Access key links:

Migration and Global Environmental Change


The project Migration and Global Environmental Change examines how profound changes in environmental conditions such as flooding, drought and rising sea levels will influence and interact with patterns of global human migration over the next 50 years.

Whilst recognising the opportunities this human movement will present, 75% of which is internal, the project has found that the challenges associated with this interaction have been underestimated. By focusing solely on those that might leave vulnerable areas, we risk neglecting key issues:

  1. Millions will be ‘trapped’ in vulnerable areas and unable to move, particularly in low income countries.
  2. People are as likely to move towards areas of environmental risk as they are to move away.
  3. However, migration can transform people’s ability to cope with environmental change.
  4. What can we do about this: By recognising migration issues in international policies, policy makers will be more effective in efforts to help people cope with environmental change:
  • International adaptation and development funding
  • Long term urban planning.

Full details of the report findings can be found in the final project report and executive summary.

The project has involved around 350 leading experts and stakeholders from 30 countries across the world. More than 70 papers and other reviews of the state of the art of diverse areas of science were commissioned to inform the analysis.

The project’s findings were published on 20 October 2011.