Declaration on Environmental and Climate Mobility
The founding conference of the Environment & Climate Mobilities Network in July 2023, brought together 140 scientists from 27 countries who work on global environmental and climate change and the intersection with human mobility: migration, displacement, planned relocation and immobility. This diverse group of scholars from different academic disciplines discussed the state of the art and growing body of research on environmental and climate mobility.
Since the first mention of migration in the First Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1990, scientists from across the globe have gathered evidence on human mobility in the context of climate change, amounting to over 1900 academic articles on the subject . The Nansen Initiative, in its 2015 Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change, called for: 1) Collecting data and enhancing knowledge 2) Enhancing the use of the humanitarian protection measures and 3) Strengthening the management of disaster displacement risk in the countries of origin . This was broadened and deepened in the 2018 recommendations of the Warsaw International Mechanism’s (WIM) Task Force on Displacement, highlighting, among others, the need to avert, minimize and address displacement; facilitate safe mobility; and generate knowledge, and include mobility in planning at all levels. Since then, scientists have advanced knowledge on the plurality of mobility responses to environmental and climate change, examining the different drivers, aspirations, and capabilities to move. Moreover, different policy barriers were identified, and evidence-based policy recommendations have been developed, most recently in three separate statements by coalitions of development actors, international organizations and researchers concerned with human mobility in the context of climate change . However, progress on humanitarian protection and disaster risk reduction has been insufficient to address rising needs, as climate impacts are intensifying against the backdrop of inaction on emissions mitigation.
In 2018, UN Member States adopted the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), which also addresses the effects of environmental and climate change on migration. While achievements can be documented regarding data collection and joint analysis (objective 1 of the GCM), progress on the decisive objective of “Enhanc[ing] availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration” (8) has been extremely slow, with very few exceptions. Beyond the Platform on Disaster Displacement’s focus on cross-border displacement and the GCM’s focus on international migration, action is also needed addressing internal movements and mobility as a form of adaptation to climatic risks and changes. With increasing discrepancy between scientific evidence, including that assessed by the IPCC, and global efforts to minimize climate risks through mitigation and adaptation, we, as scientists specializing in climate and environmental (im-)mobilities, bear witness to political inaction. This inaction persists even in the face of more and more detailed evidence on human mobility in the context of climate change and evidence-based policy advice in this field. The record-breaking 32.6 million internal disaster displacements in 2022, and the alarming number of extreme weather events and subsequent displacements in the summer of 2023, are testament to this failure .
Based on the overwhelming evidence, we urge policymakers to:
1. Raise the speed and scale of emissions reductions rapidly to a level that would prevent catastrophic climate impacts which could cause both significant displacement and involuntary immobility in high-risk areas.
2. Design and implement legal pathways for safe, orderly and regular migration within and across borders out of areas that are severely affected by climate impacts.
3. Increase adaptation funding that is directed towards people at risk of involuntary displacement and immobility, and towards those seeking to move to adapt to degrading environments and other climate change impacts.
4. Direct Loss and Damage funding toward people and communities facing climate-related displacement and planned relocation, addressing their needs, before, during and after movement occurs.
5. Consider the needs of indigenous groups, different genders, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups, including intersectional vulnerabilities. Increase diversity and foster the inclusion of people with displacement history in policymaking and science.
6. Mainstream mobility into national adaptation and development planning, including displacement and other forms of involuntary (im-)mobility related to Loss and Damage, and consider aspects of climate and environmental (im-)mobilities in national laws and policy fields.
[last update 27.11.2023]:
Dr. Kira Vinke, German Council on Foreign Relations
Dr. Kees van der Geest, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security
Dr. Harald Sterly, University of Vienna
Mechthild Becker, German Council on Foreign Relations
Dr. Robert Oakes, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security
Prof. Etienne Piguet, University of Neuchâtel, Institute of Geography
Steven Miron, Refugee Law Initiative, University of London School of Advanced Studies, UK
Dr. Ingrid Boas, Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University
Prof. Patrick Sakdapolrak, University of Vienna, Department of Geography and Regional Research
Dr. Simon Bunchuay-Peth, University of Vienna, Department of Geography and Regional Research
Dr. Ogbaga Ignatius, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Department of Computer Science
Dr. Lucy Szaboova,University of Exeter, Department of Geography
Petra O. Ogunfowokan, Frontida Zois Initiative (FZI), Nigeria
Simon Merschroth, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Future Lab Security, Ethnic Conflicts, and Migration
Lukmon Akintola, African Climate Mobility Initiative (ACMI), UN Global Center for Climate Mobility
Jonas Bergmann, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Rev. Woledzi Delali Freedman, Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana
Dr. Qian Zhang, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University
Hanne Wiegel, Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University
Sampson Aboagye Osei, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Dr. Simona Capisani, Department of Philosophy, Durham University
Dr. Daniela Ghio, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada Excellence Chair in Migration and Integration
Dr. Giovanna Gini, School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University and The South America Network for Environmental Migration (RESAMA)
Dr. Hannah Teicher, Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard University
Dr. Beatriz Felipe Pérez, Tarragona Centre for Environmental Law Studies (CEDAT-URV) and CICrA Justicia Ambiental
Mr.Nageeb Ahmed Noman Muqbel,Environmental and Social Safeguard Officer at Save the children international .I am also researcher at climate issues
Saeed A. Khan, Department of Geography, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
Raffaella Pagogna, Department of Sociology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
Engr. Ludwig O. Federigan, CBP, EMDRCM, Executive Director, Young Environmental Forum; Non-Resident Fellow, Stratbase Albert Del Rosario Institute
Sebastian Transiskus, Institute of Geography, University of Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
Dr. Lauren Nishimura, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
Sayantan Samui, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Dr. Kristina Petrova, Department of Transformation Pathways, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
Dr. Kathleen Hermans, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition, Halle (Saale), Germany
Prof. Sohel Firdos, Sikkim University, Department of Geography
Sinafekesh Girma Wolde, Politecnico Di Milano, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Dr. Christian Ungruhe, Geography with a Focus on Sustainable Development, Passau University, Germany
Dr Ben Hudson, University of Exeter Law School, UK
Carolien Jacobs, Leiden Law School, Leiden University, the Netherlands
Zenaida Lauda-Rodriguez, Institute of Energy and Environment of the University of São Paulo, and RESAMA (The South America Network for Environmental Migration)
Hacer Gören, Department of Sociology, Koç University, Turkey
Prof. David Cantor, Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK
Gabriela Nagle Alverio, Nicholas School of the Environment, Sanford School of Public Policy, and School of Law, Duke University, United States of America
Anouk Maboeuf, Department of Geography, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
Coline Garcia, University of Vienna, Department of Geography and Regional Research
Dr. Marion Borderon, Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna, Austria
Natalia Fedorova, Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
Ann-Christine Link, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security
Dr. David Durand-Delacre, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security
Dr. Lisa Thalheimer-Prężyna, United Nations University Institute for Environmental and Human Security
Dr. Brianna Castro, Department of Sociology, Vanderbilt University
Dr Benjamin Etzold, Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC), Germany
Dr. Hélène Benveniste, Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability, Harvard University
Dr. Roman Hoffmann, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Iddrisu Amadu, Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University
Dr. Kelsea Best, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental & Geodetic Engineering, the Ohio State University
Dr. Benjamin Schraven, German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)
Dr. Marie Mualem-Schröder, Researcher at the German Expert Council on Integration and Migration
Prof. François Gemenne, The Hugo Observatory, University of Liege
Florian Debève, The Hugo Observatory, University of Liege
Dr. Juliane Groth, Fraunhofer -Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW, Leipzig, Germany
Dr. Lore Van Praag, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Social and Behaviorla Sciences
Dr. Loubna Ou-Salah, University of Antwerp, Centre for Research on Environmental and Social Change
Elodie Hut, The Hugo Observatory, University of Liège
Stefano Balbi, Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)
Dr. Michele Dalla Fontana, Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University
Chloe Cranston, Head of Thematic Advocacy Programmes, Anti-Slavery International
Dr. Janina Stürner-Siovitz, Research on Migration, Displacement and Integration, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg
Prof. Dr. Petra Bendel, Research on Migration, Displacement and Integration, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg
Dr. Fanny Thornton, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Raquel Lejtreger, consultant and researcher climate change, migration, disaster risk management and human rights activist
Dr. Phil Orchard, Associate Professor of International Relations, Future of Rights Centre, University of Wollongong
Dr. Katherine Braun, Policy Advisor Refugee Affairs and Human Rights, Lutheran Church of Northern Germany
Dr. M Nadiruzzaman, Department of Health, Ethics and Society, Maastricht University, Netherlands.
 Climig | The migration, climate change and the environment database (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2023, from https://www.unine.ch/geographie/climig_database.
 The Nansen Initiative. (2016). Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change: October 2015 (S. 156–162). The Nansen Initiative. https://academic.oup.com/ijrl/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/ijrl/eew004
 Loss and Damage Collaboration and Researching Internal Displacement (2023). Loss and Damage and Displacement: Key Messages on the Road to COP 28. https://researchinginternaldisplacement.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/LDCRI-FINAL_DISPLACMENT_MESSAGES.pdf
 GIZ, IDMC, ICCCAD, ILO, IOM, NRC, OHCHR, OSA, PDD, RLI, UNDP UNHCR, UNU-EHS, International Refugee Assistance Project and Loss and Damage Collaboration (2023). Implementing the Task Force on Displacement Recommendations through Loss and Damage Policy and Practice. Submission to the UNFCCC Loss and Damage Transitional Committee. https://tinyurl.com/mrxttzk3
 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. (2023). Global Report on Internal Displacement 2022. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. https://www.internal-displacement.org/sites/default/files/publications/documents/IDMC_GRID_2022_LR.pdf
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