Climate induced migrations
This side-event proposes to discuss different aspects of climate-induced migration, notably issues related to women in migration and to showcase a concrete example of environmental displacements from the field. It will also be an opportunity to present UNESCO’s activities in the context of migration.
It is organized during the UN Climate Change Conference known as COP23.
The number of international migrants worldwide has continued to grow rapidly over the past fifteen years. The increase in refugee arrivals to several European countries confronts transit and destination countries with challenges relative to adequate reception needs as well as to xenophobic hostility towards migrants.
Women migrants, whose share in the global international migrant stock oscillated in recent years between 48 and 52%, are often faced with ‘triple discrimination’ – as women, as unprotected workers, and as migrants.
The role of environmental changes and natural hazards in migration and population displacements is becoming increasingly important. Massive numbers of ‘environmental refugees’ are now regularly presented as one of the most dramatic consequences of climate change and natural disasters. ‘Environmental refugees’ have been defined as people who can no longer gain a secure livelihood in their homelands, because of marked environmental disruptions. The impacts of climate change that can trigger displacements are extreme weather events such as droughts, flooding, heat waves, tropical cyclones; desertification and land degradation; deforestation; soil erosion and sea-level rise. The impacts of geohazards, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and tsunami, are also already accountable for mass displacement. These phenomena result further in loss of land, shelter, educational facilities, employment, food insecurity, increased morbidity and mortality, and negative psychological impacts. Gender inequalities are likely to be exacerbated by climate change and related hazards/disasters, by entailing higher workloads.