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Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration November 2012 Human migration and displacement in the context of climate change has come to the renewed attention of policy makers in recent years. This rejuvenated focus can most ostensibly be seen with the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GMFD) and the UN Framework for Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) Conference (known as COP16), which both took place in Mexico in 20111. These processes demonstrated the value of discussing the complex issues raised by climate change, migration and displacement in international forums. The meetings provided a voice to all nations of the world, regardless of size, population, or other elements of power. Few, if any other forums have provided the arguably most vulnerable countries with the platform to participate and offer a significant voice in discussions and, in the case of the UNFCCC, influence decisions. Given the implications of climate change for such countries, particularly with regards to migration and displacement in this context, these two forums provide an unparalleled (although imperfect) process to discuss this issue. The most important message for States coming out of both COP16 and GFMD is the need to increase the range of alternatives available to vulnerable populations affected by climate change. Such options should reduce vulnerability in the short, medium and long run. Options, when possible, should contribute to the prevention of forced migration and displacement and, in situations where displacement in unavoidable, assistance and protection must be provided to those who are or will be displaced. Global discussions begun within the GFMD and UNFCCC processes can help ensure that climate scientists and migration experts will be able to produce more effective policy responses to an issue that will likely be at the forefront of international debate for decades ahead.

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Climate Change and Migration: The UNFCCC Climate Negotiations and Global Forum on Migration and Development by Koko Warner and Susan Martin Human migration and displacement in the context of climate change has come to the renewed attention of policy makers in recent years. This rejuvenated focus can most ostensibly be seen with the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GMFD) and the UN Framework for Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) Conference (known as COP16), which both took place in Mexico in 2011. The GFMD is a state-owned consultative process that was established in 2007 and includes discussions by both governmental and civil society representatives on key migration challenges.. While past conversations have not included dialogues regarding climate change and migration, for the first time, a roundtable on climate change, migration and development was added to its agenda. In December 2010, the UN Framework for Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) negotiations took place in Cancun. COP 16 discussions at this convention included workshops on climate change, migration and displacement and resulted in conclusions and recommendations in the final negotiated document of the conference.

These events and conclusions followed a number of years of advocacy work on the part of civil society and international organizations concerned about forced migration. The discussions at both forums focused on a wide range of issues. Among the principal questions that the delegates addressed were: Is it possible for people displaced in part by climate change related processes to return to their places of origin, and under what circumstances can and does this occur? Are policies in place to adequately address the needs of people who have voluntarily left or those who have been compelled to leave their homes? Do frameworks exist to address the needs of people who respond to slower-onset changes in their environments that affect their livelihoods? This paper discusses how “the human face of climate change” – that is, issues of migration and displacement –have been brought to the two international policy arenas – the UNFCCC climate negotiations and the GFMD. It presents the conclusions on climate change and migration that were reached in both

These discussions were preceded and accompanied by numerous others, most prominently the 2011 International Dialogue on Migration organized by the International Organization for Migration which focused on climate change, environmental degradation and migration. This report focuses on the confluence of events that brought discussion of climate change and migration to the attention of governments in Mexico. 1

Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration Mitigation: Compensation & avoiding unacceptable impacts of climate change

forums. In both cases, the conclusions are non-binding but provide insight into the thinking of migration and development advocates and policymakers as well as a roadmap for future initiatives.

To understand the treatment of migration and displacement in the UNFCCC process, one must first understand the larger discussion around impacts of climate change – framed largely by a discourse between the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and industrialized countries. The early 1990s into the early 2000s were marked by an emphasis on mitigation – the collective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions linked to changes in global temperature increases. This period saw the creation of the Kyoto Protocol, carbon markets, the Clean Development Mechanism, and other measures. By the mid-2000s and certainly with the publication of the IPCC 4th Assessment Report in 2007, the UNFCCC process reflected an emerging realization among scientists and policy-makers that current emissions targets may be too low to prevent climate changes. Hence, it would also be necessary to discuss the adaptation and issues regarding the negative impacts of climatic change on human society.

Migration, Displacement and Relocation in UNFCCC Negotiations This section analyses how migration and displacement became a topic of discussion among negotiating nation-states (called “Parties” in the United Nations system) and the role of research and advocacy from UN and humanitarian organizations in helping to bring the topic into the outcomes of the most recent climate summit in December 2010, held in Cancun Mexico. The results of this climate summit (called “Conference of the Parties”, or COP) included a package on adaptation to climate change, referred to as the Cancun Adaptation Framework. The next section analyses the text placement and significance of paragraph 14(f) of the Cancun Adaptation Framework, and the catalytic role of the UNFCCC in the development of international cooperation on climate induced displacement and existing synergies with other international forums. See Figure 1 which explains the timeline from 2007 to the present during which migration and displacement became formally recognized in the UNFCCC process.

Against this backdrop, one can better understand the position of the Alliance of Small Island States that States harmed by loss and damage related to climate change should be able to seek compensation to rehabilitate their societies (ideally to pre-anthropogenic climate change conditions). AOSIS has articulated this proposition since the early 1990s, framing it as a kind of “insurance policy” against a wide range of climate change impacts. The early focus of those promoting some form of compensation was on cautioning high emitting countries about the financial consequences of not curbing their emissions (e.g. polluter pays principle). The specter of liability and possibly needing to pay unsaid amounts of money to compensate “sinking island states” or other countries facing a range of catastrophic climate-related impacts made this strand of arguments quite controversial. Human migration and displacement were not mentioned in official texts at this time, but AOSIS and other allies emphasized that sea level rise due to the relative climate change (which can lead to displacement) could drastically change the existence of low-lying countries and was politically unacceptable.

Figure 1: Post-Bali shift from compensation towards risk management/technical approach

A range of possible outcomes including human migration and displacement, glacial melt, desertification, etc. were framed as “negative” and beyond the realm of adaptation. Avoidance was the only acceptable approach, and some Par-


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration ties (least developed countries, AOSIS, and other vulnerable countries) championed the what is called the 1.5 degree Celsius goal (1.5 degrees Celsius is considered by scientists to be the upper limit, beyond which parts of the current climate system would break down and become dangerous or unmanageable for human society).

ver the issue of loss and damage out of the process; however, those who were skeptical needed to build consensus with the mass of countries that are anticipated to experience loss and damage in the future. By the Copenhagen climate talks (Dec. 2009), leaders of industrialized countries pledged resources “approaching” 30 billion USD for fast-track financing by 2012, and 100 billion USD per annum from 2020 onwards. The issue was how to move away from the compensation / liability strand of discussion to some other framing of adaptation which would be in harmony with the emerging institutional infrastructure around climate finance and governance.

Adaptation: Pragmatic approach to understand, facilitate good practice in site-specific ways By 2007, the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientific and policy discussions had firmly laid the case that there would be need for a focus on mitigation to be accompanied by a focus on adaptation in the UNFCCC negotations. This realization contributed to discussions about the need for adaptation finance and other activities that would help countries (particularly those most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change) to acclimatize to the altering global climate changes.

Institutional interests and the dynamics of human mobility in UNFCCC negotiations As discussed above, the second line of argument (focusing on adaptation) became a dominant discourse following COP 13 in Bali, Indonesia in 2007, and was strengthened by the realization in Copenhagen that a comprehensive and a internationally binding legal agreement was a more complex endeavor than perhaps originally anticipated. In this context, migration and displacement entered the discussion through particular strategic interests and via organizations with observer status in the negotiations. This section explores the institutional interests and dynamics of the human mobility issue in the UNFCCC negotiations to date. This section will also review the positions of the major negotiating blocks.

Thus by the 2007 COP in Bali, Indonesia, an action plan emerged to include adaptation in, what was at the time planned to be, a road towards an internationally binding agreement before the end of the first commitment period (2008-2012) of the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto principle of “common but differentiated responsibility” emphasized that every country – whether industrialized or developing – had a role in addressing adaptation.

Building the Case for Migration & Displacement in the UNFCCC Policy Process

Although the Bali Action Plan contained an entire section about (disaster) risk management and loss and damage associated with climate change, possible association with compensation or liability triggered much discomfort for industrialized Parties. Some Parties tried to subsume this section into other sections, others suggested cutting it from the discussions, and some avoided any discussions related to proposals around compensation for loss and damage. This strategy required delicate steps, as adaptation in the lead up to Bali subsequently gained momentum, particularly among many G-77 Parties1 and China whose agreement would be necessary for any progress in adopting a legally binding agreement in Copenhagen at COP15. It was intended that adaptation would receive funding, and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities was repeatedly invoked. Parties suspicious of “compensation” may have wanted to maneu-

The entry point of migration and displacement as a specific topic into the UNFCCC climate negotiations was, arguably, research driven. The issue has been mentioned in speeches for quite a while, thus one may wonder if the origin of the discussion was political or science driven. However, other issues have similarly appeared in political speeches, but have not become articulated in documents like the Cancun Adaptation Framework. One explanation is that two groups – research and observer organizations with an institutional interest in positioning the issue – supported delegate dialogue and the positioning of a sub-paragraph in what became the Cancun Adaptation Framework.


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration Research findings based on field observations were starting to be published more widely from 2007 onwards. During the course of 2007 and 2008, the Environmental Change and Forced Migration Scenarios Project (EACH-FOR), supported by the European Commission, was conducting its 23 case studies worldwide. The EACH-FOR and related research findings were first reported in a submission to the UNFCCC in August 2008 at the Accra, Ghana session of the AWG-LCA (UNU 2008; UNFCCC 2008 MISC 3). Around this time, Parties were gearing up under AWG-LCA to approach a variety of adaptation issues, and, as a result, they were receptive to research-supported submissions that shed light on issues about migration and displacement that they would be considering in the UNFCCC context. Research which delivered region-specific case studies and related analysis allowed decision makers to see the relevance of the issue for their own country, further underscoring the relevance of including migration and displacement in the draft negotiating text. The research provided a base of evidence to sustain the interest after COP14 when the issue had already been included in the assembly text.

crop of systematic investigation and case studies on environmental change and migration began to be published (Massey 2007; Kniveton et al. 2008; Jäger et al. 2009; Warner et al. 2009b). These studies were complemented by methodological and conceptual development, as well as analyses of policy implications (Zetter 2008; Graeme 2008; Piguet 2009; Laczko and Aghazarm (eds.) 2009; Martin 2010; Leighton 2010; Collinson 2010; Martin, P. 2010; Martin, S.F. 2010a and b; Warnecke et al. 2010; Narusova et al. 2010; Warner 2010). Today several projects in different phases of completion continue to expand the knowledge base and provide a more refined understanding of how environmental factors, including current weather extremes and potential long-term changes in climatic systems, affect migration and displacement. The IPCC plans a sub-chapter on the topic in its fifth assessment report which will appear in 2014 (Chapter 13, WG2). The topic will also be addressed in several other chapters, particularly regional chapters, and recognize climate change as a crosscutting issue. Other work has documented frequently asked questions about migration and displacement in the context of environmental change, reflecting the current state of knowledge (Narusova et al. 2010). Similarly, other research has documented some of the major gaps in knowledge and potential methods in bridging these inadequacies (Piguet 2008 and 2010; Stal and Warner 2009; Warner et al. 2009b).

From 2009 onwards, new developments helped sustain the message that migration and displacement were important topics for adaptation. These included the emergence of new review efforts like the UK Foresight project; a host of workshops and international conferences on the topic including several notable workshops on migration and displacement; the approval of new field research projects funded by governments and foundations; a high level panel on climate change and migration at the Global Forum on Migration and Development (Martin and Warner 2010), and a higher profile in the chapter structures of the IPCC´s upcoming 5th assessment report (WG2 Ch. 13 and regional chapters will make particular mention of migration and displacement).

The role of the humanitarian community and advocacy The humanitarian community played an important role in the discussions on migration and displacement following COP13 in Bali, for example through the activities of the InterAgency Standing Committee Task Force on Climate Change. The task force became active in 2008 and included organizations involved in implementation, research networks, and advocacy. These efforts soon bridged applied research with the advocacy activities of the IASC on behalf of those organizations with a mandate to address migration and displacement, and more broadly the needs of vulnerable people. This brought an additional element of legitimacy: The humanitarian community sent a coordinated signal to Parties that the findings of research on migration and displacement were relevant to their policy concerns, and that operational organizations could support Parties with expertise and experience in managing migration and displacement.

Specific references to environmental change and migration began appearing in the scientific literature several decades ago, with occasional papers in the 1970s and 1980s (El Hinnawi 1985) growing into more regular mentions of the issue throughout the 1990s (Lonergran 1998, Homer-Dixon 1999). Major scientific reviews such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have included mentions of environmentally induced migration since its first assessment report in 1990 (IPCC 1990). The empirical base of investigations began to accelerate in the mid- to late 2000s as a

The IASC’s informal group on climate change and displace-


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration ment coordinated wider participation including UN as well as other international and civil society organizations concerned with migration and displacement. The IASC Task Force had a coordinator who provided outreach to interested organizations from the humanitarian and disaster risk management community, as well as a wide array of civil society organizations with the UNFCCC process. The IASC´s coordination and an active sub-group dedicated to the theme ensured that joint statements, submissions to the UNFCCC (UNU 2008; ILO 2008; IOM et al. 2009, UNHCR 2009a, UNHCR 2009b ; UNHCR and IASC 2009, IASC 2009,), joint activities outside of the UNFCCC, and networking supported Parties in their questions about migration and displacement.

as a further awareness raising avenue for civil society with UNFCCC delegates and others.2 Analysis of migration, displacement & relocation in UNFCCC decisions This section analyses how migration and displacement became a topic of discussion among negotiating Parties, finally appearing in the Cancun Adaptation Framework as a subparagraph (para 14(f)) of a set of activities deemed to be “adaptive” and which could be considered fund-able. This section analyses the text placement and significance of paragraph 14(f) of the Cancun adaptation Framework, and the catalytic role of the UNFCCC in the development of international cooperation on climate-induced displacement and existing synergies with other international fora.

A few of the sub-group members had a consistent presence at all of the of the climate sessions from Bali onwards, which allowed them to build and sustain a dialogue with delegates around human migration and displacement. This dialogue provided for a way for researchers and the humanitarian community to understand Party needs and questions on the topic. Members of the sub-group coordinated side events, policy briefings, bilateral meetings with Parties, and joint publications for virtually all of the climate negotiating sessions from 2008 until December 2010 (COP16). This ensured a constant flow of information and messages to Parties, giving delegates sufficient opportunity to evaluate the validity and relevance of including migration and displacement in the UNFCCC process. The network was able to establish regular communication with the UNFCCC secretariat, to understand the process and windows of opportunity to support Parties with information. Network members offered written contributions to the Secretary General´s team writing the special report on climate change and security. This brought the opportunity to highlight migration and displacement in that report; in turn the report was featured at the 64th UN General Assembly in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate talks (UN General Assembly 2009a). World leaders noted the links and made reference to climate change and human mobility in several speeches (UN General Assembly 2009b). IASC and members of the sub-group on migration and displacement also coordinated with the Climate Action Network (CAN), a group of active civil society organizations in the UNFCCC process. This ensured that CAN was aware of the larger messages from research and operational humanitarian organizations concerned with human mobility. Because of the extensive communication networks of CAN, this coordination served

From Bali to Poznan: Establishing topic, supporting delegates with research findings Adaptation was firmly established as a focus of the UNFCCC climate negotiations by the time of COP 13 in Bali. This session created the Bali Action Plan which laid out the elements of adaptation which might be considered in an international climate agreement. For example, COP13 resulted in the adoption of the Bali Road Map, which included the Bali Action Plan (see FCCC/CP/2007/6/Add.1 * (Decision 1/CP.13)). The Bali Action Plan charted the course for a new negotiating process designed to tackle climate change, with the aim of completing this by 2009 (UNFCCC 2007, p. 3). It created the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), a subsidiary body intended to prepare the ground for a climate agreement to succeed (or complement) the Kyoto Protocol. At the time, it was anticipated that the AWG-LCA`s mandate would be completed by COP15 in 2009, and that the elements of adaptation would be securely anchored in an international agreement (UNFCCC 2008, para 24). Between COP13 (Bali) and COP14 (Poznan), the tasks of the AWG-LCA and its contact groups was to explore in greater detail the proposals from Parties and Observers on elements for “enhanced action on adaptation and mitigation and the associated enabling and supporting actions” (UNFCCC 2007, para 2 and annex 1). During this time, the UNFCCC accepted submissions from both Parties and Observers, in order to begin identifying


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration concrete common elements for an agreed outcome to be reached at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP). After 30th of September 2008, the UNFCCC accepted submissions from Parties only (UNFCCC 2008, para 19): “The AWG-LCA, at its third session, invited the Chair to prepare, under his own responsibility, a document assembling the ideas and proposals presented by Parties on the elements contained in paragraph 1 of the Bali Action Plan, taking into account the ideas and proposals presented by accredited observer organizations. In preparation of this document, the Chair has relied on the written submissions received by 30 September 2008 in response to the invitations contained in the Bali Action Plan, and in the conclusions of the first and second sessions of the AWG-LCA, as well as the presentations made the in-session workshops. The Chair was further requested to update the document before the end of the fourth session based on submissions received after 30 September 2008 and the ideas and proposals put forward during that session”.

posed additions and modifications. In the June 2009 SBs and LCA meetings in Bonn, Jonathan Pershing (Head of Delegation, US) expressed concern in the opening plenary about the use of the term “climate refugee” in the draft text. However, since his statement there have been no other public records of Party objections or concerns about the inclusion of the issue in the UNFCCC negotiations text. The UNFCCC noted Pershing´s recommendation and revised the wording around migration and displacement which was then carried forward in discussions from Bangkok and Barcelona in the autumn of 2009 to Copenhagen´s COP15 in December 2009. The text which bears the closest resemblance to paragraph 14(f) of the Cancun Adaptation Framework emerged from delegate work in Copenhagen (see for a description of the process between March 2008 and COP 16). In the busy and high-pressure COP15 negotiations in Copenhagen, UNFCCC delegates to the AWG-LCA continued working on elements of a broader adaptation framework, which at the time still included the key words “migration and displacement”. Towards the end of the second week, Cutajar handed over the results from the AWG-LCA—a text still containing brackets, and not yet, in a state where the COP15 Presidency would discuss it with over 120 Heads of State assembled at COP15. The mandate for further work under the AWG-LCA then closed. Nevertheless, in part because of the general atmosphere of process malfunction at COP15, AWG-LCA delegates continued to meet and work on the draft negotiating text on adaptation. They had discussions on migration and displacement at this crucial time, and it was here that Parties again had the chance to discard the issue or move it forward. During those drafting sessions, some Parties suggested that an array of themes be added into a paragraph on migration and displacement such as: human rights, ‘mother earth,’ climate justice, compensation to vulnerable people, and other items of importance to particular Parties were proposed for inclusion.

From 2008 to 2010: moving migration and displacement into negotiating text For the Poznan session (COP14, Dec. 2008), AWG-LCA Chair Michael Zammit Cutajar had compiled an assembly text from all the submissions between Bali (COP13) and September 30, 2008 (UNFCCC 2009, annexes 8 and 16). The assembly document mentioned migration for the first time, reflecting submissions by applied research and the humanitarian community (UNFCCC 2009, annex 16 para 63(g), para 112(f) and (h)). Many issues that were mentioned in the initial assembly text as well as during the period of refining that text on the road to Copenhagen were edited out, consolidated, or removed by Parties for various reasons. A proposal by AOSIS (AOSIS 2008) on an international climate insurance facility included references to longer-term processes that might include population displacement if rigorous measures were not taken to reduce green house gas emissions and keep atmospheric concentrations of GHGs below 350ppm (approximately a 1.5 degree C scenario).

However, concerns were raised that the paragraph was becoming “loaded down” with issues where Party views and positions diverged, and that it would be difficult to include a paragraph on migration and displacement if it were couched in these terms. Ironically, although the protection of human rights and the needs of vulnerable people is the central aim of many humanitarian activities, inclusion of these issues in

From COP14 2008 onwards, migration maintained its presence in the draft negotiating text. During the sixth AWGLCA session in June 2009, Parties provided general comments on its structure and content of the LCA text, stated reservations and objections to elements of the text, and pro-


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration the sub-paragraph could have been liabilities to the very inclusion of migration and displacement in the Copenhagen outcomes. In those hours and days at the end of COP15, Parties consulted informally with experts present at COP15 and colleagues in respective national ministries, and decided that it was significantly important to include migration and displacement. Compromises were made among Parties regarding the placement of other issues (such as placing human rights in the perambulatory text as a principle), and the wording discussed in Section 4 below became anchored in what later was accepted as the outcome text from COP15 (FCCC/CP/2010/2):

text signaled to donors that investment was needed around the knowledge base and exchange of views on migration and displacement. Only time will tell whether this hypothesis is borne out, but it is expected that governments and other organizations could be more favorable to supporting activities to better understanding human mobility in the context of climate change because the UNFCCC policy process has provided a high degree of legitimacy to the topic by including it in draft negotiating text coming out of Copenhagen. Various drafts in the lead-up to COP15 saw migration and displacement in different locations in the emerging text. At one point it was in a section on trans-boundary issues, later it was a stand-alone paragraph, and finally, it was bundled with the list of emerging activities that could be considered for adaptation funding support (finally reflected in the Cancun Adaptation Framework). The positions reflected different weights of the issue and how (and whether) migration and displacement would appear at all in the discussions.

4. Invites all Parties to enhance adaptation action under the Copenhagen Adaptation Framework [for Implementation] taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances, [and whereby developing country Parties shall be supported by developed country Parties and in accordance with paragraph 6 below], to undertake, inter alia:

However, to flag it as a trans-boundary issue and bundle it with possibly difficult issues like resource management may have meant migration and displacement would be cast in a controversial light or one that touched upon the compensation strand discussed above. To have it as a stand-alone paragraph might not have been justified by the current knowledge base, and it could similarly have called more attention to the issue. Placing it as a subparagraph in a wider adaptation framework allowed Parties to acknowledge that displacement, migration, and planned relocation may be part of adaptation discussions in the future, but framed this and the many other topics in paragraph 4 in the draft Copenhagen text (later paragraph 14) as technical, rather than political.

(f) Measures to enhance understanding, coordination and cooperation related to national, regional and international climate change induced displacement, migration and planned relocation, where appropriate; This paragraph included a longer list of activities that could be considered “adaptation”. It had at least two major implications. First, one of the aims in Copenhagen was to define a broad adaptation framework to help guide future work. The sub-paragraph on migration and displacement was put in this context – not as one of controversy (bracketed text was resisted) or compensation, but one of pragmatic adaptation. This placement in the text laid the basis for activities down the road in research, policy, and practice.

Migration and displacement in the Cancun Adaptation Framework and its aftermath The COP15 process created text whose legal status was under discussion because of the unique circumstances and process during COP15 (the COP “noted” the Copenhagen Accord, but did not recognize it immediately as agreed upon text). This shaped the strategy and discussions for 2010, in areas such as adaptation where it was considered that the text had progressed. The strategy that emerged early in 2010 was to keep those sections of the AWG-LCA text where consensus had been reached (most areas of adaptation) not to be

Second, paragraph 4 created a list of activities that might qualify either for adaptation-related funding or what donors might interpret as “countable” towards their commitments to help finance adaptation to climate change. One of the important outcomes of the Copenhagen Accord was a commitment by industrialized countries to provide fast start finance of up to 30 billion USD by 2012, and 100 billion or more per year by 2020. Inclusion of a sub-paragraph in this con-


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration opened up for re-drafting and discussion. Instead AWG-LCA chair Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe took the approach of focusing on the key questions and themes where answers were needed for progress towards Cancun. This meant that, among other items, migration and displacement were not opened up for discussion until Tianjin, immediately preceding the Cancun COP.

categories of national, regional, and international environmentally induced migrants. Subsequently, the new chair text for Tianjin changed slightly in paragraph 4(f) to the following (new text underlined) (UNFCCC 2010, Aug. 13): “Measures to enhance understanding, coordination and cooperation with regard to climate change induced displacement, migration and planned relocation, where appropriate, at national, regional and international levels;”

Another trend in 2010 was a decline in activity by many advocacy groups around humanitarian issues, as many waited for signals about the future of the UNFCCC process and assessed whether energy was best spent in operational activities instead. This may have been due to the fact that although, from the narrow perspective of this paper, Copenhagen resulted in some concrete progress in content and commitment (such as to longer-term climate finance), the world perceived COP15 as having fallen short in reaching its goals. These two elements had the (side) effect that the actual wording and content of the paragraph on adaptation did not change significantly throughout the year, and with it, migration and displacement was securely inside the “package” of text where few brackets existed (IASC 2010). In June, negotiators continued discussing informally on issues such as loss and damage. These informal discussions bolstered a growing sentiment that much more needed to be understood about the potential consequences of both extreme events and longer-term foreseeable impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise and desertification, all of which have implications for migration and displacement.

These changes created an interesting text structure around types of measures, types of human mobility, and expected levels where measures may be implemented. The new wording was important because it signaled to decision makers that migration and displacement have different forms and will require different types of policy approaches. The new order of wording also clarified that coordination and cooperation for migration and discplacement could occur at national, regional, and international levels. By way of comparison, in December 2008 at the Poznan talks, the assembly text referred only to “migration and displacement”, in the June 2009 AWG-LCA draft text the term “climate refugees” (prompting objections by one Party about terminology). By Copenhagen, the terminology was “climate change induced displacement, migration and planned relocation”. And finally by Tianjin the text took its present, more differentiated form, where different kinds of measures (research, coordination, cooperation), as well as types of mobility (displacement, migration, planned relocation), and levels (national, regional, international) of mobility were articulated. The very inclusion of a full sub-paragraph devoted to migration and displacement highlighted the importance for action, but the framing of the sub-paragraph gave Parties many sensible options for beginning to think about (and undertake activities to address) the issue.

Following the discussions in Bonn in June and August 2010, the AWG-LCA Chair released a new text for delegates to work with in Tianjin, China—the last session to work out areas still in question before Cancun. After the challenges experienced at COP15 and calling into question the efficacy of climate negotiations in a UN forum, there was pressure to create a package of balanced outcomes for Cancun, which would not be too ambitious, however, they would deliver concrete-enough results to restore faith in the UNFCCC process. In this context, delegates focused increasingly on what kinds of elements could be included in a possible Cancun Adaptation Framework. Additionally, a change in the migration text from Tianjin should be noted. The earlier wording, which cited “national, regional and international climate change induced displacement, migration and planned relocation”, could have been interpreted as referring to separate

Discussions between various Parties in Tianjin confirmed that the new wording suggested by the Chair was acceptable, and that the issue was important, but not controversial in terms of what was being asked: voluntary measures to enhance understanding, coordination and cooperation. While the topic of migration and displacement itself has the potential to be divisive, the way that it had been couched and presented to UNFCCC delegates (voluntary, not embedded in normative language, not linked to contentious issues)


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration relocation, where appropriate, at national, regional and international levels;

prepared the grounds for its inclusion. Delegates informally expressed the view that this particular sub-paragraph would therefore likely go through Cancun without major revisions. Finally, at COP16, Parties decided to accept the draft text containing several key elements for adaptation including the Cancun Adaptation Framework, including paragraph 14(f) on migration and displacement: Paragraph 14(f) reads as follows:

With adoption of specific language on displacement, migration and planned relocation, attention in 2011 turned to implementation. The negotiations in Durban (COP 17) in December 2011 provided three notable milestones in climate change agreements. First, in spite of low expectations, COP17 achieved a roadmap towards a legally binding international agreement. Second, it was able to secure a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol. Third, and most notable in terms of the migration related issues, COP17 achieved a series of key decisions to operationalize the Cancun Agreements, including financing for adaptation, arrangements for the Adaptation Committee, and others.

14. Invites all Parties to enhance action on adaptation under the Cancun Adaptation Framework, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances, by undertaking, inter alia, the following:

Figure 2 demonstrates potential next steps in operationalizing the agreement on displacement, migration and relocation.

(f) Measures to enhance understanding, coordination and cooperation with regard to climate change induced displacement, migration and planned

Figure 2: Possible types of measures that could emerge related to para 14(f )

Enhanced understanding will likely be an activity happening at national, regional, and international levels. If the current

pattern continues, it is likely that funding for building the empirical base (research, case studies, etc) will come from bi-


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration lateral sources as individual countries call for specific studies and dialogue (conferences, meetings). This has already been the case with the Nansen Conference hosted by Norway in June 2011 (focused on climate induced displacement), which led to several research projects supported by various European and Asian governments and organizations. Regional and international dialogue about research findings are also expected, particularly with the 2014 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC which will feature at least one chapter reviewing migration and displacement in the context of adaptation to climate change. It is expected that coordination efforts on displacement will continue along current humanitarian organization lines, through the UN cluster approach and under the auspices of disaster risk management. These will likely continue to be financed through humanitarian assistance channels, at least in the short term. Coordination efforts will happen at all levels, but particularly at the regional and national levels. Coordination on voluntary migration is less clear, but may begin to be discussed at international and regional levels. Individual countries may chose to address whether tools like Temporary Protection Status (TPS) may be broadened or altered to include a variety of environmental processes beyond natural disasters (typically rapid onset events). Planned relocation is possibly the least developed area of coordination at this point, but will likely emerge in the medium term as countries begin thinking through potential consequences of mitigation and adaptation projects which may require population relocation. These kinds of coordination measures will be needed at regional and national levels, and at the international level guiding principles may be needed (such as those now available for development project-related relocation). International expert discussions have already begun on the topic (such as two Bellagio roundtables in 2010 and 2011) with additional discussions likely to continue under a planned UNHCR-Georgetown University series of consultations funded by the MacArthur Foundation on guiding principles and effective practices in responding to a range of humanitarian crises that generate displacement. In the medium to longer term, when human mobility related to climatic change is expected to become more apparent, operational cooperation will be needed at the national and regional level to manage flows of people. Where movements (displacement, migration, relocation) are internal, cross-

ministry national cooperation and capacity building may be needed. These kinds of activities may be funded through existing bilateral channels or potentially through the emerging climate finance architecture. Where movements occur in border areas, regional cooperation may be necessary. Examples of regional labour migration agreements may be models for the future, but may take some time to design and implement. Global Forum on Migration and Development Background to the GFMD Multilateral discussions of migration are a recent phenomenon. The UN first dealt at some length with the need for international cooperation regarding migration in the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo. The ICPD produced a 20-year Plan of Action. The emphasis in Cairo was on how developing countries could accelerate development to make emigration unnecessary, with the cooperation of industrial countries via “financial assistance, reassessment of commercial and tariff relations, increased access to world markets and steppedup efforts … to create a domestic framework for sustainable economic growth with an emphasis on job creation.” The migration section of its Plan of Action began with the assertion that all governments “should seek to make the option of remaining in one’s country viable for all people.”3 Following the ICPD, there was a split among States regarding the benefits and value of convening a conference on international migration and development, with many reluctant to engage in consultations at the global level. States had long been wary of putting international migration on the international agenda, as the topic infringes on the notions of sovereignty. As an issue that almost defines sovereignty - who enters and remains on a State’s territory - international migration tends to inspire protection of national prerogatives and unilateral action. Despite States’ ongoing hesitations, efforts toward global discussion of international migration ultimately got underway. The Berne Initiative, launched by the Swiss government in 2001, was “a States-owned consultative process with the goal of obtaining better management of migration at the regional and global level through co-operation between States. As a


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration process, the Berne Initiative enabled governments from all world regions to share their different policy priorities and identify their longer-term interests in migration, and offers the opportunity of developing a common orientation to migration management, based on notions of co-operation, partnership, comprehensiveness, balance and predictability.”4 Through regional and international consultations, the Berne Initiative developed an International Agenda for Migration Management, which includes a “common understandings for the management of international migration” and “Effective Practices for a Planned, Balanced, and Comprehensive Approach to Management of Migration.” While the Berne Initiative was completing its activities, the Global Commission for International Migration (GCIM) was launched. Organized at the request of the UN Secretary General and with the financial support of Switzerland and Sweden, it was mandated to “provide the framework of a coherent, comprehensive and global response to the issue of international migration”.5 The Commission brought together 19 leaders from source, transit and destination countries. The Commissioners engaged in a consensus building initiative, holding regional consultations, engaging the expertise of researchers, and consulting with governments on the contentious issues on its agenda. The Commission extolled the benefits of bilateral and regional cooperation before getting into the thornier issues of international cooperation. The Commission was launched at least partially to help the Secretary General determine what forms of international cooperation made most sense and what role the United Nations should play in the migration arena. The Commission laid out a two-phase reform process. In the long term, a fundamental overhaul would be required to bring together the disparate migration-related functions of the UN into a single organization but in the short-term, the Commission recommended improved coordination among UN and other international organizations. Unresolved were the mechanisms for enhanced dialogue and cooperation among States at the international level. Governments continued to disagree as to whether such discussions should be within or outside the UN multilateral framework. The 2005 UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development was to move the discussions on this issue forward. The HLD indeed provided an opportunity for States to

outline their preferred approach to inter-state consultation. Most often, the States heralded the need for, in the words of the Irish representative or “the establishment of … a forum which would be nonbureaucratic, open-ended, state owned, consultative and non-decision making and would provide a framework for continued dialogue on challenges which face all our societies in the areas of migration and development.”6 In other words, many States agreed that need exists for the continuation of high-level dialogue, but they generally opposed a formal consultative mechanism within the United Nations itself. GFMD has proceeded as a State-owned process, relying primarily on governments to plan and execute the forum. The past, present and future countries that host the GFMD forum a troika in preparing for the annual meeting. The host country assumes responsibility for the preparatory process and the implementation of each Forum, chairing all preparatory meetings and the Forum itself. The host is assisted by coChairs from the country that organized the previous Forum and, once a decision is made about the next Forum, from the country that has agreed to host it in the following year. A Steering Group is composed of governments that are actively engaged in the preparations. It is balanced between developed and developing countries and includes representatives from all regions. It meets at regular intervals to provide advice on all “relevant policy issues pertaining to the smooth running of the Forum process.” The Steering Group provides substantive input into the agenda of the Forum, the various roundtables, and the materials disseminated to participants. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on International Migration and Development is invited to participate in Steering Committee meetings but is not a member of the group. The Friends of the Forum is open to all State members and observers of the United Nations. Additionally, specialized agencies of the UN and other international organizations participate as observers. The Friends of the Forum provides an opportunity to keep potential participants in the Forum up-to-date on preparations and to receive input on the substance of the deliberations. There is a parallel process for organizing Civil Society Days, discussions by academia, rights organizations, migrant organizations, private sector, labor unions, and others in the 1 and 1/2 days prior to the government discussions. Moreover, before the official start


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration of the GFMD government meetings is a common space for discussion by government officials and civil society representatives of issues of mutual concern. A recurring area of discussion at all GFMDs has been enhancing policy and institutional coherence and promoting partnerships, with sessions on latest initiatives and progress for measuring migration and development-related impacts; coherent policy planning and methodology to link migration and development; and regional consultative processes on migration and development. After discussing policy coherence, on the one hand, and data and research, on the other, in separate roundtables in Brussels, the issues were brought together in Manila into one roundtable. The participants recommended establishing a working group that would help governments to identify the evidence base for developing more coherent migration and development policies. The working group hosted a preparatory workshop for the discussions in Mexico that examined models for evaluating and assessing the impact of migration and development policies and programs on migrants, countries of origin, and countries of destination. Much of the work of the Forum is organized around Roundtables. The first four GFMDs, roundtables have focused on a wide range of issues that link migration and development. Some issues came up for repeat discussion while others tend to be raised because of the host countries particular interests or because of such pressing events, such as the global financial crisis that could not be ignored. Issues addressed across roundtables in different venues included: •

Human capital development and labor mobility: maximizing opportunities and minimizing risks, with sessions on highly skilled migration, particularly between developing and developed countries; temporary labor migration and its contribution to development, the role of the private sector and other non-state agencies in temporary labor migration; and how circular migration and sustainable return can serve as development tools.

Remittances and other diaspora resources: increasing their net volume and developmental impact, with sessions on increasing the beneficial effects of these migrant resources (reducing the costs of, and formalizing, remittance transfers); increasing the micro impacts of remit-

tances; leveraging the macro impacts of remittances; and strengthening diaspora contributions to development. •

Rights of migrants: this roundtable had two subsections— protecting the rights of migrants and empowering migrants and diasporas to contribute to development.

Increasing legal admission options and reducing irregular migration: in Manila, this roundtable began with a normative statement that securing , legal migration can achieve stronger development impacts. The sub-sessions focused on fostering more opportunities for legal migration and managing migration to reduce the negative impacts of irregular migration. Similar themes were pursued in Athens, where particular focus was given to reducing the costs of international migration to increase the development payoffs. Circular migration also received attention as a model for managing labor flows. These themes are also on the Mexico agenda, with focus on reducing irregular migration and enhancing prospects for legal admissions.

Integration and reintegration of migrants: in Athens, roundtables looked at the extent to which offering options for integration of labor migrants in destination countries improved their working and living conditions while also positioning them to contribute to their home country either through financial or social remittances or eventual return.7

Working papers are prepared for each roundtable session, and a number of specialized surveys of government policies and practices have been undertaken to support the discussions. Some of the papers are prepared by government officials and others are commissioned by experts. Generally, a developed and developing country chair each of the roundtable sessions, overseeing preparations for the discussions that would take place when all of the governments are present at the GFMD. The roundtable preparation process, by my observation, serves as a confidence building role in its own right as governments bring different perspectives into the discussions about the papers while weighing which ones are sufficiently based on evidence to merit inclusion in the final paper. The GFMD process had no resources, however, to ensure that requests for assistance from source countries for technical assistance, training or operational programs are


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration met, demonstrating a gap in the process of moving from consultation to action. The issue of climate change and migration came up at the third round of GFMD discussions. There were two brief references to climate change in the report of the Civil Society Days in Athens. Roundtable 1, in discussing the root causes of migration, recommended “Send[ing] a clear message from the GFMD to the Copenhagen Conference on climate change that the threats to and interests of migrants and potential migrants should be high on the policy agenda of the conference.” Roundtable 3, in discussing data, research and policy coherence, noted “Climate change must increasingly be taken into consideration in the context of both migration and development.” The Government GFMD discussions struck a similar tone, recommending that policy makers “Give serious consideration to the impact of climate change on migration and to joint efforts to face this challenge” and referred to the need for “mainstreaming and integrating migration into development planning processes, including … National Adaptation Plans of Action concerning climate change (NAPAs).” Climate Change and Migration at the Puerto Vallarta GFMD When the government of Mexico assumed leadership of the GFMD discussions for 2010, they proposed putting the issue of climate change, migration and development more firmly on the agenda in a roundtable of its own. Responsibility for the government roundtable was assumed by the United Kingdom and Bangladesh, with support from Chile, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, Mauritius, Mexico, Switzerland and IOM. The background paper was written by Ronald Skeldon of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) with input from Susan Martin at Georgetown University. Martin with Koko Warner also wrote the background paper for the parallel discussions that took place during the Civil Society Days. After presenting a review of the literature on climate change and its impact on migration, the background paper laid out a set of questions for discussion: i. How can the quality of data and research on climate change, migration and development be improved and

what should future priorities be? ii. What can countries learn from National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) and Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies (DRRs) and their integration into national development planning? How can migration be included in such frameworks? iii. What can be done to manage risks in vulnerable zones and communicate information to populations who may be at risk, as well as contingency planning for the possibility of relocation or resettlement? What are the implications for development policy? iv. What are the key challenges for migration and development policy in destination countries? Are there ways in which adaptation support could be provided to countries where climate change is gradual and people have time to plan how to respond, for example, through temporary migration programmes? v. How best can the international community assist the most vulnerable countries, especially the poorest among them, to address climate-induced displacement of populations? vi. How could governments and other stakeholders strengthen consultations on policy challenges and solutions related to climate-induced migration? Unlike the UNFCCC discussions, the GFMD results in rapporteur reports and not negotiated text of an agreement. Nevertheless, the rapporteur generally seeks to report on areas in which there was a great deal of consensus. The rapporteur’s report on the climate change, migration and development discussions touched on the following four major points: a) Data and Analysis The discussions acknowledged conceptual difficulties and lack of empirical data but recognized that “this is an area deemed too important to ignore (GFMD 2010).” The roundtable emphasized the need to collect data and bring them together on a continuous and systematic basis. b) Geographical scale


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration The UK paper had made the now common assertion that most displacement from climate change is likely to be internal (that is, within the borders of the affected countries) indicating that discussions of climate change and migration might be of relatively less importance for a forum that focuses primarily on international migration. Representatives of small island states immediately countered this assertion, pointing out that there is no interior in many of their countries to which affected populations could resort in the face of rising sea levels.

up on the discussions: “1. In order to expedite data and analysis exchange and sharing, first experiences and best practices are of the utmost importance. A virtual library may be a useful way of sharing this information. 2. A need exists to strengthen the dialogue at local, regional and global level on the interconnections on climate change and migration. RT participants welcomed and encouraged future discussions on this issue in the context of the Global Forum.

The rapporteur report acknowledged that geography and size do matter in developing responses to climate change displacement. “Small island countries are different: for them internal migration is not an option (GFMD 2010).” Thus a need to develop this topic at local, regional and global level was acknowledged. As one representative very eloquently put it, “climate change does not stop at borders.” c) Migration and Climate Change as a Multi-Sectoral Issue The discussions recognized that these issues crosscut different areas, “not the least of which food and water security, the basic factors of life.” The roundtable emphasized the need to discuss migration and displacement from climate change in multiple forums, including the UNFCCC, and to integrate these issues into National Adaptation Programmes of Action, (NAPAs) and Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies (DRRs) and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers.

3. The need to begin discussions as to the appropriate legal and institutional arrangements to address these important issues was recognized (GFMD 2010).” Follow-Up in Geneva Although climate change and migration was not on the agenda of the 2011 GFMD concluding debate in Geneva, there were side meetings on the topic at both the government meeting and Civil Society Days that kept the issue alive. Most notably, the UK government presented its report on Migration and Global Environmental Change, prepared under the supervision of the office of the Chief Scientific Adviser. The most authoritative study done to date on the impact of environmental drivers on migration, the report concluded: Environmental change will affect migration now and in the future, specifically through its influence on a range of economic, social and political drivers which themselves affect migration. However, the range and complexity of the interactions between these drivers means that it will rarely be possible to distinguish individuals for whom environmental factors are the sole driver (‘environmental migrants’). Nonetheless there are potentially grave implications of future environmental change for migration, for individuals and policy makers alike, requiring a strategic approach to policy which acknowledges the opportunities provided by migration in certain situations (Foresight 2011:6).

d) Legal and institutional arrangements The roundtable consensus was that new instruments and institutional arrangements were needed to tackle the complex issues arising from climate change induced migration and displacement, but it was recognized that binding agreements are the result of complex negotiations. The rapporteur’s report indicated: “One must deal with complex issues, such as development, migration, humanitarian issues, and climate change which are interconnected, while at the same time trying to achieve as well policy coherence in all of them (GFMD 2010).” In keeping with the nonbinding nature of the discussions, the roundtable recommended the following ways to follow

Also unveiled at the GFMD was a new statement by the Global Migration Group (GMG), responsible for coordinating the activities of 14 UN agencies, the World Bank and the


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration International Organization for Migration. The GMG recommended: •

To adopt gender-sensitive, human rights- and human development-oriented measures to improve the livelihoods of those exposed to the effects of climate change and increase their resilience, in order to counter the need for involuntary movements.

To pay particular attention to the human rights situation of all people affected by the consequences of climate change, regardless of their legal status: international human rights law, including the fundamental principle of non-discrimination, as well as specific instruments such as the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, should guide States’ action towards people who are displaced as a result of environmental factors.

To explore the complex interrelations between climate change and human mobility in order to collect data, develop expertise and build capacity to address this challenge, and to achieve close cooperation between the climate and social sciences communities to this end.

To address the migration impacts of both sudden and slow-onset effects of climate change.

To recognize migration as an adaptation strategy to environmental risks and to make migration an option available to the most vulnerable. Immigration policies could take into account environmental factors in the likelihood of cross-border movement and consider opening new opportunities for legal migration.

To assist the least-developed countries in responding to climate change by mainstreaming migration and mobility in national adaptation plans.

To incorporate the relationship between climate change and migration in Poverty Reduction Strategies and national development strategies (GMG 2011).

The statement also concluded that “In the long term, States may wish to review existing legal instruments and policy framework to identify possible new solutions to the situation of those who move in relation to climate change (GMG

2011).” Analysis The Cancun outcomes were what was (almost) the maximum possible outcome under the circumstances: financial crisis, difficult domestic situations in many countries, diminished trust and disappointment after Copenhagen all of which narrowed the political space for a positive outcome. Mexican diplomacy and skillful strategy have been credited for the positive outcomes. There has seldom been such an atmosphere of excitement in the last night of negotiations. The Parties and Observers in the plenary gave the Mexican COP16 Presidency (led by Minister Patricia Espinosa) standing ovations. Certainly, the outcomes of the GFMD were not on the same order. Preceding COP16 by only a few days, it would have been surprising had the roundtable come to more definitive recommendations. Moreover, given the nature of the GFMD process, it would have been impossible to negotiate the type of language that came out of Cancun. As an informal, ad hoc meeting of government officials, GFMD specifically eschews such negotiations. Despite the differences in the two forums (GFMD and UNFCCC), collectively they represented an advancement in global discussions on the interconnections between climate change, migration and displacement. The forums proved ideal for discussion of the complex issues of the type raised by climate change, migration and displacement. Additionally, they provided a voice to all nations of the world, regardless of size, population, or other elements of power. Few if any other provide the arguably most vulnerable countries with a significant voice in discussions and, in the case of the UNFCCC, decisions. Given the implications of climate change for such countries, and the potential impacts for these and other countries for related migration and displacement, the two forums provided an unparalleled (but of course not flawless) opportunity to discuss this issue.8 One must keep realistic expectations of what can be achieved within the UNFCCC process on the topic of migration and displacement, given the design and mission of the Convention. While the UNFCCC has a catalytic role, it will not directly implement the array of issues mentioned under the Cancun Adaptation Framework. Some mechanisms relevant to adaptation are under development to help coordinate Parties activities in


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration Adaptation, such as the Adaptation Committee, the Adaptation Fund created at COP10, the Nairobi Work Program created at COP12, the Adaptation Committee created at COP16, the SBI Work Program on Loss and Damage created at COP16 and others. As discussions continue and become more profound on any issue, complementary processes arise (such as the REDD+ dialogue). Expert-supported processes or other forums for exploring a topic like migration and displacement in more depth and focus, can bring additional insights and momentum to the UNFCCC process—as long as these additional processes recognize the role and mandate of the UNFCCC, and serve to support Party decisions in that framework (rather than trying to serve as a substitute forum). There are also advantages to continuing to tackle the issues of climate change and migration through the GFMD. GFMD offers quite a few different advantages. Being outside of the UN negotiating context, the GFMD allows for off-the-record discussions that build confidence among states in tackling issues at more conventional negotiating forums. It also brings migration oriented ministries into the discussions. These ministries would unlikely be represented at the UNFCCC discussions. In the longer run, some have speculated that a new UN process may be needed to address the full spectrum of issues related to migration and displacement in the context of climate change, particularly if concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions increase to levels that would put the world at more than 4 degrees Celsius warmer. In such scenarios, the impacts of climate change combined with other megatrends such as projected world population growth of 9 billion by 2050, changes in technology, and other unforeseen shifts in society may be so profound as to require a fully new approach or forum for particular discussions such as migration and displacement. At the current time, however, appears to be little appetite for notions like an international convention to protect “climate refugees”, as these require commitments that may imply liability. However, there is precedence for a UN forum or space for more informal intergovernmental process, which has engendered other more specific processes. Notably, the Rio Earth Summit in 1990 created three new forums for addressing environmental and development con-

cerns: the Biodiversity Convention (CBD), the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the Framework Convention to Combat Climate Change (UNFCCC). Similarly, the High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in the General Assembly spurred establishment of the GFMD. It is possible that further policy on climate-induced migration, displacement and relocation may develop within the UNFCCC context. The key will be to align Party appetite and needs with a range of appropriate and politically feasible “asks”—as noted above there is sensitivity around issues of liability and compensation, assignment of blame or historical responsibility. Research and operational organizations (especially in the UN family) should avoid asking for overly complex arrangements or for things that require Parties to use large amounts of political capital to achieve. Additionally, calls for large new international agreements on “climate refugees” may seem difficult to achieve at this point. Research suggests that the complex forms of migration and displacement will mix internal and cross border movements, as well as raising questions when people cannot return to their places of origin because of environmental reasons (sea level rise, desertification, water issues, etc.). Alternatively, a focus on dialogue, building regional understanding and cooperation, and helping States understand potential impacts of migration and displacement on their current institutional frameworks would likely have more resonance. One idea that has particular currency is the development of a set of Guiding Principles around Climate Induced Displacement, based on the positive experience with the guiding principles for IDPs in the late 1990s. It is hoped that guiding principles will begin to emerge to help States prepare for the expected impacts of climate change on migration and displacement. In the mean time, a structured and inclusive discussion will contribute to progress under paragraph 14(f). Effective policy development and implementation for migration and displacement will require multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder cooperation at the national, regional and international levels. The GFMD roundtable came to similar conclusions. Population movements for environmental reasons are generally found to be primarily local and will be the responsibility of


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration governments. However, the involvement of other stakeholders such as international organizations, NGOs, civil society, the private sector and development partners is also critical. Experts and organizations from development, humanitarian, environment and climate as well as migration and displacement communities need to be included in discussions. Perhaps most importantly, the affected communities (both of origin and destination) and migrants themselves need to be actively involved in the planning and implementation of policies to address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities of environmental migration. The most important message for States coming out of both the UNFCCC and GFMD processes is that they need to increase the range of adaptation alternatives available to vulnerable populations. Such options should reduce vulnerability in the short, medium and long run. In the context of migration and displacement, options should contribute to the prevention of forced migration and displacement. Further, in situations where displacement is unavoidable, assistance and protection must be provided to those who are or will be displaced. States and humanitarian organizations should also think more systematically of scenarios where facilitating human mobility in all its forms may be an adaptation strategy to climate change (or “better than the alternative” in cases where few positive options may remain). As the Foresight report emphasized, populations trapped in place as environmental change takes place may well need the most attention from the international community, not those who manage to migrate to safer and more hospitable locations. It is important to identify priority areas for action in addressing environmental migration. Such “hot spots” may include areas with a complex mix of environmental, social and political issues.

focus needs to be on vulnerable and socially marginalized groups, such as the poor, children, women, older persons, indigenous peoples and, in some cases, migrants and displaced people who may be particularly exposed to environmental impacts. To accomplish the above, there is need for enhanced attention to the following: •

Mainstreaming migration and displacement considerations. At the national level, more systematic integration of migration and displacement in the contingency planning and existing national adaptation programs is required. This needs to be coupled with efforts to incorporate environment and climate change considerations into national policies for managing human mobility, including internal and cross-border migration, displacement, and planned relocation.

Proactive approaches. The international community needs to move from reactive to proactive approaches in order to ensure planning and preparedness for natural disasters and to increase the resilience of states and communities vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Some of the activities fall into the traditional areas of competence of humanitarian organizations, but many are cross-cutting and will require a new mode of working with development and environmental organizations. Additionally, work should continue with member States to raise awareness and encourage activities at the State level; yet there are a number of important discussions and measures that need to be taken at the inter-state (regional) as well as the provincial and community level.

Close gaps between the humanitarian, development and climate change communities and policies. This would involve, for example, factoring climate change adaptation considerations into existing national development plans or into Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers as well as into Disaster Risk Reduction strategies (DRRs) and other risk management strategies aimed at building resilience and reducing vulnerability. Discussions across “mandate organizations” could be useful to include climate induced displacement, migration, and planned relocation in measures like those mentioned here.

These areas may have pre-existing tensions from ethnic disagreements, socio-economic inequalities and poor governance. Environmental variability and longer-term shifts in weather patterns may combine to form “complex emergencies” where climate-induced displacement could occur. Hotspots could also manifest themselves in areas where sudden-onset disasters happen with greater frequency and intensity in places also experiencing other kinds of environmental change (e.g. combination of extreme events and gradual environmental degradation). Within these countries, the


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration However, perhaps most importantly, policy makers need to take a holistic approach to this emerging issue which addresses both the drivers in origin areas (that is, how environmental factors intersect with livelihood insecurity, conflict, demographic pressures, gender inequality, etc.) and the pull factors in destinations (e.g., demand for labor and aging of the population). Global discussions within the GFMD and UNFCCC can help ensure that climate science combines with knowledge about migration processes at the source and destination to produce more effective policy responses to an issue that will likely be with us for the decades ahead. References Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) (2008) Proposal to the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA),“Multi-Window Mechanism to Address Loss and Damage from Climate Change Impacts,” Submission to the UNFCCC on 6 December 2008. protocol/application/pdf/aosisinsurance061208.pfd Collinson, S. (2010) Developing Adequate Humanitarian Responses, Background Paper for the Transatlantic Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, Washington DC: German Marshall Fund. Available at El-Hinnawi, E. (1985) Environmental Refugees, Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme. Foresight (2009) “Global Environmental Migration Project.” More information available at: Global Forum on Migration and Development (2010). General Rapporteur’s Report to Plenary: Roundtable 3: Policy and institutional coherence to address the relationship between migration and development. Geneva: GFMD Graeme, H. (2008): “Migration, Development and Environment,” Migration Research Series No. 35. Geneva: IOM. Homer-Dixon, T. (1991) “On the Threshold: Environmental Changes as Causes of Acute Conflict,” International Security, 16 (2):76-116.

Homer-Dixon, T. (1999) “Thresholds of Turmoil: Environmental Scarcities and Violent Conflict,” in D. Deudney and R. Matthew, Contested Grounds: Security and Conflict in the New Environmental Policies. Albany NY: State University of New York Press. IASC (2008): “Climate change, migration and displacement: Who will be affected?,” Paper submitted by the informal group on Migration/ Displacement and Climate Change of the IASC - 31 October 2008. IASC (2009) “Addressing the Humanitarian Challenges of Climate Change: Regional and National Perspectives: Case Studies on Climate Change Adaptation,” available at IOM, Munich-Re Foundation, UNEP, UNU-EHS (2008) “Research Workshop on Migration and the Environment: Developing a Global Research Agenda” 16-18 April 2008, Munich, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation. IOM, Munich-Re Foundation, UNEP, UNU-EHS (2009) “2nd Expert Workshop on Climate Change, Environment, and Migration” 23 -24 July 2009, Munich, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, workshop syllabus available at IOM, UNHCR, UNU, NRC, RSG on the HR of IDPs (2009): “Climate change, migration, and displacement: impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation options,” Joint submission for the 5th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 5). Bonn, March 29 -April 8, 2009. Available at: aspx?docID=4878&type=any

IPCC (1990) First Assessment Report (FAR), Geneva. Available at: IPCC (2007) Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 (AR4). Available at: data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml Jäger, J., J. Frühmann, S, Grünberger, A, Vag, (2009) “Synthesis Report, Environmental Change and Forced Migration Scenarios Project, 64-66. Available at: http://www.eachfor.


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration eu/documents/EACHFOR_Synthesis_Report_090515.pdf Kniveton, D., et al. (2008) “Climate Change and Migration: Improving Methodologies to Estimate Flows,” IOM Migration Research Series, No 33, Geneva: IOM Kniveton, D and K. Warner (2010) “Climate Change, Environment and Migration: Frequently Asked Questions,” Climate Change, Environment and Migration (CCEMA). Laczko, F. and C. Aghazarm, eds. (2009): Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence. Geneva: IOM, UNU-EHS, CCEMA, Rockefeller Foundation; 2009. Leighton, M. (2006) “Desertification and Migration,” in Johnson, P.M., K. Mayrand, M. Paquin, eds. Governing Global Desertification, UK: Ashgate, pp. 43-58. Leighton, M. (2010) “Climate Change and Migration: Key Issues for Legal Protection of Migrants and Displaced Persons,” Background Paper for the Transatlantic Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, Washington, DC: German Marshall Fund. Lonergan, S. (1998) “The Role of Environmental Degradation in Population Displacement,” Environmental Change and Security Project Report, No 4: 5-15. Martin, P. (2010) “Climate Change, Agricultural Development, and Migration,” Background Paper for the Transatlantic Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, Washington, DC: German Marshall Fund. Martin, S. F. (2010) “Climate Change and International Migration,” Background Paper for the Transatlantic Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, Washington, DC: German Marshall Fund. Martin, S. F., Warner, K. (2010) “Climate Change, Migration, and Development, Paper for the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), Civil Society Days, in Puerto Vallarta, México, 8-9 November 2010. Available at doc_2_103_ImpactMartinWarner32.pdf Martin, S.F. (2009): “Managing Environmental Migration.”

In Laczko, F. and C. Aghazarm, eds., Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence. IOM, Geneva. Martin, S.F. (2010) “Climate Change, Migration, and Adaption,” Background Paper for the Transatlantic Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, Washington, DC: German Marshall Fund. Massey D., W. Axinn W. and D. Ghimire (2007) “Environmental Change and Out-migration: Evidence from Nepal,” Report 07-715, Population Study Center, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research. Available at: http://www. Norwegian Ministry of the Environment, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo (CICERO), Norwegian Refugee Council (2011): Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement in the 21st Century, Oslo, 5 – 7 June 2011, further information at clientweb/default.asp?s=1931&id=1933 Piguet, E. (2008) “Climate change and forced migration: How can international policy respond to climate-induced displacement?”, Geneva: UNHCR Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit. Piguet, E. (2010) “Climate and Migration: A Synthesis,” in: Afifi, T.; J. Jäger, eds, Environment, Forced Migration and Social Vulnerability, Heidelberg: Springer, 73-85. UN General Assembly (2009a): “Climate Change and Its Possible Security Implications: Report of the SecretaryGeneral,” Available at UN General Assembly (2009b) “General Debate of the 64th Session: Statement of the United States of America, H.E. Mr. Barack Obama, President,” 23 September 2009. Available at US.shtmlReference UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA):




Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration CA/2009; available at working_groups/lca/items/4918.php. UNFCCC Conference of the Parties: FCCC/CP/2007; FCCC/CP/2010; available at: UNHCR (2009a) “Forced Displacement in the Context of Climate Change: Challenges for States under International Law,” Paper submitted in cooperation with the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Representative of the Secretary General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and the United Nations University to the 6th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 6) from 1 until 12 June in Bonn, Available at: downloaddoc.aspx?docID=4874&type=any UNHCR (2009b) “Climate Change and Statelessness: An Overview,” Submission supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to the 6th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA 6) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 1 to 12 June 2009, Bonn, Germany UNU-EHS (2008) “Environment, Forced Migration and Social Vulnerability (EFMSV) International Conference,” at UNU-EHS, 9-11 October 2008, Bonn, Germany More information available at: UNU-EHS, CARE International (2011) “Where the rain falls: climate change, hunger and human mobility,” Project funded by the Axa-Re and MacArthur Foundations. Further information can be found at: http://www.wheretherainfalls. org/ Warnecke, A., D. Tanzler, R. Vollmer (2010) “Climate Change, Migration, and Conflict: Receiving Communities under Pressure,” Background Paper for the Transatlantic Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, Washington, DC: German Marshall Fund. Warner, K. (2008) Research Workshop on Migration and the Environment: Developing a Global Research Agenda, Workshop report, 16-18 April 2008, Munich, Germany. Available

at Warner, K., T. Afifi, O. Dun, M. Stal (2009a) “Researching Environmental Change and Migration: Evaluation of EACH-FOR Methodology and Application in 23 Case Studies Worldwide,” in Laczko, F. (ed.) Migration and the Environment Research: A State of the Art Review. Warner, K., C. Erhart, A. de Sherbinin, S.B. Adamo, and T.C Onn (2009b) In Search of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement, prepared for the 2009 Climate Negotiations. Warner, K.; M. Stal, O Dun, and T. Afifi (2009c) “Researching Environmental Change and Migration: Evaluation of EACH-FOR Methodology and Application in 23 Case Studies Worldwide,” in Laczko, F. and C. Aghazarm, eds., Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence. IOM, Geneva. pp. 197-244. Warner, K. (2010a) “Assessing Institutional and Governance Needs Related to Environmental Change and Human Migra-

tion,” Background Paper for the Transatlantic Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, Washington, DC: German Marshall Fund. Warner, K. (2010b) “Global Environmental Change and Migration: Governance Challenges,” in Special Issue on Governance and Complexity, Global Environmental Change. Warner, K. and F. Laczko (2008) “A Global Research Agenda: Climate Change and Displacement,” Forced Migration Review, 31, October 2008. Warner, K., T. Afifi, O. Dun, M. Stal, S. Schmidl, and J. Bogardi (2008) “Human security, climate change, and environmentally induced migration,” in Climate Change: Addressing the Impact on Human Security, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 20072008 Greek chairmanship of the Human Security Network. Athens. Zetter, R. (2008) “Legal and normative frameworks,” Forced Migration Review 31, p. 62-63


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration The Group of 77 (G-77) was established on 15 June 1964 by seventy-seven developing countries signatories of the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries” issued at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva. 1

Dr. Koko Warner is an Academic Officer and Head of the Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability and Adaptation Section at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).

The United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) seeks ways to reduce risks and vulnerabilities resulting from com-

The interest of the humanitarian community persisted post Cancun, most notably in the hosting of the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement in the 21st Century, by the Norwegian government in Oslo, 5 – 7 June 2011. 2

plex environmental hazards, including climate change. Susan F. Martin holds the Donald G. Herzberg Chair in International Migration and serves as Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University.


Available at:

The Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM), based in the School

The Goal of the Berne Initiative, April 2003 (http://www.iom. int//DOCUMENTS/OFFICIALTXT/EN/Goal_E.pdf) 4

of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, applies the best in social science, legal and policy expertise to the complex and controversial issues raised by international migration.

Global Commission on International Migration, Migration in an Interconnected World: New Directions for Action, Geneva: GCIM, p. vii. 5

PHOTO CREDIT: Floods in Ifo refugee camp, Dadaab,Kenya, UNHCR: B. Bannon, December 2006.

Statement by Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State, at the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, United Nations, New York, Friday, 15 September 2006, http://www. (last accessed on October 10, 2010) 6

This discussion is drawn from reviewing the final reports, background papers and other materials prepared for the Global Forums. These are available on the GFMD website: www.gfmd. org . The author has also drawn on her participation at each of the GFMDs that have been held to date. 7

The Copenhagen experience raised the question of whether the UN was a sufficient forum to address climate change in general, after the near collapse of discussions at COP15. However, the outcomes of COP15—notably a commitment to climate finance—and solid progress at COP16 restored faith that the United Nations provides the best available forum for reaching a common understanding of global common goods. 8


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration


Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration Study team members Susan Martin, Institute for the Study of International Migration, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, DC (Co-Chair)

List of Papers Climate Change and Migration: Report of the Transatlantic Study Team

September 2010

Koko Warner, Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University, Bonn, Germany (Co-Chair)

Developing Adequate Humanitarian Responses by Sarah Collinson

Jared Banks and Suzanne Sheldon, Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC

Meeting the Challenges of Severe Climate-Related Hazards: A Review of the Effectiveness of the International Humanitarian Regime by Sarah Collinson November 2012

Regina Bauerochse Barbosa, Economy and Employment Department, Sector Project Migration and Development, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Eschborn, Germany Alexander Carius, Moira Feil, and Dennis Tänzler, Adelphi Research, Berlin, Germany

June 2010

Migration, the Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence by Frank Laczko June 2010

InterAction, Washington, DC Joel Charny, Refugees International, Washington, DC

Climate Change and Migration: Key Issues for Legal Protection of Migrants and Displaced Persons by Michelle Leighton June 2010

Dimitria Clayton, Ministry for Intergenerational Affairs, Family, Women and Integration, State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf, Germany

Climate Change, Agricultural Development, and Migration by Philip Martin

Sarah Collinson, Overseas Development Institute, London, United Kingdom

Climate Change, NAPAs, Agriculture, and Migration LDCs by Philip Martin November 2012

Peter Croll, Ruth Vollmer, Andrea Warnecke, Bonn International Center for Conversion, Bonn Germany

Climate Change and International Migration by Susan F. Martin

Frank Laczko, International Organization for Migration, Geneva, Switzerland

Climate Change, NAPAs, Agriculture, and Migration in LDCs Climate by PhilipChange, Martin Migration and Adaptation by Susan F. Martin June 2010

Agustin Escobar Latapi, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), Guadalajara, Mexico

Climate Change and Migration: The UNFCCC Climate Negotiations Climate Change, and Conflict: Receiving Communities under and Global ForumMigration on Migration and Development Pressure? by Koko Warner and Susan Martin by Andrea Warnecke, Dennis Tänzler and Ruth Vollmer June 2010

Michelle Leighton, Center for Law and Global Justice, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California and Munich Re Foundation-UNU Chair in Social Vulnerability Philip Martin, University of California, Migration Dialogue, Davis, California Heather McGray, World Resources Institute, Washington, DC Lorenz Peteresen, Climate Change Taskforce, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Eschborn, Germany Aly Tandian, Groupe d’Etudes et de Recherches sur les Migrations (GERMS), Gaston Berger University, Senegal Agnieszka Weinar, Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security, European Commissions, Brussels, Belgium Astrid Ziebarth, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin, Germany

June 2010

June 2010

Meeting the Challenges of Severe Climate-Related Hazards: A Review of Assessing Institutional Governance Needs Related to Environmental the Effectiveness of the and International Humanitarian Regime Change and Human Migration by Sarah Collinson by Koko Warner November 2012 Climate Change and Migration: The UNFCCC Climate Negotiations and Global Forum on Migration and Development by Koko Warner and Susan Martin November 2012

Transatlantic Study Teams In 2008, GMF’s Immigration and Integration Program launched the Transatlantic Study Team on Climate-induced Migration. For the first time, this initiative systematically brought together researchers, practitioners, and policy representatives from both sides of the Atlantic to link two important debates and policy spheres that up until then were only sporadically linked: those of migration and those of climate change. For three consecutive years, the Study Team investigated the impact of environmental change on migration2009-2011 patterns, reviewed the current state of research, compiled existing data, convened opinion leaders on both sides of the Atlantic, went on study tours to affected or potentially affected regions, such as Mexico, Senegal and Bangladesh, and helped to advance the policy debate by feeding the findings into national policy meetings and international fora such as the Global Forum on Migration and Development and the International Climate Negotiations (COP). The Study Team laid the groundwork for future policy analyses and research. Led by Dr. Susan F. Martin, Georgetown University, and Dr. Koko Warner, UN University, the team consists of scholars, policymakers and practitioners from the migration and environmental communities. The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is a non-partisan American public policy and grantmaking institution dedicated to promoting better understanding and cooperation between North America and Europe on transatlantic and global issues. GMF does this by supporting individuals and institutions working in the transatlantic sphere, by convening leaders and members of the policy and business communities, by contributing research and analysis on transatlantic topics, and by providing exchange opportunities to foster renewed commitment to the transatlantic relationship. In addition, GMF supports a number of initiatives to strengthen democracies. Founded in 1972 through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, DC, GMF has seven offices in Europe: Berlin, Bratislava, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, and Bucharest. The Institute for the Study of International Migration is based in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Staffed by leading experts on immigration and refugee policy, the Institute draws upon the resources of Georgetown University faculty working on international migration and related issues on the main campus and in the law center. It conducts research and convenes workshops and conferences on immigration and refugee law and policies. In addition, the Institute seeks to stimulate more objective and well-documented migration research by convening research symposia and publishing an academic journal that provides an opportunity for the sharing of research in progress as well as finished projects.  The UN University established by the UN General Assembly in 1973, is an international community of scholars engaged in research, advanced training and the dissemination of knowledge related to pressing global problems. Activities focus mainly on peace and conflict resolution, sustainable development and the use of science and technology to advance human welfare. The University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security addresses risks and vulnerabilities that are the consequence of complex environmental hazards, including climate change, which may affect sustainable development. It aims to improve the in-depth understanding of the cause effect relationships to find possible ways to reduce risks and vulnerabilities. The Institute is conceived to support policy and decision makers with authoritative research and information.

Climate Change and Migration  

Koko Warner and Susan Martin. "Climate Change and Migration: the UNFCCC Climate Negotiations and Global Forum on Migration and Development."...

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