International Conference titled “Environmental migration under the spotlight. Legal and policy responses, individual and collective dimensions of a global phenomenon”
30-31 May 2022
“Climate change and disasters are impacting the lives of millions of people across the globe, and forcing many people to leave their homes, including in some cases to cross international borders.
Their adverse effects will often expose the limited ability of an affected community to adapt, reflecting its pre-existing vulnerabilities.”
UNHCR, October 2020
From 2008 to 2020, 24.5 million new displacements per year have been registered, 88.9% of which are weather-related. This equals to 67,000 displacements each day. The 2021 World Bank’s Groundswell report suggests that climate change and environmental degradation may result in the displacement of 216 million people by 2050 due to slow-onset events. Although the majority of people affected by environmental threats are projected to be internally displaced, the exposure to slow-onset events, such as sea-level rise or desertification, may significantly trigger cross-border environmental migration in the future. Today, approximately 80% of the world’s poorest populations live in degraded rural areas affected by drought and desertification, which have been recognized as drivers of forced migration. Data suggest, therefore, that environmental factors have constantly shaped migration movements in the past and will continue to do so, even more strongly, in the future.
The increasing awareness and scientific evidence of the adverse climate and environmental impacts on human mobility contrast, however, with the lack of high-quality and reliable research on key features of environmental migration; these pertaining to both legal and policy responses to environmental drivers of migration, and to the individual and collective dimensions characterizing people compelled to flee because of environmental threats.
This considerable gap lies at the core of the present International Conference titled “Environmental migration under the spotlight. Legal and policy responses, individual and collective dimensions of a global phenomenon”. In the double attempt to contribute enriching the academic debate on environmental migration and to encourage decision-makers to endorse a proactive approach to migration governance, the International Conference offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and far-sighted analysis to unveil some essential, so far overlooked, causes, impacts, features, challenges and opportunities of this long-lasting and intertwined phenomenon.
The agenda and more information about the event are available here.