Policy Briefs

The Migration, Environment and Climate Change Policy Brief Series seeks to contribute to the current global knowledge base by providing reliable and precise information on the topic of migration and environmental change, including climate change. Its objective is also to present related and appropriate policy options by identifying recommendations, good practices and lessons learned to harness the positive impacts of migration in adapting to environmental changes.

The Policy Brief Series is a reader-friendly online publication intended for policymakers and other stakeholders working in the field of migration, environment and climate change adaptation policies.

The Migration, Environment and Climate Change Policy Brief Series welcomes submissions from policymakers and researchers worldwide. Please see the guidance note for more information. 

Guidance Note


Environment and migration experts: Who are they, and what are their views?

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There is an increasing understanding of the phenomenon of environmental migration, while less is known about the experts who directly or indirectly drive the policy development. This policy brief reports on an online questionnaire of 262 such experts, which aims to understand the environment and migration experts and their perceptions of environmental migration. The authors assume that policy is not only based on objective assessment of the issue, but also influenced by the knowledge, values, beliefs, assumptions, cultural contexts and activities of people involved in its development. 

At a milestone moment when, after a long period of research and debate, environmental migration is being formalized on policy agendas, the authors ask: What are the characteristics of experts? How do they define environmental migration, and what policies do they support? Knowing the answers to these questions can aid policy formation and, importantly, evaluation of policies and programmes addressing environmental migration, as well as self-evaluation and critical reflection among those involved.

Table of contents: 

  • Introduction
  • Concept definition
  • PMEC experts: Why study them?
  • Studying PMEC experts using an online questionnaire
  • Who are PMEC experts?
  • How do PMEC experts define and frame PMEC?
  • What do PMEC experts think about averting, facilitating and protecting those who move?
  • Lessons learned and recommendations
  • References

Policy Brief Series Issue 1 | Vol. 3: The changing climates, cultures and choices of Mongolian nomadic pastoralists

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Mongolia’s harsh climate and the dependence of the nation’s rural population on animal husbandry make it vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Mongolia is already experiencing dramatic rural-to-urban migration as a result of multiple factors, including declining livelihood opportunities in rural areas, a phenomenon exacerbated by environmental changes and natural disasters such as drought and dzud. Ongoing climate change is expected to present a growing challenge to the traditional pastoral way of life of many in Mongolia and likely to continue to impact human mobility.  

Number of Pages: 12
Volume: 3
ISSN: 2410-4930
Year: 2017




Policy Brief Series Issue 8 | Vol. 2: Environmental migration in Turkey: Challenges, recognition and implications for policy

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Due to increasing implications of climate change and other environmental degradations on the livelihoods of people, it has become significantly important to consider migration as an adaptation strategy. In the case of Turkey, one of the main economic sectors affected by climate change is agriculture. The increase in temperature, melting of glaciers and the change in rain patterns raise the frequency of droughts and heat waves, causing shortages of water in the periods for cultivation, a situation that threatens food security. The decrease in agricultural production causes migration to urban cities and change of profession. 

Turkey is addressing climate change through policy; however, it has not yet linked the effects of climate change and migration even though there is evidence sustaining this connection. The key challenges are to invest more in research to obtain evidence and recognized environmental migrants to include them in policy frameworks in order to prevent forced migration and address the needs of vulnerable populations. 


ISSN 2410-4930


Policy Brief Series Issue 7 | Vol. 2: Planned Relocation: Lessons from Italy

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Italy is one of the most earthquake vulnerable countries in Europe and in the last 30 years, Italy has experienced severe consequences of earthquakes leading to fatalities and people displaced. This policy brief examines two earthquakes in Italy – the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake and the 1985 earthquake in Pozzuoli – that led to relocation in the aftermath, but which were implemented ad hoc and lacking normative and policy framework. The cases are useful examples in understanding what negatively impacted the realization of successful planned relocation, and the brief attempts to provide some recommendations for future implementation.


ISSN 2410-4930


Policy Brief Series Issue 6 | Vol. 2: Making migration accessible: Inclusive relocation for people with disabilities


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People with disabilities (PWDs) are uniquely vulnerable in general and in situations of or in relation to climate-related migration. This stems from an intersection of personal characteristics, such as limited mobility or sensory disabilities (such as blindness or deafness), and social factors, such as lack of accommodations during disaster response or no accessible transportation along migration routes. As climate change progresses, PWDs will arguably be the single most vulnerable population group to its many consequences, yet they have thus far been left out of nearly all policy discussions regarding adaptation and risk management.

This policy brief looks at climate-related migration from the disability perspective to understand the unique characteristics of PWDs, as well as factors that need to be taken into account to address the vulnerability and needs of PWDs during evacuation, transit and relocation. The author calls for a rights-based approach for disability-inclusive planning to protect the lives and well-being of people with disabilities. 


ISSN 2410-4930



Policy Brief Series Issue 5 | Vol. 2: Environmental migration in Brazil: Current context and systemic challenges

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Brazil has witnessed an increased level of human mobility due to environmental change. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, between 2008 and 2014, Brazil was among the countries with the highest numbers of internally displaced persons. Furthermore, the country is one of the top destinations of cross-border displaced persons by disasters in the region. However, the country lacks migration laws and policies to cope with the increasing number of displaced persons. This policy brief aims at identifying these gaps in the Brazilian law and related policies concerning migration caused by disaster, climate change or other environmental changes and provides a comprehensive overview on existing law and policies. Some recommendations to solve these gaps are presented. 

ISSN 2410-4930



Siyasət icmalı silsiləsi Buraxılış 4 | Say 2: Azərbaycan Respublikasında ekoloji miqrasiya və yerdəyişmə prosesləri: tədqiqat və siyasət zərurətinin ön plana çəkilməsi

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Description: Qafqaz ölkəsi olaraq Azərbaycan son illərdə minlərlə insanın yerdəyişməsinə səbəb olan təbii fəlakətlərdən daha çox zəlzələ, sel, daşqın, torpaq sürüşməsi kimi təhlükəli ətraf mühit çağırışlarına məruz qalır. Şoranlaşma, quraqlıq, torpaq deqradasiyası kimi tədricən baş verən proseslərin icma və  təsərrüfatlara təsiri güclənməkdədir və iqlim dəyişikliyi ilə qeyd olunan bu ətraf mühit hadisələrinin sıxlığı və tezliyinin daha da artması gözlənilir. Bununla belə, Azərbaycanda miqrasiya ilə ətraf mühitin qarşılıqlı əlaqəsini öyrənən tədqiqatların sayı azlıq təşkil edir və müvafiq sahədə həyata keçirilən siyasət adı çəkilən iki sahə arasındakı əlaqədən yan keçir. Bu siyasət icmalı sözügedən sahədə mövcud olan bilikləri işıqlandıraraq insan yerdəyişməsinin ətraf mühit siyasətinə, eləcə də ətraf mühit təsirlərinin miqrasiya siyasətinə daxil edilməsinə dair təkliflər irəli sürür.

Table of contents:  Giriş, Azərbaycanda ekstremal hava hadisələri və asta baş verən proseslər, Mövcud siyasət sənədlərinə baxış, Qənaətlər və mövcud syasətin təsirləri

Subject: Climate ChangeEnvironment

ISSN: 2415-6205


Policy Brief Series Issue 4 | Vol. 2: Environmental migration and displacement in Azerbaijan: Highlighting the need for research and policies

Azerbaijan, situated in the Caucasus region, is exposed to hazardous environmental challenges ‒ namely natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods and landslides ‒ which have displaced thousands of people in recent years. Slow-onset processes, such as salinization, droughts and soil degradation are increasingly affecting communities and livelihoods, and with climate change, the intensity and frequency of these environmental events is expected to increase. Yet research on the migration-environment nexus in Azerbaijan remains scarce, and policies do not make the linkages on the issues at hand. This policy brief sheds light on the existing knowledge and calls for incorporation of human mobility in environmental policies and environmental impacts in migration policies. 


ISSN 2410-4930



Policy Brief Series Issue 3 | Vol. 2: Environmental migration in Morocco: Stocktaking, challenges and opportunities

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Environmental migration is a reality for Morocco. Environmental and climatic factors not only account for migration to Morocco from sub-Saharan Africa, but also for movements out of and within the country, especially to the major coastal cities. With the severe impacts of climate change expected to rise in intensity in the coming decades, sudden-onset events, such as floods and storms, as well as slow-onset processes, such as droughts and desertification, will further intensify these movements. This policy brief calls for more research to better understand the linkages between climate change and migration in Morocco and suggests integrating environmental migration as a cross-cutting policy issue within the Moroccan domestic policy. The hosting of the COP22 in Marrakesh this November offers political momentum to place spotlight on the topic within the Moroccan political agenda. 

ISSN: 2410-4930

Policy Brief Series Issue 2 | Vol. 2: Migrants and natural disasters: National law, policy and practice in the Americas

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The question of how to regulate international migration-related challenges in the context of rapid-onset natural disasters is attracting increasing interest from academics and policymakers alike. However, the fact that the issue is not addressed directly by international law or policy has sometimes led to the erroneous conclusion that no law or policy exists. Against this backdrop, this policy brief points to a range of applicable law, policy and practice at the national level in the Americas and which offers a prospective basis for further legal and policy development in this area.