GMC_2020_Event_Climate Change

Mobility, Migration and Climate Change

Prof. Etienne Piguet
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Auditorium A2, Maison de la paix, Geneva


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The impact of environmental change on human mobilities and the way migration can act as a response to environmental hazards are attracting an increasing attention from both policy-makers and researchers worldwide in the context of climate change. Yet, knowledge in this field remains limited and fragmented. Numbers of future “environmental refugees” are often forecasted without reliable methodologies and concepts such as “trapped populations” or “climate migrants” are discussed without proper definitions. This talk will provide an overview of the environmental change migration nexus and investigate the key issues at stake. The concepts and methods most adequate to address the complexities of these phenomenon will also be questioned.

Etienne Piguet (Phd. /University of Lausanne/1998) is Professor at the Institute of geography of the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland). He chairs the Population geography commission of the International Geographical Union (IGU) and is vice-president of the Swiss federal commission for migration (CFM/EKM). E. Piguet is specialized in migration studies with a focus on the migration/climate change nexus. He has written extensively on issues of migration flows, refugees, labour market integration of migrants, discrimination, statelessness, etc.  He was Review editor for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th assessment report (IPCC 2014) and has published numerous books and papers on the topic in scientific journals including the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Population Space and Place, Nature (Climate change), Population and Development Review, Journal of Refugee Studies, etc. In Dec. 2019, he published a new book in French on asylum issues (Asile et réfugiés – Repenser la protection – Presses poytechniques romandes). Full list of publications