Climate Change

Examining policy initiatives that address climate impacts on migration

Relevant national and regional policy responses have been developed in recent years to address migration linked to climate impacts and environmental change. This development in policymaking at the national and regional levels could be partially linked to the greater visibility given to the topic in global agendas. It also indicates that there is increasing awareness of climate migration, as well as political will to address it.

Existing policies do not generally distinguish between migration linked to slow-onset events and movements linked to sudden disasters. These policies can be stand-alone frameworks that specifically seek to address issues linked to climate change and migration. Other frameworks highlight climate and migration dimensions in other areas, such as migration and human mobility policies, climate adaptation and mitigation policies, and disaster risk-reduction policies.

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Read the section “Examples of existing practices” in chapter 9 of the WMR 2022 and examine the figure “Links between environmental change, ecosystems and human mobility”.


Divide the class into 4 groups and assign one policy framework from to each group.

Vanuatu National Policy on Climate Change and Disaster-Induced Displacement (2018)

South America: non-binding regional instrument on the protection of people displaced across borders and on migrants in countries affected by disasters linked to natural hazards (2019)

Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD): Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region (2020)

Pacific climate change-related displacement and migration: A New Zealand action plan (2018)


To complement the policy framework, each group will be tasked with building a country/regional profile and asked to conduct research that describes:

• The major environmental events and processes that occur in each region

• The potential ecosystem services affected The potential mobility drivers

• How the key measures detailed in the policy framework address the specific needs of the region

Finally, each group will present their findings to the class.

People working as a team