DISPLACEMENT SOLUTIONS IN ACTION
Displacement Solutions (DS) is a not-for-profit international initiative, registered in Geneva, Switzerland, that has spearheaded global efforts to protect the housing, land and property rights of people and communities everywhere who face the reality or prospect of climate displacement.
The highly innovative and solution-oriented work by DS on displacement caused by natural disasters and climate change is designed to build resilience and bolster the implementation of the five areas for priority action within the Hyogo Framework for Action, and is carried out by the DS Climate Change Displacement Initiative (CCDI).
DS has a highly distinguished track record and has been actively involved in addressing the displacement consequences of climate change since 2007, and is now recognised as a vanguard and important voice in this field. DS is led by leading international human rights advocate, Scott Leckie.
The DS CCDI is guided by the visionary perspective that climate displaced persons everywhere are citizens and rights-holders and that they must, therefore, also be beneficiaries of the international human rights legal regime.
This is what motivates and drives the team at Displacement Solutions (DS) to seek concrete solutions to climate displacement wherever it may occur.
DS has worked with a wide variety of civil society groups and governments on the issue of climate displacement, in countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Fiji, Kiribati, the Maldives, Myanmar, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tuvalu and others, and maintains extensive governmental and grassroots contacts within each of these nations. DS has carried out field research on housing, land and property rights, issues of relocation and/or resettlement and on various themes linked to the displacement caused by the effects of climate change.
LANDMARK INITIATIVES TO SOLVE CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT
DS was the first organisation to identify the fundamental importance of land to resolving climate displacement. The CCDI has engaged in advocacy efforts to identify land parcels for possible allocation to climate displaced communities and has commissioned research and formulated precise plans for land acquisition in many countries.
For instance, in Bangladesh, together with our partners at the leading local NGO Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), the CCDI has identified ten land parcels which are suitable for hosting climate displaced communities in Chittagong district.
In Papua New Guinea, the CCDI worked with local groups to attempt to secure land resources for climate-affected communities from the Cartertet Islands, including an effort to procure more than 7500 acres of prime land on Bougainville for these purposes.
In Panama, the CCDI has worked with the Gunayala indigenous group to assist them in their efforts to relocate from islands that are increasing unable to sustain human settlements.
In Fiji, the CCDI examined both villages under threat of coastal inundation and land sites purchased by the government of Kiribati as a possible long-term resettlement site.
PREVENTATIVE LAND ACQUISITION
Highly original global research by the CCDI resulted in the first-ever global estimate of the total amount of land resources that may be required to sustainably repair climate displacement by ensuring access to new land resources by families and communities forced from their places of habitual residence. Depending on the ultimate scale of climate displacement and the size of land to be allocated to each household, the CCDI estimates that a low-level estimate of 1000sq m/household would require globally require 12.5m acres of land to repair climate displacement (equivalent in size to the territory of Costa Rica), while one acre/household would require 50m acres of land, which is equivalent to land territory the size of Uganda.
LAND REQUIREMENTS TO FIX CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT
NEW LEGAL STANDARDS PROTECTING CLIMATE DISPLACED PERSONS
As a central element of the CCDI, it guided a multi-year consultative global process that ultimately culminated in the approval by a group of eminent legal scholars in August 2013 of the Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement Within States, which provides the world’s first consolidated normative framework on how governments can best assist climate affected communities in a manner consistent with human rights law and best practice.
The DS Director and CCDI Coordinator, Scott Leckie, teaches the world’s first law school course on climate change and human rights at two of the world’s Top 50 Universities, the Australian National University and Melbourne University schools of law.
CLIMATE CHANGE, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE LAW
DS has produced more than one dozen landmark publications on various aspects of climate displacement, including a recent book on Land Solutions to Climate Displacement and a comprehensive mapping study on all government competencies in Bangladesh to address climate displacement.
HLP EXPERT REGISTRY
Displacement Solutions maintains the world’s only Registry of highly-skilled HLP rights experts who can be deployed at short notice around the globe to help find viable and creative solutions to displacement.
Access to the DS Global HLP Rights Expert Registry is available to the UN and other international agencies. The Registry allows DS to provide high-quality and field-tested expertise, tools and human resources to enable all future post-conflict and post-disaster peace and emergency relief operations to be properly equipped to address the HLP rights challenges facing all countries in such circumstances.
Brochure announcing the availability of DS’s Global HLP Rights Expert Registry. Download (1008kb)
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
The Registry brings together more than 150 experts with expertise in the following areas:
Resolving climate-induced displacement
Land acquisition for climate displaced persons and communities
HLP rights and peace negotiation and mediation processes
Post-conflict HLP legal sector reform and policy development
Post-conflict HLP dispute resolution measures
HLP restitution programmes, mechanisms, institutional and legal frameworks
National HLP programming
Compensation and reparations
UN (and other) peace operations
Post-disaster HLP rights recovery and renewal
Disaster planning and risk reduction
Women’s HLP rights issues
Customary law governing HLP issues
Cadastre, property registration systems and GIS technology
Corporate responsibility and displacement
HLP rights research and analysis
HLP rights training
EXPERIENCE & FOCUS
Displacement Solutions staff and members of the Global HLP Rights Expert Registry have an extensive range of field experience throughout the world finding viable, rights-based solutions to displacement issues, including within the following countries/territories:
Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea), Burundi, Cambodia, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Latvia, Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, South Ossetia (Georgia), Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda and others.
HOW TO ACCESS THE HLP EXPERT REGISTRY
If your organisation, agency, Government or other institution requires specific assistance on the full spectrum of housing, land and property rights issues in post-conflict or post-disaster situations, or those resulting from climate change, please feel free to request direct assistance from the Displacement Solutions Global HLP Rights Expert Registry.
Accessing the Global HLP Rights Expert Registry is easy:
Simply write to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating in the subject line of your email the following: HLP Registry Request. In your request, please include whatever information you deem appropriate, in particular, the HLP issues you require assistance in resolving.
DS will then respond promptly to your request, confirming that we have received it and seeking any further information we may need to successfully satisfy your request.
Once we receive your second email, we will develop an internal plan of action, which will include the development of a proposed HLP Team specifically tailored to match the HLP challenges you face, and which can range in size from 1-6 persons depending on the issues concerned and the financial resources available. All Registry consultants are remunerated at competitive levels, are fully insured and supported by DS’s dedicated administrative and communications staff.
DS will then write back to you with a detailed description of our proposed HLP Team and our proposals concerning time-frame and other logistical and contractual matters. Once these are mutually agreed, the DS HLP Team can be deployed at reasonably short notice. Deployment length will, of course, vary depending on local requirements and circumstances, the scale of HLP crises and local capacity to address these.
The HLP Team will then deploy to the field or otherwise commence non-field work, such as a research project or training programme. Once on the ground, the HLP Team will immediately liaise with the local partner and begin work in accordance with the conditions agreed between DS and the requesting agency.
The HLP Team completes its work and submits its report, plan or other documents it may have prepared to the Office of the Director of Displacement Solutions. The Director and DS staff will then carefully review the findings and recommendations developed by the HLP Team and finalise the documents concerned, which are then sent in final form to the requesting agency.