Control, Adapt or Flee How to Face Environmental Migration ?


Journal Article


Renaud, F.
Bogardi, J.J.
Dun, O.
Warner K.


Control, Adapt or Flee How to Face Environmental Migration ?




InterSecTions ‘Interdisciplinary Security ConnecTions’ Publication Series of UNU-EHS

Vol (No), pp



The objectives of this essay are to promote a reflection on the interrelationships between different environmental degradation processes and migration, particularly forced migration, and to suggest the coordinated implementation of five policy action points that should be considered in order to anticipate and be prepared should the frequently predicted large-scale environmentally-driven migrations be realised in the future. In addition to this topic being timely because of the current emphasis placed by many countries on the subject of migration, the topic of environmental migrants/refugees is also timely because the United Nations is currently re-thinking its strategy with respect to the theme of migration through the High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development mentioned above. There are, at the moment no specific distinctions being made in the UN debate on migration in terms of the “push” or “pull” factors so environmental migrants are not recognised specifically within this debate yet. It is also unlikely that the emerging comprehensive strategy on migration being announced and developed by the European Union (EC, 2006) and expected to be published in the summer of 2007 would acknowledge this particular category of migrants. As there is a broad consensus that migration is most likely to increase substantially in the future there is the urgent need to prepare potential immigration target countries to cope with the expected influx of migrants regardless of whether these countries are developed or developing. Chapter I of this essay discusses the links between environmental degradation and migration and provides an overview of the current debate on the topic; Chapter II briefly describes the environmental changes that are currently observed and will continue in the future; and Chapter III presents a preliminary practical classification scheme for environmental migrants/refugees as well as policy actions that should be considered to tackle the issue of environmentally-driven forced migration.


Renaud, F., Bogardi, J. J., Dun, O., & K., W. (2007). Control, Adapt or Flee How to Face Environmental Migration ? InterSecTions ‘Interdisciplinary Security ConnecTions’ Publication Series of UNU-EHS, 5.