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Climate change, water stress, conflict and migration

This collection of papers, presented at the symposium ‘Climate change, water stress, conflict and migration’ held on 21 September 2011 in the Netherlands, highlight how climate change, water stress and other environmental problems threaten human security. For example, the paper by Muniruzzaman ilustrates how water ignores political and community boundaries, and how decisions in one place can significantly affect water use elsewhere. India’s plans to build more dams could, for instance, have devastating affects for Pakistan’s agricultural productivity which is highly dependent on water supply from the Indus River. The paper also identifies three ways in which climate change can affect human migration: warming climate will reduce the agricultural potential in some regions undermining core ecosystem services; increasing extreme weather events will generate mass displacement; sea-level rise will destroy the low-lying coastal areas forcing millions of people to relocate permanently.