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EVENT: On the move – Migration policy and climate change

This online debate hosted by Thomson Reuters Foundation and CDKN on Wednesday 15th January brought audience members together with experts working on climate change-related migration, during a lively hour of written exchanges.

Participants posed comments and questions on the live blog and via Twitter hashtag #climatemigration to the expert panel:

  • Dominic Kniveton – professor of climate science and society, University of Sussex
  • Koko Warner – head of environmental migration, social vulnerability and adaptation section, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
  • Sam Bickersteth – chief executive, CDKN
  • Tamer Afifiresearch director, Where the Rain Falls project, UNU-EHS
  • Guillermo Llinas – Colombia country project manager, CDKN

Even though the online debate has now finished and the experts have left the chatroom, you can visit the event page to read the discussion and follow the links. Just scroll down the page to follow the conversation.

Why is climate-related migration such a hot debate?

Climate change is already pushing people in the developing world to leave their homes – and they are doing so in many different ways. Some find they can no longer farm their land due to extreme weather or rising seas, and are moving their whole families. Others are sending relatives to cities to look for seasonal work to boost dwindling incomes. Climate-related disasters are also making large numbers homeless.

How is the world responding to this challenge? CDKN is supporting research and film-making on the effects of climate change on migration in Bangladesh, and how decision makers there can help the poorest. And the Nansen Initiative, launched in 2012, is developing a protection agenda for people displaced across borders by natural disasters. But it is widely recognised that both national and international policy responses lag behind the growing pace and scale of climate-linked migration.

This debate explores the ways in which climate stresses are triggering migration and displacement, and what policy makers can do to assist those who are on the move.


Image courtesy Panos.


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