Climate migration

IMG_1824_Index_1Dhaka, 20 June 2017. Today in a seminar held at CIRDAP auditorium titled “Climate Change: Bangladesh and Bay of Bengal Regional Cooperation” civil society leaders, policy makers and experts urged to strengthen cooperation in the Bay of Bengal region or BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical Economic Cooperation) regional cooperation to tackle climate change problem and also to use natural resources for common public good. The seminar was organized by an NGO (non-government organization) COAST Trust (Coastal Association for Social Transformation) with the assistance from American Centre Dhaka.

The seminar was Chaired by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmed, Chairman, PKSF (Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation), Chief Guest was Dr. Hasan Mahmud, MP (Member of Parliament), Chairman Parliamentary Standing Committee on MoE&F (Ministry of Environment and Forest) and Chairman, All Party Parliamentary Forum on Climate Change; Special Guests were Mr. Domang, First Secretary, Royal Bhutan Embessy; Mr. Sanjay Vahsist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), Dr. Kevin Adkin, Climate Change Adaptation Advisor, US Embassy; Mr. Kelly R Ryan Cultural Affairs Officer American Centre Dhaka; Mr. Sojib Ahmed from High Commission of India ; Mr. AHM Bazlur Raham from BNNRC (Bangladesh NGO Network for Radio and Communication). The seminar was moderated by Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury from COAST; key note presentation was given by Dr. Haseeb Md. Irfanullah, IUCN and Mr. Syed Aminul Haque of COAST.

In key note presentation, Sayed Aminul Haque of COAST summarized the presentation from six writers from IMG_1906_Indexsix Bay of Bengal region countries, i.e., in respect of bio diversity management, mangrove management, solid waste management, surface water management, local level adaptation planning and in respect of community adaptations in Bay of Bengal countries like Bhutan, Mayanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh has good examples in respect of tackling climate change problem. Dr. Haseeb Md. Irfanullah from IUCN, gave examples of adaptation technologies and cited that Bangladesh has now become a capital of learning on community level adaptation. He also said that this is a knowledge based monitoring and learning process in the long run and that Bangladesh has to live with the spirit of adaptation.

Mr. Sanjay Vahsist from CANSA said that cooperation in respect of agriculture technologies, water security and energy management should receive priority as agendas in the region for cooperation. There should be long term planning and cross boarder coordinated action. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman, the Chair of the seminar said that SAARC has already three important declarations in this regard, these are Dhaka, Thimpu and Kathmandu declaration on climate change, but they have little practical ramifications; countries have to give importance on these. Dr. Hasan Mahmud said as the region and the countries would like to get rid of fossil fuel based energy production, the region, especially countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan have enormous opportunity on joint project for hydro electricity production, which is a necessity for economic growth and poverty alleviation of the region.
Please download related paper [Bangla press] [English press] [Summary Presentation on different writers of BIMSTEC Country by Syed Aminul Hoque of COAST] [Presentation on Climate Change Adaptation by Haseeb Md. Irfanullah of IUCN Bangladesh] [Climate change in the Bay of Bengal Region “Exploring Sectoral Cooperation for Sustainable Development”]
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IMG_0837_IndexDhaka, 13th May 2017. Today in a seminar title “UN Global Compacts and Climate Displacement: Bangladeshi Civil Society Perspective” held at CIRDAP auditorium, in the seminars multi stakeholders are suggested “Government and Civil Society should work together to influence UN (United Nation) Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees to be prepared by the middle of 2018.” It should be noted that during September 2016 an UN summit has adopted resolution to prepare two global compacts by 2018. Consultation in international and regional level has already planned in this regard. The seminar was organized by COAST and EquityBD from Bangladesh, Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) from Switzerland and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) from Norway. The seminar was chaired by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Chairman PKSF, moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST and EquityBD. Key speakers of the seminar were, Dr Rustam Ali Farazi MP (Member of Parliament), Foreign Secretary Mr. Shahidul Haque, Dr. Atiq Rahman of BCAS (Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies) , Mr Abdusattar Esoev Deputy Country Representative from IoM (International Office of Migration), Dr. Sharmind Neelormi from JU (Jahangirnagar University), Mrs Nahida Sobhan Director General MoFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Dr. Neelopal Adri from BIDS (Bangaldesh Institute of Development Studies), Mr Shamsuddoha of CPRD (Centre of Participatory Research and Development) , Ms Catherine Cecil from Brithish Council, Mr Sayed Shamsul Haque from WRBEE and Mr. Shasanka Shadi from BRAC. Mr Sayed Aminul Haque from COAST has presented the key note presentation.
Mr Sayed Aminul Haque of COAST in his key note presentation suggested the two global compacts should review of international legal regime to include climate displacement issues; there should be acceptable definition, plan of action and follow up mechanism in this regard. He also suggested that within the country government of Bangladesh should formed internal displacement policy, formed climate commission to made effective integration and lead the international climate negotiation. Mrs Nahida Sobhan from MoFA gave a detail background of the process. Dr Sharmind Neelormi from JU and Ms. Neelopal Adri said more studies needed on the issue to strengthen knowledge and evidence base.
Dr. Atiq Rahaman of BCAS said that climate displacement is a manmade problem as developed country emits high level of carbon. He suggested MoFA should coordinate with civil society to have effective global compacts. IoM Deputy Country Representative Mr. Abdusattar said that climate displaced should be termed as “Environmental Migrants”.
Foreign Secretary Mr Sahidul Haque said that, next two years civil society and government need to work together to influence the global compacts process, where climate displacement should not be separated from mobility issue and “Nansen Protection Agenda” should be considered as a base which has been signed by 107 countries . Dr. Rustam Ali Farazi MP said that, government should also do with its own resources to protect the people. Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman the Chair of the seminar said that, civil society, government and agencies has to work together as they are for the people, as climate displacement is becoming acute problem in Bangladesh.
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DMS_0618_IndexDhaka, 19th February 2017. Today a seminar title “Protecting Bangladesh Coast from Climate Catastrophes: Actions Prior to Next Monsoon” jointly organized by Office of the Dr Hasan Mahmud, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment and Forest in cooperation with COAST Trust, speakers emphasized the protection of coastal land and people could be done from country’s own resources, and in this regard Water Development Board has to be restructured and must coordinate with other government ministries. The seminar was chaired by Dr Hasan Mahmud, moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust. Special Guest of the seminar was Mr Abduallah Al Islam MP Deputy Minister, other speakers are Dr Ainun Nishat Professor of Emirates BRAC University; Mr. Ponchanon Biswas MP; Mrs Zebunnesa Afroz MP, Mr Ponkaz Nath MP; Mr Shiekh Nurul Haque MP and Mr. Didarul Islam MP. Mr Mujibul Haque Munir of COAST Trust gave the key note presentation.
Mr Mujibul Haque Munir in his key note presentation, apart from the long term impact of climate change in Bangladeshi coastal area, he presented the gloomy experiences of embankment construction with emergency allocation which has given after cyclone Roanu i.e. after last moon soon. He said about discrepancies of original plan and actual work, hardly 50 % of the work has done so far, although there are lot of concern on quality. He express worries, if this sorry state will prevail then again coastal population will suffer tidal surge and related crisis again in next monsoon. Apart from long term solutions, he proposed (i) full transparency and accountability of the Water Development Board (WDB) officials to the local community and to local governments, (ii) there should be coordination of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Relief Ministry in this regard and (iii) there should be especial allocation to the Upazila Parishad for emergency work in next monsoon.
Mr Didarul Islam MP of Sitakundu, Mrs Zebunnesa MP of Barisal, Mr Pankaz Nath MP of Mehediganj, Mr Shiekh Nurul Haque MP of Koira, Mr Ponchanon Biswas of Khulna also narrated sorry state of their constituency which in fact still unprotected from river erosion and tidal surge, people are worried for incoming monsoon. They have emphasized sluice gate reactivation, canal revaccinations and dredging, river management in their area, drinking water crisis acute in their area too. They also said that presence of WDB officials in the field are found minimum.
Dr Ainun Nishat has said that, embankment height in coastal area have to be increased up to 7 meter, participation of local community, transparency and accountability to them should must in WDB work. He criticized the present preparation of Delta plan as proposed by donors. Dr Hasan Mahmud Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee said that, political leaders should come forward in suggesting that how the government can do their coastal protection work with country’s own local resource mobilization. He also said that the World Bank should not come forward with the proposal of giving loan to Bangladesh in this regard. He emphasized that, WDB has to restructure and there must be coordination with LGED, Relief Ministry and Shipping Ministry for protecting Bangladesh coast.
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Index_11Bangladesh is already one of the most climate vulnerable nations in the world, and global warming will bring more floods, stronger cyclones. At the dry fish yards, close to the airport at the coastal town of Cox’s Bazar, women are busy sorting fish to dry in the sun. They say the process, which begins in October, can continue through to February or March if the weather is good.

But Aman Ullah Shawdagor, a dry fish businessman who employs 70 people, says high tides and seasonal changes have hit his business hard. Last year there were four cyclones, more than ever before. In 2015, there was only one.
Bangladeshi surfer with ambitions to become chairman of the board
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“My business is not doing so well because of the changing weather conditions,” says Shawdagor. “This is a dry season business. But for the last couple of years, the rain has become more frequent. It rains not only in the rainy season but also in the winter. There have also been more signals [storm warnings] with the rise in high tides. When the high tide comes, it frequently covers the whole of the land here. It is very bad for the dry fish.”

Nurul Hashem, a schoolteacher from Kutubdia Para, a nearby shanty town where many of the dry fish workers live, has also noted the trend. “We believe the water level is getting higher here,” he says. “Last year, my home was under water three or four times.”

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IndexA row of mangrove trees sticking out of the sand, exposed by low tide off Kutubdia island in the Bay of Bengal, is all that remains of a coastal village that for generations was home to 250 families. The villagers were forced to flee as their land, which had been slowly eroding for decades, was finally engulfed by the ever-rising tide five years ago.

For the embattled people of Ali Akbar Dial, a collection of disappearing villages on the southern tip of the island in Bangladesh, the distant trees serve as a bittersweet reminder of what they have lost and a warning of what is come. The low-lying island of Kutubdia has one of the fastest-ever sea level rises recorded in the world, placing it bang on the front line of climate change, and the islanders are fighting a battle they fear is already lost. [click here for full report]

index_9599Dhaka 10th December 2016. National and International civil society rights groups working for the rights of migrants expressed their solidarity for the climate migrants’ rights. They were speaking at a seminar organized yesterday (9th December) in a hotel in Dhaka. The seminar titled “Climate Displacement: Promoting and Protecting the Climate Migrants’ Rights” organized jointly by Action Aid, COAST Trust, Climate Action Network for South Asia (CANSA), Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (equityBD) and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Dr. Hasan Mahmud, MP, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment and Forest was the Chief Guest of the seminar while it was chaired by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman, Chairman, PKSF. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD moderated the seminar and Mr. Henrik Widht, Deputy Head of Mission, Norwegian Embassy in Bangladesh, Dr. Gopal Krishna Siwakoti, Ex-Chairman of Asia Pacific Refugee Right Networks, Ms. Sarnata Reynolds, Policy Advisor of Oxfam International, Mr. Sanjay Vashist, Co Chair of CANSA, Mr Harjeet Singh of Action Aid International, Mr. Atle Solberg, Head of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), Coordination Unit and Ms. Farah Kabir of Action Aid Bangladesh also spoke at the occasion as panel discussants. Participants from India, Nepal, Philippines, Jordan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Norway, USA, South Africa also participated on the open discussion. About 80 international CSO leaders participated in the seminar.
Mr Harjeet Singh said, the issue of climate migrants is not in the Paris Climate Agreement, there are efforts to include the issue in the Warsaw Implementation Mechanism. Bangladesh is playing an important role in this regard.
Sanjay Vashist said, Bangladesh is most suffered due to climate forced displacement. In Bangladesh, internal migration is severe compared to cross border migration.
Atle Solberg said, PDD is a state-led platform working with the issue of climate migrants. We have already working with a non-binding sate declaration on climate migrants. I think states have to do more in this regard.
Dr. Gopal Krishna Siwakoti said, the issue of Climate Migrants is also an important issue of the Global Forum of Migration Development (GFMD). We CSO leaders from various parts of the world, working with migration issue express our solidarity for the rights of climate migrants.
Ms. Sarnata Reynolds said, UN is going to prepare ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’, CSO has to play an active role in this regard. Developed countries are nit that mush interested; we have to push them for a positive change.
Mr. Henrik Widht said, we are very much concern over the situation of climate displacement of Bangladesh. Bangladesh as well as the international governments have to achieve a rational solution of that problem.
Dr. Hasan Mahmud said, Due to internal migration the population of the Dhaka City has been increased almost 10 times within last 15 years. To address the crises of climate migrants Geneva Convention on migration has to be revised.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman said, Global communities have to come forward to get a solution for the climate migrants; migrant community leaders have to be very much active in this regard.
Please Download [Bangla Press] [English Press] [Position Paper] [ “The Humanity Passport” Bangla ] [ “The Humanity Passport” English] [Background Note on Protecting Climate Induced Migration] [Action paper on Protecting Climate Migrants in all crises] [Seminar Report]
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indexToday 8th September 2016, nine right based civil society networking organizations coordinated by EquityBD has organized a press conference at national press club and urged to honorable PM (Prime Minister) for reorganizing her international negotiation strategies focusing the climate induce migrant issue. The speakers have criticized the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoE&F) for its depressive role in Paris agreement, that’s why the issue of climate migrant did not get proper treatment and lost the momentum. Following the situation, they also urged our PM to be vocal on climate migrant issues in upcoming UN High-Level Meeting on “Refugees and Migrants” that will be held on 19 September 2016. They said, as our PM will take part at this meeting, so that she will request the global leaders for new compact for migrants which could be legal policy regimes and frame works and reorganizations of present form UN bodies, especially to look after the issues of climate inducement displacement and migrants or immigrants’ rights in countries.
The press conference is moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akand-Networking Coordinator of EquityBD and key demand is read out by Syed Aminul Hoque of same organization. Among the others, Mr. Kamrul Islam Chowdhury (General Secretary of National Press Club and President of Forum of Environment Journalist, Bangladesh-FEJB), Md Masum of CDP (Coastal Development Partnership), Md. Kawser Rhaman (Bangladesh Climate Change Journalist Forum-BCJF), Mr. Aminur Rasul Babul (Unnayan Dhara Trust) and Mr. Waliur Rahaman from WARBE Development Foundation has spoke there in favor of the demands.
In the presentation of key demand, Syed Aminul Hoque said that the climate induced displacement and migrant issue is common and national problem. That’s why it must have to be focused nationally rather than a ministry-specific responsibility. So that government has needed to rethink and reorganize her planning structure that will integrate all ministries to a common focus on climate induced displacement and their management. Aminul Hoque also proposed to form a “National Climate Commission” as a supra national bodies on top of ministries and giving responsibility to the commission for integration of climate adaptation in budget and national planning and also led the climate negotiation in the international level.
Mr. Kamrul Islam Chowdhury of FEJB said that climate change now affecting adversely in our agriculture, food security and damaging our ecosystem. That’s why the affected people will be forced to move another one place. Country has no capacity to take this load like other developing and developed countries. So our government should highlight this concern and put forward the demand accordingly to developed countries for effective support. He also proposed to conduct long term research to assess and trend on climate migration, by which government could take strong position in international forums.
Mr. Kawser Rahaman of BCJF said that what we have lost in last Paris agreement would be possible to recover if our PM take strong role in upcoming UN summit. He also said that proposed “Climate Commission” might be an effective tool for our PM to integration climate issues among the ministries and development planning for sustainable development.
Md Masum of CDP mentioned that, the different ministries have capacity but our government is not able to integrate these capacities for development. Government committed to develop an IDP (Internal Displacement policy) which is an essential instrument for displacement management in country and also a tool for showing our situation and adopting capacity globally but not yet in light. He urged government to do this IDP as soon as possible.
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IndexDhaka, 20th August 2016. Today different right group network of the country and region has organized a seminar title “Climate Issues in CoP 22 and Islamabad SAARC Summit” held in CIRDAP Auditorium, Paltan, Dhaka. Speakers in the seminar urged Bangladesh government delegation to rise cross boarder implications issues of climate induced displacement in both SAARC Islamabad summit and Climate Conference in Marrakech. It should be noted that Conference of Parties (CoP) 22 Climate Conference will be happened in the Marrakesh the capital of Morocco during November 2016 and SAARC summit will be happened in Islamabad during December 2016. The seminar was jointly organized by Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), Christian Aid, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL), Oxfam International, COAST and EquityBD. The seminar was chaired by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman PKSF, Dr Hasan Mahmud, Member of Parliament (MP), Chairman Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment and Forest attended as the chief guest. The seminar was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST. Other guest speakers were, Mr Sanjay Vahsist of CANSA, Dr Atiq Rahman of BCAS, Mr Badi Akhter from Oxfam and Ms Sharmind Neelormi of CSRL. Mr Mujibul Haque Munir of Equitybd has presented the key note presentation.
In the key note presentation Mr Mujibul Haque Munir of EquityBD mentioned that Bangladesh must take the opportunity of SAARC summit to raise the cross boarder perspective of climate displacement issue in SAARC summit. He also presented the grim picture of Green Climate Fund disbursement, while 90 % of pledge has been met, then LDC and country like Bangladesh has got direct access only to 2 % of the fund because of difficult procedures, most of the fund i.e. around 80 % fund has disbursed through multinational institutions, even though international bank like HSBC. Mr. Badi Akhter from Oxfam pleaded that Bangladesh delegation in CoP 22 Marrakech must raise the issue of insurance in Loss & Damage. Ms Sharmind Neelormi of CSRL urged that Bangladesh government should not feel shy to raise joint river management issues in SAARC; she also urged that while Bangladesh is one of the highest remittance sender countries to the India, then India must consider accepting Bangladeshi climate migrants.
Mr. Sanjay Vahsist, Director CANSA said that there is a need of strong civil society mobilization in SAARC countries especially in India to go for regional level water management and management of climate induced displacement. Dr Hasan Mahmud MP Chairman Parliamentary Standing Committee, mentioned that what Bangladesh delegation gained in Durban and Cancun on climate displacement issue that have to be again placed in CoP 22 Marrakech, he also urged for redefining UN refugee convention in view of climate displacement. He criticized GCF, as majority fund channeling through multilateral financial institution whose basic objectives to gain profit. Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman, Chairman PKSF and Chair of the seminar mentioned that all though Bangladesh have to be very active in Marrakech and Islamabad SAARC summit but Bangladesh should not wait for external assistance, the country has to proceed its own too.

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IndexDhaka, 7th April 2016. Today 12 civil society organizations and network facilitated by COAST has organized a seminar at Cirdap international conference centre, title “Setting Agenda for World Humanitarian Summit Istanbul: Climate Induced Displacement, Humanitarian and Right Perspectives”. Where the speakers urged to place the issue of climate induced displacement in UN World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) which to be held in later of this month, they also urged government and other international government to demand new UN protocol for climate induce displacement. The co organizers of the seminar were BAPA, BIPNetCCBD, BNNfWHS, BCJF, CCDF, CLEAN, CGC, CDP, CSRL, FEJB, EquityBD and COAST.
The seminar was Chair by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Chairman PKSF, the seminar was moderated by Mr Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST, Chief Guest of the seminar was French Ambassador Mrs Sophie Aubert, other guests of the seminar was Mr. Shaha Kamal Secretary Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Mr Jeremy Wallard of OCHA Bangkok and Dr Atiq Rahman BCAS. Other speakers of the seminar were Mr Shamuddoha of CPRD, Mrs Hasina Inam of DCA, Mr Nayeem Waraha of BRAC, Mr Hasib Khan of RIC, Mr Nasir from ActionAid, and Mr Mahbub CARE. Key note presentations especially on WHS has given by Mr. Shawkat Ali Tutul COAST and on advocacy on climate induce displacement given by Mr Sayed Aminul Haque COAST.
French Ambassador Mrs. Sophie said Climate induced displacement is happening because of human error it is not the natural phenomena. Ministry Secretary Mr Saha Kamal said that government delegation in the WHS summit will place the issue of climate induce displacement as Bangladesh is hardly responsible for climate change impacts. Dr Atiq Rahman of BCAS, the developed countries that are responsible for high carbon emission they must consider to take responsibilities of climate induce displacement, it will be more than 20 million in Bangladesh by the year 20150, and he also mentioned this is highest security issue too. Mr Jeremy Wallard of OCHA said that Bangladesh will get highest importance in the WHS process especially in high level session on disaster and climate change. Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST mentioned that now the cross boarder issue of climate induced displacement has been recognized in state led initiatives facilitated by the Nansen Initiatives, civil society is doing track two campaign to support of Bangladesh especially to get new UN protocol in this regard, there will be side event with 15 global civil society and humanitarian organizations in Istanbul. Dr Qazi Kholliquzaman Chair of the seminar said that Bangladesh has the capacity to solve the problem with own capacity but it has to raise the issue in international level continuously.

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Book_IndexOne article titled Climate-induced migrants need dignified recognition’ written by Syed Aminul Haque, Coordinator-Secretariat of EquityBD has recently published in an intentional book. The book titled Organizational Perspectives on Environmental Migration’ has been published by Routledge of London and New York. The book is a collection of chapters exploring how organizations have responded to migration and displacement linked to environmental change. Academics and practitioners explore how environmental migration has shaped the work of their organizations and projects. The book is edited by François Gemenne and Kerstin Rosenow-Williams.

Aminul Haque in his article talks about the vulnerability of Bangladesh due t climate change, major scenario of climate migrants in the country, government practices to address the problem, EquityBD’s campaign on this issue, challenges in future dealing with climate migrants, on way forward of the issue.

The preface of the book says, over the past decade, international organizations (IOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have increasingly focused their efforts on the plight of environmental migrants in both industrialized and developing countries. However, to date very few studies have analyzed the influence and rhetoric of advocacy groups in the debates on environmental migration. Organizational Perspectives on Environmental Migration fills this lacuna by drawing together and examining the related themes of climate change and environmental degradation, migration and organizational studies to provide a fresh perspective on their increasing relevance. In order to assess the role of IOs and NGOs in the environmental migration discourse and to understand their interaction and their ways of addressing the topic, the book contains a wide-range of contributions covering the perspectives of organizational sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, geographers, lawyers and practitioners. The chapters are organized thematically around the perspectives of key actors in the area of environmental migration, including IOs, courts and advocacy groups. The geographically diverse and interdisciplinary range of contributions makes this volume an essential foundational text for organizational responses to environmental migration. This volume will be of great interest to students and scholars of migration studies, international relations, organizational sociology, refugee law and policy, and development studies.