UNU Hosts Environmental Refugee Conference
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9 October 2008: The UN University (UNU) is hosting the International Conference on Environment, Forced Migration and Social Vulnerability, which is taking place in Bonn, Germany, from 9-11 October 2008.

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and International Organization for Migration (IOM) are among the Conference’s organizing partners.

Participants have […]

UN premises at Langer Eugen Bonn 9 October 2008: The UN University (UNU) is hosting the
International Conference on Environment, Forced Migration and Social
Vulnerability, which is taking place in Bonn, Germany, from 9-11 October 2008.
The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), UN Environment Programme
(UNEP), and International Organization for Migration (IOM) are among the
Conference’s organizing partners. Participants have been asked to capture the
current state of research and debate on the issue, and to conclude with
recommendations for moving forward.

Speaking at the Conference, the UNCCD
Secretariat suggested that an international definition of “environmental
refugees” should be agreed upon, because UN treaties recognize only political
refugees as eligible for aid from the UN refugee agency. Coinciding with the
meeting, the UNCCD developed a webpage on desertification and migration. The
page notes that Operational Objective 2 of the ten-year strategy for the UNCCD,
which was adopted in 2008, covers the issue of environment and migration. The
conference will also serve as a platform to introduce the Climate Change,
Environment and Migration Alliance (CCEMA), which was initiated in April 2008
by UNU, IOM, UNEP and the Munich Re Foundation.
This Alliance is a
multi-stakeholder global partnership that aims to mainstream environmental and
climate change considerations into migration management policies and practices,
and to bring migration issues into global environmental and climate change
discourse. UNU Vice-Rector and conference chair Janos Bogardi stressed that
environment and climate change related migration is “a major emerging global
problem” that “represents the most profound expression of the inter-linkage
between the environment and human security.” [International Conference on “Environment,
Forced Migration and Social Vulnerability”, Bonn, Germany, 9-11 October
2008
] [UNCCD
Statement
] [UNCCD
Desertification and Migration webpage
] [UNU-EHS Press Release]

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