Lecture series: "Climate Change and Migration" (November - January 2022/23)

22.11.2022, 16:15-17:45 CET, ONLINE

Fanny Thornton (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

Emerging law and policy responses to climate mobility in the Pacific Islands region.

The Pacific Islands region is often noted for being at the forefront of climate change impacts that affect human mobility. It is also at the forefront of developing law and policy responses to climate mobility, including at the regional level. The presentation will chart recent regional law and policy developments concerning climate mobility in the Pacific Islands, their advantages and shortcomings. Lessons for other regions from this will be highlighted.

Dr. Fanny Thornton leads the B-EPICC project at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. This inter-disciplinary project concerns the co-creation of knowledge about regional climate phenomena and hydrological and biodiversity systems, as well as their impacts upon agriculture-based livelihoods, human mobility and security. She is also Adjunct Associate Professor in Law at the University of Canberra in Australia. In that capacity, she has been engaged in collaborative, inter-disciplinary research concerning climate change and human mobility, with a regional focus on the Pacific Islands. Her research has been supported by a number of competitive external grants, including a substantial grant from the Australian Research Council. Dr Thornton is a member of the Technical Advisory Group – Human Mobility, which sits under the Pacific Resilience Partnership, and which advises regional governments on policy responses and developments concerning human mobility in the context of disasters and anthropogenic climate change. She is the author of: Climate Change and People on the Move: International Law and Justice - with Oxford University Press, 2018.

06.12.2022, 16:15-17:45 CET, ONLINE

in cooperation with AMMODI - African migration, mobility, and displacement
Olaf Bernau & Moctar Dan Yaye (discussant)

How climate crisis and other crises affect (circular) migration processes in the Sahel

In the Sahel, the human-induced climate change has been noticeable since the end of the 1960s. The two drought catastrophes of 1968-1974 and 1984/1985 have become particularly well known. Both times, hundreds of thousands of people set off, albeit not during but after the drought. And they did not migrate far away, but in the immediate vicinity. Often, climate flight has combined with the circular migration that has been common in the Sahel for centuries anyway, especially among (semi-)nomadic pastoralists. At the same time, there is much to suggest that the climate crisis in the Sahel will continue to worsen. In this context, farmers and pastoralists will continue to resort to local mobility and adaptation strategies. But the climate crisis also has negative consequences for urban regions. And it is there that young, often well-educated people find themselves engaged in long-distance migration, some as far away as Europe. In this sense, the lecture will address the different migration realities in the Sahel, also taking into account that the climate crisis is closely linked to other crises, such as the crisis of the state, democracy and security.

17.01.2023, 16:15-17:45 CET, ONLINE

Walter Kälin (Institute of Public Law, University of Bern, Switzerland)

"Wenn Anpassung im Herkunftsland oder eine Rückkehr dorthin nicht möglich ist" Abschiebungsschutz in Zeiten des Klimawandels.

Menschen, die aufgrund von schleichenden Naturkatastrophen und nachteiligen Auswirkungen des Klimawandels gezwungen sind, ihr Herkunftsland zu verlassen, können sich nur in Ausnahmefällen auf den flüchtlingsrechtlichen Abschiebungsschutz berufen. Demgegenüber empfiehlt der Globale Pakt für eine sichere, geordnete und reguläre Migration den Staaten, Lösungen für Personen zu entwickeln, einschließlich in Fällen, in denen eine Anpassung im Herkunftsland oder eine Rückkehr dorthin nicht möglich ist. Lässt sich daraus ein Abschiebungsschutz ableiten und was wären seine Voraussetzungen? Falls ja, welches wären seine rechtlichen Grundlagen? Welchen Beitrag können die Menschenrechte, insbesondere das Recht auf Leben, leisten? Und welche Strategien und Ansätze gibt es, den Abschiebungsschutz für solche Menschen zu verstärken? Diese Fragen lassen sich nur beantworten, wenn wir uns klar werden, wie Flucht und Vertreibung im Kontext schleichender Auswirkungen des Klimawandels zu verstehen sind.

Prof. Dr. Walter Kälin ist Professor emeritus für Staatsrecht und Völkerrecht (Universität Bern). Er befasst sich als derzeitiger Gesandter des Vorsitzes der Platform on Disaster Displacement und als Mitglied des Committee on Sea Level Rise and International Law der International Law Association seit längerem mit Fragen von Flucht und Vertreibung im Kontext von Katastrophen und Klimawandel. Von 2004 bis 2010 diente er als Vertreter des UNO-Generalsekretärs für die Menschenrechte von Binnenvertriebenen und war bis 2014 Mitglied der UNO-Menschenrechtsausschusses.

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