Defined as ‘people who have to leave their habitats, immediately or in the near
future, because of sudden or gradual alterations in their natural environment
related to at least one of three impacts of climate change: sea-level rise,
extreme weather events, and drought and water scarcity
’, read on to
find out more about 'climate refugees' and the Climate Refugee Policy Forum.

Global climate
change might force millions of people (some studies predict hundreds of
millions) mainly in Africa and Asia, to leave
their places over this century and to become "climate refugees".
Political responses to this emerging problem do not yet exist, and the academic
discourse on the issue has barely started.
Prof. Frank Biermann, Head of
the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis, Institute for Environmental
Studies (IVM) VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ingrid Boas
discussed the issue in an article entitled ‘Protecting climate refugees: the
case for a global protocol’, published in Environment.

The Global
Governance Project – a joint programme of 12 leading European research
institutions – has set up a new initiative, the Climate Refugee Policy Forum.
This forum is designed as a web-based clearinghouse, open for everyone, for
up-to-date information on climate refugees and climate-related migration,
including academic studies, policy papers, conference announcements, and links
to key organizations active in the field.

The web page of the
Climate Refugee Policy Forum is,
where a significant amount of information and a comprehensive bibliography is
downloadable from this website.

They welcome
additional papers, literature references, conference announcements or other
interesting material on climate refugees; you just need to contact the
coordinator of the Climate Refugee Programme, Ingrid Boas, at


Frank Biermann and Ingrid Boas (2009) Protecting climate
refugees: the case for a global protocol. Environment
50 (6):8-16.

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