As the number of extreme weather events has doubled over the past 20 years, from 200 to more than 400 a year, this seminar looks holistically at the role of sudden-onset disasters (storms, floods) as well as slow-onset environmental changes (desertification, droughts, land degradation, water scarcity) in propelling both internal and international migration. Spanning the responsibilities of a range of actors and fields of intervention– from humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness to climate change adaptation and sustainable development– the linkages between migration and the environment need to be better understood and mainstreamed into existing assessment and strategic planning tools.
Beyond speculative scenarios of mass movements due to climate change, this seminar aims to present a nuanced picture of the interrelations between migratory decisions and environmental degradation, and to raise awareness of the international legal instruments and policy tools that exist and will be needed to address the challenges posed by disaster displacement and environmentally-driven migration.
The one-day seminar discusses the following issues:
- Migration as an adaptation strategy to environmental degradation;
- Implications of environmentally driven migration for rural and urban development;
- Inclusion of environmentally-induced migration in national development, adaptation and disaster preparedness strategies;
- Legal frameworks governing the movement, protection and assistance of “environmental migrants”.
The seminar is open to members of permanent missions to the United Nations in New York, who work on climate change, migration or development issues. Representatives of governments, international organizations, the United Nations system, civil society and private sector with academic or professional interest in the topic are also encouraged to participate.
All participants who successfully complete the seminar will receive a UNITAR Certificate of Completion.