13 February 2012

Focus on Displacement from Climate Change, Environmental Degradation

Look for the following new title from Oxford University Press this month: Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law, by Jane McAdam. Here's the blurb:

This book critically examines whether States have obligations to protect people displaced by climate change under international refugee law, international human rights law, and the international law on statelessness. Drawing on field work undertaken in Bangladesh, India, and the Pacific island States of Kiribati and Tuvalu, it evaluates whether the phenomenon of 'climate change-induced displacement' is an empirically sound category for academic inquiry. It does so by examining the reasons why people move (or choose not to move); the extent to which climate change, as opposed to underlying socio-economic factors, provides a trigger for such movement; and whether traditional international responses, such as the conclusion of new treaties and the creation of new institutions, are appropriate solutions in this context. In this way, the book queries whether flight from habitat destruction should be viewed as another facet of traditional international protection or as a new challenge requiring more creative legal and policy responses.

A new paper in UNHCR's Legal and Protection Policy Research Series also considers protection options for people displaced as a result of climate change. Entitled "Protecting People Crossing Borders in the Context of Climate Change: Normative Gaps and Possible Approaches," the paper looks at "normative gaps as well as current approaches on cross-border movements induced by the impact of climate change, and assesses possible strategies to create an effective protection regime for these people, taking account of the likelihood of a substantial increase of affected persons in the future." It builds in part on a chapter contributed to the book, Climate Change and Displacement, Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Oxford Univ. Press, 2010), edited by the aforementioned author, Jane McAdam.

Other recent resources include:

Climate Change Displacement and Global Governance: A Case Study of Three Intergovernmental Organizations and the Conflict between the Member States and Bureaucracy, Dissertation submitted to the Graduate Faculty (Louisiana State University, Dec. 2011) [text]
- Looks at UNHCR, IOM and OCHA.

Climate Change and Migration, Presentation at "The Crisis Behind The Crisis? Forced Migration and its Consequence as a Result of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster in ASEAN," Bangkok, 15 Dec. 2011 [text]
- Information about the conference is available here.

Climate Change as a Conflict Multiplier, PeaceBrief, no. 120 (U.S. Institute of Peace, Feb. 2012) [text]

"Émergence et faisabilité des protections en discussion sur les "réfugiés environnementaux," Revue Tiers Monde, vol. 2010/4, no. 204 (2010; preprint posted Jan. 2012) [text via SSRN]
- Submitted to a special issue on climate refugees.

Moved by the State: Perspectives on Relocation and Resettlement in the Circumpolar North (MOVE) (European Science Foundation) [access]
- Research project that "will examine migration in a diversity of sites across the circumpolar north from a ground-up perspective in order to address questions of community sustainability, social fabric and senses of belonging. Bringing together an interdisciplinary team of anthropologists, demographers, historians and community-based researchers, MOVE will for the first time consider in a single research framework Russian/Soviet and Western modes of relocation, as well as indigenous and settler histories of migration." See Preliminary Research Results for notes and theses.

Refugiados Ambientais = Environmental Refugees, Special issue of Revista Interdisciplinar da Mobilidade Humana, vol. 19, no. 36 (2011) [full-text]

Naturally Immigrants, Special volume of Miradas en Movimiento (Jan. 2012) [full-text]
- Includes "Some Comments on the Debate 'Migration-nexus-Climate Changes': Continuing with the Status Quo?," "Climate Change and Emigration: Comparing 'Sinking Islands' and Jamaica," and "Environmental Degradation as a Cause of Migration: Cautionary Tales from Brazil."

Working Paper Series on Environmental Degradation and Migration (Center on Migration, Citizenship and Development, 2011) [access]
- Relevant titles include "Is the ‘Environmental Migration’ Nexus an Analytically Meaningful Subject for Research?," "Challenges and Pitfalls of Resettlement Measures: Experiences in the Pacific Region," and "Migration as Source of Risk-aversion among the Environmental Refugees: The Case of Women Displaced by Erosion of the River Ganga in the Malda District of West Bengal, India."

Tagged Periodicals and Publications.

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