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Symposium 2010

Proposal - Preparing for Environmental Migration

The Challenge

Over the coming decades, tens of millions will  ace serious degradation of their natural  environments and find their livelihoods  threatened. Migration—both within countries and across national ...

Over the coming decades, tens of millions will  ace serious degradation of their natural  environments and find their livelihoods  threatened. Migration—both within countries and across national borders—is one way in which individuals will respond. At the same time, environmental  hange and migration are both multi-faceted.

  1. It is urgently necessary that international and national regulations and agreements should recognize the phenomenon of environmental migration and are adapted to accommodate it.
  2. International legal norms provide too little protection for environmental migrants, partly due to the absence of any recognition of this new migration phenomenon. The Geneva Refugee Convention and its additional protocols only consider some environmental migrants under certain circumstances and therefore do not offer any comprehensive protection. In the future, a new convention should decide, what status and consequently what legal status the affected people are to be granted.
  3. The countries from which environmental migrants originate also have great responsibility towards their citizens and are obliged to do their best to protect their lives. They must take preventive measures to adapt to the consequences of climate change and lessen their impact over both the short and long term.
  4. Environmental migration takes place within a socio-economic context. Research into this area should be significantly intensified.

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