New knowledge on climate change and human mobility (conference)

A hurricane is about to batter this caribbean beach hut. The seas are raging and the skies show the tropical storm as the power of nature is demonstrated. Waves crash on the shore

In partnership with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), adelphi is hosting the International Conference and Networking Event on Climate Change and Human Mobility on 28 June 2019.


The links between climate and environmental change and migration are complex and increasingly concern science, politics and civil society. Experts from all over the world will therefore meet in Bonn on 28 June to discuss this topic in the context of the International Conference and Networking Event on Climate Change and Human Mobility. During the event, adelphi and IOM will present the results of their current research project and the GIZ and other partners will share their work on climate-change-related migration. The regional focus of the conference is on the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Philippines.

There is a broad scientific consensus that environmental factors play an important role in the context of migration. However, there are other factors, including socio-economic and political drivers, that also have an impact on human mobility. These different factors interact in manifold, complex ways, but it can be assumed that environmental changes will play an increasingly important role in shaping global migration in the future.

Comprehensive approaches to counter climate change induced migration

Both sudden-onset and slow-onset hazards can cause people to voluntarily or involuntarily leave their homes. In the event of sudden-onset hazards such as hurricanes or floods, early warning systems and evacuation plans play an important role in making communities more resilient. In the case of slow-onset hazards such as droughts or sea-level rise, adaptation measures are the first priority. However, as a last resort, resettlement may also become necessary. In any case, responding adequately to migration induced by environmental or climate change calls for broad approaches that bring together environmental, developmental and migration policies.  

These and other aspects are the subject of a research project that adelphi has been working in partnership with IOM on over the past year. The project team has produced three studies, which have been developed and refined in stages, most recently after feedback from experts during a workshop held in March of this year in Berlin. The studies include a literature review, an impact analysis of the links between environmental change and migration, and a paper outlining political responses, particularly for policymakers in the field of climate change adaptation. In order to facilitate a purposeful exchange during the expert discussion, the team also produced a discussion paper with eleven theses from the three sub-studies. These revised studies and theses will now be presented at the international conference in Bonn.

Regional focus on the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Philippines

The conference will offer the opportunity to exchange views with delegates from the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Philippines who are in Germany as part of the GIZ programme on migration. The programme aims to identify and address knowledge gaps concerning climate-induced human mobility, in cooperation with regional partners working in the field of climate change and human mobility. To promote exchange between these partners, GIZ is welcoming delegations from the three partner regions to Bonn this June, when they will also participate in the conference.

In order to encourage a lively debate, the conference will feature panel discussions, breakout working groups, and a "marketplace of ideas", where various organisations and institutions can present their work and participants can walk around and discuss with representatives.

The event is being hosted by the Global Programme of the GIZ “Sustainable Management of Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change”; commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); and the research project “Environmental degradation, climate change and migration: Global review of research and forecasts”, implemented by adelphi and IOM and financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the German Environment Agency (UBA).

Participation in the conference is by invitation only.