Environmental Change and Displacement: Assessing the Evidence and Developing Norms for Response
On the 8-9 January 2009 the Refugee Study Centre (RSC) and the International Migration Institute (IMI) of Oxford University convened a two-day workshop on Environmental Change and Displacement, with the support of the UNHCR. Attended by about 50 participants, the conference examined current research evidence on the relationship between climate/environmental change and migration, and the role the academic community should play in providing policy makers with guidance in forming policy in preparation for potential large-scale migration. The majority of participants were either academics or representatives from organisations engaged in research in the field of environmentally induced migration. Participants also included representatives from intergovernmental and international organisations and research students from various universities. The first day of the workshop focused on evidence and case studies as well as broader questions concerning the prediction of environmental migration and addressed methodological challenges. The second day moved on to consider legal and normative responses. The wide ranging discussion addressed many significant issues for future research and policy responses, yet clear answers were hard to reach.