing evidence and further research needs regarding the impacts of gradual environmental changes (climate processes) and sudden environmental events (climate events) on migration. Both put at risk the inhabitants of coastal regions, low lying islands, and areas susceptible to drought, and may force them to move to safer areas. The potential movement of people, both internal and cross-border, is expected to rise and have an unprecedented impact on lives and livelihoods.

Related Documents

Downloads (pdf):

Information note on the event background and organization
Programme of the expert meeting held on 8 May
Programme of the seminar held on 9 May seminar

Summary report of the seminar held on 9 May seminar


Climate change, environmental degradation and migration: how viable are current predictions?
Mr. Dominic Kniveton, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography, University of Sussex

Preparing for the future: IOM’s global strategy on environmentally-induced migration
Mr. Philippe Boncour, Head, International Dialogue on Migration Division, IOM

Identifying Priorities for Future Research on Environmentally Induced Migration
Ms. Olivia Dun, Research Associate, Environmental Change and Forced Migration (EACH-FOR) Project, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Mr. Jobst Koehler, Research Officer, IOM

The role of UNCCD national and regional action programmes to combat desertification and drought
Mr. Melchiade Bukuru, Chief, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Liaison Office, New York

Assessing Vulnerabilities to Climate-Related Emergencies: Making Everyone Count
Ms. Pamela DeLargy, Chief, Humanitarian Response Unit, UNFPA New York

Background material

Migration and Climate Change
prepared for IOM by Oli Brown, IOM Migration Research Series, No. 31, 2008

Climate change and forced migration: Observations, projections and implications
Occasional paper by Oli Brown, 2007 for the Human Development Report 2007/2008

Control, Adapt or Flee: How to Face Environmental Migration?
Fabrice Renaud, Janos J. Bogardi, Olivia Dun, Koko Warner, InterSecTions, No. 5/2007, UNU-EHS, Bonn

IOM/UNFPA Expert Seminar on Migration and the Environment
International Dialogue on Migration, No. 10, 2008

Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Migration and Conflict
Clionadh Raleigh, Lisa Jordan and Idean Salehyan, paper commissioned by the World Bank for a workshop on the "Social Dimensions of Climate Change", 5 March 2008

Demographics and climate change: future trends and their policy implications for migration
Summary of a report prepared for the Department for International Development by the Sussex Centre for Migration Research

Managing Risks of a Changing Climate to Support Development
UNDP Report of the Asia Regional Workshop, 23-26 April 2007, Kathmandu, Nepal

Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world
Executive Summary of the Human Development Report 2007/2008

Related Links:

Greece/IOM Human Security Network Conference (19 February 2008)