Side Events convened on Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Presented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations University (UNU), and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

L-R: Finn Tarp, UNU; António Guterres, UNHCR; William Lacy Swing, IOM; Walter Kälin, RSG; and Rolf Vestvik, NRC.

This session addressed the nexus of climate change, migration and the environment, focusing on the movement and displacement of people as a result of, and as an adaptation to, the impacts of climate change.

Pointing to the increased frequency of extreme weather events and to more gradual processes of environmental degradation, William Lacy Swing, IOM, said the latter are afforded less attention but will likely have the most significant impacts on the movement of people. He explained that while the movement of people in response to changes in the environment is not a new phenomenon, climate change will increase the current and future relevance of the environment as a driver of migration. Swing noted that migration can be an adaptation strategy.

Finn Tarp, UNU, stressed that there is a “triple crisis,