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.







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


Download the issue


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

Download the issue
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

Download the issue

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

Download the issue 

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

Download the issue

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.


Policy Brief Series Issue 1 | Vol. 2: Land matters: The role of land policies and laws for environmental migration in Kenya

Download the issue

Environmental migration is inevitably linked to the question of land for several reasons: (a) environmental and climate change reduces the amount of habitable land; (b) more land is needed to accommodate those who leave such areas; and (c) land policies are decisive factors in determining people’s resilience at places of origin, as well as successful establishment at destinations. In Kenya, land tenure insecurity is a major factor of vulnerability to environmental change. 

Based on a review of Kenyan land legislation for the Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy (MECLEP) project, this policy brief analyses the ongoing land reform process in Kenya, and its potentials and shortcomings that contribute to the management of environmental migration, as well as mitigate pressures to migrate. This two-pronged approach is in line with Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan but impaired by current delays in implementing the policy objectives of the Kenyan Constitution and the New Land Policy. The author recommends accelerated efforts in this direction and to incorporate measures to mitigate land tenure insecurity in disaster management frameworks.


Policy Brief Series Issue 11: Using migration to develop resilience against climate change in Mauritius

Download the issue

The Republic of Mauritius is at the forefront of climate change. The country experiences tropical cyclones, flash floods, droughts and sea-level rise that threaten the land and livelihood of the country’s most vulnerable populations. This policy brief summarizes the current situation of migration, environment and climate change in Mauritius and the country’s policies addressing environmental migration. It recommends the following: (a) Mauritius should take action towards developing the full potential of migration as a positive adaptation strategy to climate change (such as through diaspora cooperation); (b) concretize meaningful actions to build resilience of local communities; and (c) further cooperate with international and regional partners to achieve effective and comprehensive policies on human mobility and climate change.  


Policy Brief Series Issue 10: Climate change and climate policy induced relocations: A challenge for social justice - Recommendations of the Bielefeld Consultation

Download the issue

This policy brief is the result of an interdisciplinary research workshop with academics and practitioners, held at Bielefeld University in Germany on November 2014, in cooperation with COST Action IS1011 on Climate Change and Migration. The Bielefeld Consultation identified the need to raise awareness of the challenges of planned relocation as an adaptive strategy to climate change or as a consequence of climate policies. Acknowledging the risks and failures of planned relocation, the Consultation suggests principals and precautionary measures to ensure climate justice. And as a result of the Consultation, non-conclusive list of minimum standards for planned relocation are put forward for the consideration of policymakers and practitioners engaged in climate change adaptation and mitigation.


Policy Brief Series Issue 9: The poor pay the price, New research insights on human mobility, climate change and disasters

Dowload the issue

In light of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of 2015, this policy brief highlights why human mobility should be included in the discussions on adaptation. Migration, in the context of environmental degradation and climate change, is already a reality today, particularly within countries, and not a future scenario. This is illustrated with findings from six countries (Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kenya, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam). Data from Haiti shows that, in particular, both internal and international circular migration is a beneficial adaptation strategy to climate change and disasters.

Yet environmental stress is disproportionately affecting the poorest, who are most likely to be displaced and in need of relocation. Thus, policies should aim at reducing the risk for disasters and increasing resilience of those who cannot move and include the contributions of migrants as recognized in the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030.