INITIATIVES

CLIMATE CHANGE & DISPLACEMENT INITIATIVE

CURRENT INITIATIVE

The Climate Change and Displacement Initiative is an ongoing initiative instigated in 2009 designed to find practical and viable housing, land and property solutions for climate displaced persons.

Through rights-based and innovative policy and strategy development, targeted workshops, network building, awareness raising, publications, original research and other activities, the Initiative seeks both to inform the world of the massive scale of displacement which will affect forced climate migrants in the years and decades to come, and to advocate for rights-based solutions to this form of displacement, both within the nations affected and through regional and international resettlement initiatives.

The Initiative will achieve these aims through:

  • Examining the precise scale and circumstances confronting present and future forced climate migrants within an initial focus on five countries: Bangladesh, Kiribati, Maldives, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu;

  • Examining existing adaptation measures in each of the four focus countries and the extent to which these are adequate in addressing the displacement challenges ahead;

  • Examining the extent to which local housing, land and property remedies for forced climate migrants are available, and conversely, the scale of inter-country forced migration likely to affect nearby safe countries, with a focus on New Zealand and Australia;

  • Developing detailed contingency plans, resettlement feasibility studies, institution-building proposals and other steps to ensure the HLP and other rights of forced climate migrants; and

  • Raising the public profile of the issue of forced displacement due to climate change, through the production of unique films, publications, training and other public relations materials.

 

THE CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT LAW PROJECT

The Climate Displacement Law Project is a six-part project designed to significantly strengthen the international legal and normative frameworks protecting the rights of climate displaced people and communities on a global scale. One of the first objectives of the project will be the development of a consolidated, globally relevant, standard on climate displacement.

LAND SOLUTIONS FOR CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT

In 2012-2014, DS will carry out a major project on land solutions for climate displacement with researchers and scholars from 7 climate-affected countries – Bangladesh, Kiribati, Maldives, PNG, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The study will examine in detail the feasibility of land acquisition, relocation and resettlement options for communities threatened with land loss and homelessness caused by climate change. 

THE WHERE WILL THEY GO? PROJECT

While global awareness of the effects of climate change are becoming more widely known to a growing number of people, the human impacts of this process are less well-known. To bring a human face to the climate change and displacement question, Displacement Solutions is working together with leading photographers and documentary film-makers  to capture in still- and moving-pictures, the minute-by-minute essence of what it means to be displaced by climate change in the countries and locales most hard-hit by the effects of climate change. This Project will culminate in a major book of photography, a documentary film and an exhibition and book tour by the photographer Kadir van Lohuizen and the DS Director, Scott Leckie to bring the human reality of climate-induced displacement home to a wider global audience. 

THE CLIMATE CHANGE LAND SOLUTIONS FUND

Displacement Solutions is in the process of establishing a Climate Change Land Solutions Fund to generate funds for the purchase of new land resources for climate displaced persons.

For further information on any of the activities of this Initiative, please contact info@displacementsolutions.org.

THE SASAKAWA AWARD 

After having been long-listed for the Nippon Foundation’s Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction in December 2014, DS was honoured to be among the select few organisations to receive a Certificate of Merit in 2015, which can be accessed here

The Sasakawa Award is bestowed every two years on people and institutions that have made an important contribution to disaster risk reduction around the world. 

 

In 2014, some 88 nominations were received by the Awards Jury, including Displacement Solutions and our Climate Displacement Law Project. DS was officially nominated by the Executive Director of UN HABITAT, Jean Clos, for our work around the world seeking to resolve climate displacement through the provision of new land resources to climate displaced communities, work we have been engaged in since 2007. The DS nominee page can be accessed here. And the DS nomination essay can be downloaded here.

PUBLICATIONS

FINDING SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT: A CHALLENGE LIKE FEW OTHERS, OCTOBER 2013

This 112-page report takes an in-depth look at DS’ groundbreaking work to secure new homes for lost homes and new lands for lost land for people already on the move due to the consequences of global sea-level rise, melting arctic ice and severe weather events in Bangladesh, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu.

The report outlines a number of land solution tools which can be used to resolve climate displacement, including national and international land acquisition, planned relocation and creating and empowering national agencies and institutional mechanisms. In particular, it emphasises the importance of land in any solution to climate displacement, and underscores that there is enough land available to address this crisis: “We’ve worked out during the completion of the report, that somewhere between one-3000th to one-700th of the planet’s total land surface is needed to give the people who’ve lost their homes due to climactic changes, new land to start their lives over.”

Digital copies of the report are available here and hardcopies can be purchased from DS for AUD$80.00 by writing to info@displacementsolutions.org.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND DISPLACEMENT READER, JANUARY 2012

This 500 page publication brings together more than 50 articles and reports on the links between climate change and displacement and is ideal for use as a university textbook or as a central resource for anybody working on or interested in the issue of climate change and displacement. It can be purchased here.

CLIMATE CHANGE DISPLACED PERSONS AND HOUSING, LAND AND PROPERTY RIGHTS: PRELIMINARY STRATEGIES FOR RIGHTS-BASED PLANNING AND PROGRAMMING TO RESOLVE CLIMATE-INDUCED DISPLACEMENT, DECEMBER 2009

This publication is one of the first of its kind to examine the specific housing, land and property rights issues arising within the context of climate-induced displacement. It contains a series of recommendations to policy-makers and others for the prompt resolution of this particularly complex and large-scale form of displacement.

Download Report (1.1MB)

MEETINGS

INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON LAND SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT, OCTOBER 2012

DS hosted an international workshop on land solutions to climate displacement in Auckland, New Zealand on 4 October 2012. The workshop brought together experts and government officials from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and New Zealand to discuss and examine legal and policy solutions to climate displacement in seven focus countries – Bangladesh, Kiribati, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Click here to read more.

JOINT STATEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE, HUMAN RIGHTS AND FORCED HUMAN DISPLACEMENT, DECEMBER 2008

Joint statement on Climate Change, Human Rights and Forced Human Displacement by Co-Chairs Displacement Solutions and UNHCR on 10 December 2008, the 60th Anniversary of International Human Rights Day.

Download the Joint Statement (56KB)

Download the Meeting Paper (244KB)

REPORT OF THE DISPLACEMENT SOLUTIONS AND UNHCR MEETING ON CLIMATE CHANGE, DECEMBER 2008

Report of the Displacement Solutions and UNHCR Meeting on Climate Change, Human Rights and Forced Displacement, held in Canberra, Australia on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, 10 December 2008.

Download Report PDF (284KB)

REPORT OF THE BOUGAINVILLE RESETTLEMENT INITIATIVE, DECEMBER 2008

Report of the Displacement Solutions hosted meeting entitled The Bougainville Resettlement Initiative, held in Canberra, Australia on 11 December 2008. This unique gathering brought together community representatives of the world’s largest mass resettlement programme due to climate change from the Carteret Islands in Papua New Guinea, Government officials from the island of Bougainville, private landowners from Bourgainville, private sector investors, AusAid representatives, UN officials, resettlement and human rights experts, various NGOs and representatives from various other small island states threatened with rising sea levels, including Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Maldives. The meeting developed detailed and concrete proposals to facilitate, in a rights-based manner, the resettlement modalities of the 6000 atoll dwellers who will relocate to Bougainville.

Download PDF (220KB)

INTERVIEWS & MEDIA REPORTS

DEUTSCHE WELLE INTERVIEW ON THE NEED FOR INTERNATIONAL ACTION ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT, MARCH 2013

Displacement Solutions Director, Scott Leckie, was recently interviewed by Deutsche Welle on the immediate need for international awareness and aid for climate displaced people across the globe.

 

 

RADIO AUSTRALIA INTERVIEW ON SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN THE ASIA PACIFIC, APRIL 2012

DS Director, Scott Leckie, spoke with Heather Jarvis on Radio Australia Asia Pacific on 18 April, 2012 about the intended use of land purchased in Vanua Levu, Fiji, by the Government of Kiribati. This interview follows significant coverage of Kiribati President Anote Tong’s plan for ‘dignifed migration’ for the i-Kiribati people in the face of rising sea levels and the many other challenges climate change has brought the island nation. In this interview he discussed a number of relocation and adaptation issues relating to climate displacement in these areas, in particular, addressing the need for investment in both domestic social services in the short to medium-term and long-term planning that may include off-shore solutions. Listen to the interview here.

RADIO AUSTRALIA INTERVIEW ON THE 2010 DS MISSION TO THE PACIFIC, DECEMBER 2010

On 14 December, 2010, DS Director, Scott Leckie, spoke to Radio Australia regarding his fact-finding mission in the Pacific Island of Kiribati and Tuvalu that year, and a number of relocation and adaptation issues relating to climate displacement in those countries. To listen, click here.

MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE DISPLACEMENT SOLUTIONS AND UNHCR MEETING ON CLIMATE CHANGE, DECEMBER 2008

On the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights DS co-chaired a meeting with UNHCR on climate change, human rights and forced human displacement which was attended by prominent government and UN officials as well as civil society actors, including participants from the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The meeting explored not only the nature of the risk posed by climate change for human rights and forced human displacement, but also potential solutions building upon work that is already underway in several vulnerable countries.

Featured below are two media reports covering this occasion.

 

Download as .mp4 (4.73MB)

 

Download as .mp4 (11.2MB)

OTHER RESOURCES

IRIN GLOBAL ARTICLE ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT AND THE WORK OF DS ON THIS ISSUE, JANUARY 2014

As an increasing number of people around the globe experience the reality of climate change and displacement, the need for rights-based solutions to this crisis is becoming ever more pertinent. This article provides an overview of the issues around climate change and displacement, covering the human effects of climate displacement in Palau and the work of the Nansen Initiative, and also features an interview with Scott Leckie about the work of DS on this topic. The significance of the Peninsula Principles are discussed, as is the in-country work of DS in relocating climate displaced persons in Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea. To read the article, click here.

 

FORCED MIGRATION REVIEW ARTICLE ON THE MANAGEMENT OF CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT BY SCOTT LECKIE, DECEMBER 2012

Advocates who work for those at risk of displacement have come to the realisation that they are now also campaigners for resettlement and relocation. With this new role comes many difficult cultural, geographical and social issues and questions for those who are forced from their ‘place’ in the world, the host country and the rest of the world that sits back at watches as the secure fate of a people is bypassed in favour of the almighty tourism buck.

Displacement Solutions Director, Scott Leckie, explores the issues that international campaigners face if the solution to climate displacement is relocation to new lands. To access the article, click here.

DEUTSCHE WELLE ARTICLE ABOUT DS’ WORK ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT, AUGUST 2011

Deutsche Welle recently published an article about Displacement Solutions and its work in finding solutions for displaced persons throughout the world. Included in this article is information about the work of DS in Bangladesh and other climate-affected countries. To access the article, click here.

DS DIRECTOR ADDRESSES CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT EVENT IN BERLIN, JUNE 2010

DS Director Scott Leckie was invited by German Green Party MP Ute Koczy and the Heinrich Boell Stiftung to present a talk on climate displacement and land solutions for those displaced. The talk formed part of a panel discussion held on 29 June 2010 in Berlin, and focused on DS efforts in Bangladesh, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu to find viable and rights-based solutions to climate displacement for all affected persons and communities.

CLIMATE-RELATED DISASTERS AND DISPLACEMENT: HOMES FOR HOMES, LANDS FOR LANDS, JUNE 2009

This paper was presented by DS Director Scott Leckie to the Expert-Group meeting on Population Dynamics and Climate Change, London, June 2009.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN RIGHTS ARTICLE, SEPTEMBER 2008

An article on the human rights implications of climate change by DS Director Scott Leckie, featured in the September 2008 edition of Forced Migration Review.


 Download Forced Migration Review (4Mb)  Download Scott’s Article (460KB)