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Debates on environmental migration

Kurzdossiers "Paradise Left Behind" – Begleitmaterial zum Film "Es geht um differenzierte Bilder." – Ein Gespräch über Paradise Left Behind Die ägäischen Inseln: von Räumen des Transits zu Räumen der Immobilisierung 'Schengen', 'Dublin' und die Ambivalenzen der EU-Migrationspolitik. Eine kurze Geschichte Paradise Left Behind Migration und Wirtschaft Die wirtschaftlichen Auswirkungen von Zuwanderung Wie sich Migration auf die Herkunftsländer auswirkt Migrantische Ökonomien in Deutschland Fachkräfteengpässe und Arbeitsmigration nach Deutschland Migration und Handwerk – kurze Geschichte einer langen Verbindung Migration und Handwerk: Fachkräftemangel und integratives Potenzial Zugehörigkeit und Zusammenhalt in der Migrationsgesellschaft Was ist Heimat? Warum es so viel leichter ist über Nudelsalat zu reden als über Rassismus Die blinden Flecken antirassistischer Diskurse Was hält eine Gesellschaft zusammen? Was hält eine Gesellschaft zusammen? Konfliktbearbeitung ist der Klebstoff der Demokratie Sozialer Zusammenhalt und das Gefühl, fremd im eigenen Land zu sein Die Gruppe der Ostdeutschen als Teil postmigrantischer Integrationsfragen Kommunale Migrations- und Flüchtlingspolitik Der "local turn" in der Migrations- und Asylpolitik Kommunen und ihre Rolle bei der Flüchtlingsaufnahme Kommunale Aufnahme von Flüchtlingen Interview: Migrations- und integrationspolitische Debatten im Deutschen Städtetag Kommunale Integrationspolitik in Deutschland: Teilhabe vor Ort ermöglichen Zufluchtsstädte im amerikanischen Einwanderungsföderalismus Migration in städtischen und ländlichen Räumen Geflüchtete in ländlichen Räumen Perspektive Geflüchteter auf das Leben auf dem Land Landlust oder Landfrust? Fleischindustrie Migrantische Arbeitskräfte in der malaysischen Palmölindustrie (Il)legal? Migrant_innen in der spanischen Landwirtschaft Das Wachstum der Städte durch Migration Migration und Männlichkeit Männlichkeit im Migrationskontext Muslimische Männlichkeit Väterlichkeiten Intersektionale Diskriminierung Sozialisation junger Muslime Migration – Kriminalität – Männlichkeit Migration und Sicherheit Einführung Migration und menschliche Sicherheit Foreign Fighters "Gefährder" Smart Borders Grenzkontrollen: Einblicke in die grenzpolizeiliche Praxis Die Polizei in der Einwanderungsgesellschaft Interview Radikalisierung in der Migrationsgesellschaft Schlepper: Dekonstruktion eines Mythos "Racial Profiling", institutioneller Rassismus und Interventionsmöglichkeiten Migration und Klimawandel Umwelt- und Klimamigration: Begriffe und Definitionen Zur Prognose des Umfangs klimabedingter Migrationen Der Zusammenhang zwischen Klimawandel und Migration Indikator für Verwundbarkeit oder Resilienz? Klimawandel, Migration und Geschlechterverhältnisse Rechtliche Schutzmöglichkeiten für "Klimaflüchtlinge" Interview mit Ulf Neupert Frauen in der Migration Migration qualifizierter Frauen in der EU Selbstorganisation geflüchteter Frauen* "Gastarbeiterinnen" in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Ein Überblick in Zahlen Migration und Geschlechterrollen Frauen auf der Flucht Interview Zahlenwerk: Frauen mit Migrationshintergrund in Deutschland Integrationskurse Geschlechtsbezogene Verfolgung – Rechtlicher Schutz Geflüchtete Frauen in Deutschland Kinder- und Jugendmigration Zahlenwerk Kindertransporte Die "Schwabenkinder" Kinder- und Jugendmigration aus GB Menschenrechte von Kindermigranten Third Culture Kids Kindersoldat_Innen Adoption und Kindermigration Kinderhandel Lebensborn e.V. Grenzzäune und -mauern Mauern und Zäune Integrationspolitik Integrationsmonitoring Integrationstheorien Interview mit Andreas Zick Integration in superdiverse Nachbarschaften Migration und Entwicklung Entwicklung und Migration, Umsiedlung und Klimawandel Migration und Entwicklung – eine neue Perspektive? Stand der Forschung Rücküberweisungen Diaspora als Impulsgeberin für Entwicklung Landgrabbing Interview mit Roman Herre Strukturumbrüche und Transformation Diaspora Was ist eine Diaspora? Exil, Diaspora, Transmigration Diaspora: Leben im Spannungsfeld Türkeistämmige in Deutschland Postsowjetische Migranten Polnische Diaspora Vietnamesische Diaspora Kurdische Diaspora Diaspora als Akteur der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit Russlanddeutsche und andere postsozialistische Migranten Wer sind die Russlanddeutschen? Aussiedler Politische Partizipation von Russlanddeutschen Russlanddeutsches Verbandswesen Religiosität unter Russlanddeutschen Interview mit Peter Dück Russlanddeutsche in Russland Russlanddeutsche transnational Jüdische Kontingentflüchtlinge und Russlanddeutsche Transnationalismus als Beheimatungsstrategie Aushandlungen der Zugehörigkeit russlanddeutscher Jugendlicher Mediennutzung der russischen Diaspora in Deutschland 'Russische' Supermärkte und Restaurants in Deutschland Perspektiven auf die Integration von Geflüchteten in Deutschland Arbeitsmarktperspektiven von Geflüchteten Interview mit Gesa Hune Meinung: Geflüchtete fördern - oder es kann teuer werden Effekte der Fluchtmigration - Interview mit Prof. Dr. Herbert Brücker "Die müssen die Sprache lernen" Fremd- bzw. Zweitspracherwerb von Geflüchteten Die Arbeitsmarktintegration Geflüchteter in der Vergangenheit "Wohnst Du schon – oder wirst Du noch untergebracht?" Inklusion in das Schulsystem Ein Jahr Integrationsgesetz Interview mit Prof. Dr. Julia von Blumenthal Über die Zusammenhänge von Religion und Integration Interview: Digitale Bildungsangebote als Chance für Integration Innerafrikanische Migrationen Konsequenzen der Auslagerung der EU-Grenzen Kindermigration in Burkina Faso Flucht und Vertreibung Migranten als Akteure der Globalisierung Migrations- und Fluchtpfade Marokko Libyen Abschiebungen nach Afrika Leben nach der Abschiebung Flüchtlingslager Begriff und Geschichte des Lagers Orte der dauerhaften Vorläufigkeit: Flüchtlingslager im globalen Süden "Das Leben im Flüchtlingslager wird zur Normalität" Urbanisierungsprozesse Kleine Geschichte der Flüchtlingslager Lager in der Weimarer Republik Schlotwiese Uelzen-Bohldamm Friedland Zirndorf Marienfelde Das Jahr 2016: Ein Rückblick Globale Flüchtlingskrise hält weiter an Diskussion um kriminelle Geflüchtete Europa Literatur Resettlement Was ist Resettlement? Historische Entwicklung Resettlement durch UNHCR Resettlement im Vergleich zu anderen Aufnahmeprogrammen Aufnahme und Integration EU und Resettlement Deutschland Zukunft des Resettlements Literatur Akteure im (inter-)nationalen (Flucht-)Migrationsregime Akteure in Migrationsregimen und das Aushandeln von Migration Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge Die Europäische Grenzschutzagentur Frontex Die Asylagentur der Europäischen Union: neue Agentur, alte Herausforderungen UNHCR UNRWA – das UN-Hilfswerk für Palästina-Flüchtlinge im Nahen Osten Die Internationale Organisation für Migration (IOM) "Migration ist ein globales Thema, auf das es auch globale Antworten geben sollte." Flucht und Asyl: Grundlagen Abschiebung in der Geschichte Deutschlands Wie ist das Asylrecht entstanden? Das Asylverfahren in Deutschland Schutzanspruch im deutschen Asylverfahren? Sichere Herkunftsländer Das Konzept "sichere Herkunftsstaaten" Definition für Duldung und verbundene Rechte Flüchtlingsaufnahme und ihre Folgen Fluchtziel Deutschland Freiwillige Rückkehr Unbegleitete minderjährige Geflüchtete Abschiebung – Ausweisung – Dublin-Überstellung Begriff und Figur des Flüchtlings in historischer Perspektive Zivilgesellschaftliches Engagement Ehrenamtliches Engagement von Geflüchteten Interview mit J. Olaf Kleist Engagement in der Migrationsgesellschaft Politische Proteste von Geflüchteten Proteste gegen Abschiebungen Zivilgesellschaft und Integration Städte der Solidarität – ein Interview Beim Kirchenasyl geht es um den Schutz des Einzelnen. Ein Gespräch. Zivilgesellschaftliche Initiativen für sichere Fluchtwege – ein Überblick Migrantenorganisationen – vielfältige Akteurinnen gesamtgesellschaftlicher Integration (Flucht-)Migration und Gesundheit Medizinische Versorgung Interview David Zimmermann Definition von Migration Gesundheitszustand von Migranten Barrieren/ Prävention Erklärungsmodelle Schlussfolgerungen Literatur Das Jahr 2015: Ein Rückblick Fluchtmigration: Hintergründe Verwaltungs- und Infrastrukturkrise EU: Reaktionen auf die Fluchtzuwanderung Flüchtlingszahlen weltweit Internationale Studierende Einleitung Bildungsmigration Internationale Studierende Internationale Studierende in Deutschland Übergang in den Arbeitsmarkt Literatur Migration und Pflege Einführung Altern in der Migrationsgesellschaft Interview mit Helma Lutz Deutsche Asylpolitik und EU-Flüchtlingsschutz Einleitung Flüchtlingsrecht Asylrecht, Flüchtlingspolitik, humanitäre Zuwanderung Flucht und Asyl als europäisiertes Politikfeld Asyl und Asylpolitik Ausblick Literatur Integration in der postmigrantischen Gesellschaft Einleitung Die postmigrantische Gesellschaft Paradigmenwandel Brauchen wir den Integrationsbegriff noch? Integration als Metanarrativ Notwendigkeit eines neuen Leitbildes Literatur Lifestyle Migration Was ist Lifestyle Migration? Briten in Spanien Einen neuen Lebensstil entdecken Folgen des Residenztourismus Zusammenfassung Literatur Wahlrecht und Partizipation von Migranten Einleitung Politische Rechte und Kommunalwahlrecht Wahlrecht für Drittstaatsangehörige Einbürgerung Aktuelle Entwicklungen Schlussbemerkungen Literatur Frontex und das Grenzregime der EU Einleitung Frontex – Fragen und Antworten Die Entwicklung des europäischen Grenzregimes Externalisierung Technologisierung Grenzwirtschaft/border economies Auf der anderen Seite des Grenzzauns Ist Einwanderung ein Risiko? Literatur Demografischer Wandel und Migration Einleitung Demografischer Übergang Deutschland und Europa Internationale Wanderung Integration und Reproduktionsverhalten Wanderungspolitik Regionale Muster Literatur Glossar English Version: Policy Briefs "Having a nationality is not a given, it is a privilege" Sanctuary and Anti-Sanctuary Immigration Law in the United States Migrant Smugglers Urbanizing Skilled Female Migrants in the EU Self-Organization of Women* Refugees Impact of Migration Revisited Child and Youth Migration Human Rights Protections Migration from the United Kingdom Adoption and Child Migration Third Culture Kids Trafficking in Children Actors in National and International (Flight)Migration Regimes UNHCR UNRWA International Organization for Migration The International Organization for Migration (IOM) German Asylum Policy and EU Refugee Protection Introduction Refugee Law Asylum Law, Refugee Policy, Humanitarian Migration Flight and Asylum Current Developments Current and Future Challenges References Integration in a Post-Migrant Society Introduction Post-Migrant Society Paradigm Shift Do We Still Need the Concept of Integration? Integration as a Metanarrative Need for a New Concept References Lifestyle Migration What Is Lifestyle Migration? British in Spain Realizing a New Style of Life Outcomes of Lifestyle Migration Conclusion References Voting rights and political participation Introduction Political and Municipal Voting Rights Voting Rights for Nationals of Non-EU States Naturalization Recent Developments Conclusions References Frontex and the EU Border Regime Introduction Frontex — Questions and Answers The Development of a European Border Regime Externalization Technologization Border Economies On the Other Side of the Border Fence Is Migration a Risk? References Demographic Change and Migration in Europe Introduction Demographic Transition Germany and Europe International Migration Reproductive Behavior Migration Policy Regional Patterns Glossary Further Reading Global Migration in the Future Introduction Increase of the World Population Growth of Cities Environmental Changes Conclusion: Political Migration References Germans Abroad Introduction Germans Abroad Expatriates in Hong Kong and Thailand Human Security Concerns of German Expatriates Conclusions References Migrant Organizations What Are Migrant Organizations? Number and Structure Their Role in Social Participation Multidimensionality and the Dynamic Character Interaction with their Environments Between the Countries of Origin and Arrival Conclusion References EU Internal Migration EU Internal Migration East-West Migration after the EU Enlargement Ireland United Kingdom Spain Portugal Greece Italy Germany Assessment of Qualifications Acquired Abroad Introduction Evolution of the Accreditation Debate The Importance of Accreditation Basic Principles Thus Far of the Accreditation of Qualifications Acquired Abroad Actors in the Accreditation Practice Reasons for Establishing a New Legal Framework The Professional Qualifications Assessment Act What Is Being Criticized? The Accreditation System in Transition Conclusion References From Home country to Home country? Context Motives Immigration and Integration in Turkey Identification Emigration or Return? References Integration in Figures Approaches Development Six Approaches Conclusion References Climate Change Introduction Estimates Affected areas Environmental migration Conclusion References Dual citizenship Discourse Classic objections Current debate Rule of law Conclusion References Female Labour Migration The labour market Dominant perceptions Skilled female migration Issues Conclusion References How Healthy are Migrants? Definition The Health Status Prevention/Barriers Migration and Health Conclusions References Networks Spain Migrant networks Effects of networks Romanian networks Conclusion References Integration Policy Introduction Demographic situation Economic conditions Labour market The case in Stuttgart Integration measures Evaluation Outlook References Irregular Migration Introduction The phenomenon Political approaches Controlling Sanctions Proposed directive Conclusions References Integration Courses Introduction The Netherlands France Germany United Kingdom Conclusions References Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals Introduction The Situation Health Worker Migration Costs and Benefits Perspectives and Conclusion References Triggering Skilled Migration Introduction Talking about mobility Legal framework Coming to Germany Mobility of scientists Other factors Conclusions References Remittances Introduction The Term Remittance Figures and Trends Effects Conclusion References EU Expansion and Free Movement Introduction Transitional Arrangements Economic Theory The Scale The Results Continued Restrictions Conclusion References The German "Green Card" Introduction Background Green Card regulation Success? Conclusion References Does Germany Need Labour Migration? Introduction Labour shortages Labourmarket Conclusion Labourmigration References Dutch Integration Model The "Dutch model"? The end? Intention and reality A new view Where next? References Impressum

Debates on environmental migration

Thomas Hummitzsch

/ 10 Minuten zu lesen

Villages on the Greek coast at the Gulf of Corinth are endangered by rising sea levels. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

The connection between climate change and migration

The fact that the rise in sea levels or salinisation of coastal areas as climatic processes, or hydro-meteorological natural catastrophes as climatic events, may trigger migratory movements is not disputed. However, environmental migration does not result froma single cause, but rather incorporates complex interactions of existing social, demographic and political contexts.

When considering migratory movements in association with climatic processes or events, therefore, a distinction must be made between climatic and non-climatic migration factors, since migration is not necessarily going to occur for reasons of climatic events alone.

In this regard, adaptation strategies play a decisive role, for a society´s vulnerability always results from its particular risk situation in a geographic sense and the efforts such a society makes to adapt. Thus hydro-meteorological catastrophes such as floods or tropical storms only lead to relevant migration phenomena if there have previously been political and social failures to adapt to the specific geographical risk. In the absence of early warning systems, cross-institutional rescue plans, flood plains or dams, a society's vulnerability in the event of hydro-meteorological catastrophes is increased, as evidenced by the impact of the 2004 seaquake in the Indian Ocean. The tidal waves of the resultant tsunami destroyed entire coastal regions in the Bay of Bengal and South East Asia. At least 165,000 people were swept to their deaths and 1.7 million were left homeless. Some of the main reasons for the devastating impact of the tsunami were the lack of an international early warning and information system as well as the uncoordinated and partially non-existent evacuation of coasts in the affected region. The razing of mangrove forests and elimination of flood zones in coastal areas, as well as their settlement, also contributed to the enormous casualty figures.

Not only catastrophes lead to emigration. It is even estimated that the steady degradation of habitable land due to climate change will in future be the most important trigger for international migration. These predictably long-term consequences of climate change already represent a special challenge to the societies that may be affected, for the ecologically induced loss of habitable land is fundamentally "a social problem that can be avoided."

Environmental migration is related to issues that make migration not only necessary, but also attractive, the so-called pull factors. These may be of a demographic, social, political or cultural nature. Population pressure, poverty, poor social welfare systems as well as poor governance in states affected by climate change are as decisive triggers for migration as climatic conditions. At the same time, environmental migration takes place in developing countries in an environment of urbanisation for economic reasons, making it difficult to distinguish environmental migration from "normal" migration in metropolitan catchment areas. Climate change is only one factor in a bundle of factors of varying strength. Migration itself can be interpreted as a means of adapting to the socio-economic and political realities under the conditions of a changing environment. In cases of particularly drastic governmental mismanagement this can mean that a climatic event serves solely as an inducement to migrate, although the main causes are of a political and socio-structural nature.

Environmental migration is therefore not solely based on a simple matter of cause and effect wherein migration is always triggered by climatic conditions alone. It is in fact much more complex than that. If we wish to understand the motives for migratory movement, then previously-existing pull factors in particular play a decisive role.

This mutual influence and overlapping of environmental factors with political, social and cultural aspects of migration means that it is not possible to differentiate clearly between voluntary and forced migration , which in turn affects the definition and treatment of people affected by environmental migration.

Categorisation of affected persons

There have been numerous attempts to find terminology and definitions for the migration scenarios described above. In addition to the term environmental migration used here, there are such expressions as climate change migration, forced migration and environmental refugeeism. In the English-speaking world the composite term climigration is increasingly common. As environmental migration also concerns a mingling of economic and ecological factors and it is virtually impossible to make a clear distinction between these aspects, some authors also refer to ecomigration .

The affected people are mostly referred to as environmental migrants, but also as forced climate migrants, environmental refugees or environmentally displaced persons. The terms used for affected people is of decisive importance for categorisation as a migrant or refugee and the resulting consequences with regard to the international obligation to protect or provide for such people. In contrast to migrants, refugees are granted rights by the Geneva Convention concerning aid and services of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and may not be deported by receiving states (non-refoulement).

The term environmental migrant, coined by the IOM, is finding increasing international acceptance. To facilitate an initial basis for further research and data collection on the phenomenon, the IOM presented a working definition, according to which environmental migrants are "persons or groups of persons, who, for compelling reasons of sudden or progressive changes in the environment that adversely affect their lives or living conditions, are obliged to leave their habitual homes, or choose to do so, either temporarily or permanently, and who move either within their country or abroad". This definition seizes on the dimensions considered by the IASC of duration, direction and voluntariness of the migration.

Scientists involved in the European research project EACH-FOR (Environmental Change and Forced Migration Scenarios) based their studies on a three-part working definition. They distinguish between environmentally motivated migrants, environmentally forced migrants and environmental refugees. The environmentally motivated migrants differ from the latter two insofar as their change of location is voluntary. The difference between environmentally forced migrants and environmental refugees lies in the fact that forced migrants are subjected to a planned and long-foreseeable, but inevitable migration, whereas climate refugees are forced into sudden emergency migration by catastrophic scenarios. The EACH-FOR working definition does not consider whether in addition to the consequences of climate change there are also social, economic or political inducements to migration, whether the migration is temporary or permanent or whether the migration is only internal or also includes crossing state borders. Like the IOM, the EACH-FOR study picks up on the idea of three levels of duration, direction and voluntariness, but emphasises more strongly than the IOM the possibility of there being mixed causes for migration.

Analogous to the term Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), the Norwegian Refugee Council pleads for the descriptive term Environmentally Displaced Persons (EDP). This description includes all persons "who are displaced within their own country of habitual residence or who have crossed an international border and for whom environmental degradation, deterioration or destruction is a major cause of their displacement, although not necessarily the sole one". The NRC picks up solely on the aspect of direction, i.e. both internally displaced persons and international refugees are included in the definition. The organisation does not consider either the possibility of voluntary migration, such as is allowed for in the IOM definition. The variation of migration triggers are not relevant for the categorisation as a climate migrant, but only the fact that the consequences of climate change are the main trigger of migration.

Controversy has developed in expert circles in particular with regard to the term environmental refugee . The reason for this lies in the special legal protection enjoyed by refugees in accordance with the Geneva Refugee Convention (GRC) and additional protocols.

Essentially the question is whether persons affected by climate change should in future be granted refugee protection in accordance with the GRC and its additional protocols. Article 1 A of the convention states that the term refugee shall apply to any person who "owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it." As soon as these facts have been proven, the person concerned is granted refugee status.

The UNHCR rejects the use of the terms climate and environmental refugee as a matter of principle, since it fears that the term refugee established by the GRC and its additional protocols could be undermined by the category environmental refugee. Other UN organisations that come together under the aegis of the IASC, as well as the IOM, fear that the introduction of the term environmental refugee may undermine the established legal instruments for protecting refugees.

The basic conditions for refugee status formulated in the GRC, i.e. the fact of persecution and cross-border migration, would not be met in the case of environmental migration. The impact of climate change does not as yet count as persecution, the majority of the affected persons are internal migrants and therefore still within the protection of their own country. They are therefore less in need of international aid than Convention refugees, according to the UNHCR.

The UNHCR points out that under some circumstances some persons affected by climate-induced migration would meet the conditions for the granting of refugee status in accordance with the GRC. If persecution can be proved for persons fleeing conflict caused by climate problems, then the refugee condition is satisfied. Citizens of the "sinking islands" could also satisfy the GRC conditions if they migrate across borders, because such cases would potentially be a new form of statelessness. If countries of origin were to lose their entire territory, the affected persons could then be treated as stateless and thereby fall under the protection of the Geneva Refugee Convention (GRC) and the attached protocols.

However, the granting of refugee status in the case of the sinking islands scenarios is disputed because it is closely associated with organised or intentional migration. Such intended or tolerated migration can be the result of governmental projects such as the construction of dams or the establishment of flood plains. Both voluntary internal migration (motivated by compensation payments) and forced relocation both within national borders and across international borders occur here.

Climate-induced migration within the continuum of the GRC-definition of refugee (bpb) Lizenz: cc by-nc-nd/2.0/de

Essentially, however, the UN Refugee Agency seems to be concerned with preventing the extension of its own mandate due to its already considerable burden at a time when it is financially stretched. It may indeed be one of the organisation´s obligations, according to a UNHCR paper, to point out to the international community the gaps in the protection offered to the people concerned, but it is by no means striving to extend its own remit by this means.

In addition, the industrialised nations in particular, which are primarily responsible for climate change, reject the term environmental refugee. Both UN organisations and representatives of industrialised nations constantly refer to the fact that, given the multifaceted and overlapping causes of migration (see above "The connection between climate change and migration"), it is almost impossible to identify the impact of climate change as a main trigger of migratory movements, voluntary or otherwise, with the result that it cannot be proved that any flight is caused primarily by the effects of climate change.

Two scientists working on the EACH-FOR project, Olivia Dun and François Gemenne, counter this argument by pointing out that under the Geneva convention refugees are not anyway required to demonstrate persecution as the main reason for their migration, but rather, the decisive factor for granting refugee status is whether persecution in accordance with Article 1 has actually taken place or not. As soon as any association has been shown between persecution and flight, then according to Dun und Gemenne decision-makers could grant refugee status.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), which can identify no conclusive definition of the required state of persecution in the UNHCR regulations, also believes that it is entirely possible to recognise climate change as a form of persecution. Thus Paragraph 53 of the UNHCR Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status provides for the recognition of refugee status on the basis of "cumulative grounds", not in themselves amounting to persecution, but which, if taken together "produce an effect on the mind of the applicant that can reasonably justify a claim to well-founded fear of persecution". According to the NRC, this concept leaves room for interpretation such that environmental refugees can be protected under the GRC and associated UNHCR regulations.

Environmental migration scenarios: major aspects (bpb) Lizenz: cc by-nc-nd/2.0/de

Moreover, human rights organisations assert that people affected by environmental migration are being robbed of their fundamental right to protection in a situation similar to that of refugees. These people are, by virtue of this, permanent refugees and should therefore also be treated as such. A corresponding category of environmental refugee is therefore only logical. Moreover, the migratory movement is a reaction to an externally induced circumstance, similar to a threat or persecution as provided for by the GRC as a condition of refugee status. The organisations therefore plead both for the introduction of the term environmental refugees and for an extension to the content of the GRC to recognise such people as "genuine" refugees.

The protection offered to environmental migrants is currently precarious. To date there is still no internationally recognised document requiring that the international community of nations should provide support for environmental migrants in the event that their country of origin is unable to do so. Existing regulations do not oblige international states to take in environmental migrants. Those agreements that do exist can either only be applied in exceptional cases or can be interpreted too broadly to offer reliable protection, or else they are only "can" regulations with no binding effect.

Fussnoten

Fußnoten

  1. Acketoft 2008, WBGU 2007.

  2. Brown 2008.

  3. Warner 2009.

  4. Bogardi et al. 2007.

  5. Graeme 2008, Warner 2009, WBGU 2007.

  6. Acketoft 2008.

  7. Brown 2008.

  8. Jakobeit & Methmann 2007.

  9. UNHCR 2008a, Zehrer 2009.

  10. Kolmannskog 2008.

  11. Bogardi et al. 2007.

  12. Kolmannskog 2009.

  13. Bogardi et al. 2007.

  14. UNICEF, UNDP, FAO, WFP, WHO, UNFPA, OCHA.

  15. UNHCR 2002.

  16. Graeme 2008; UNHCR 2008a.

  17. UNHCR 2008a.

  18. Acketoft 2008.

  19. Dun & Gemenne 2008.

  20. Kolmannskog 2008.

  21. UNHCR 2003.

  22. Biermann & Boas 2008, Pelzer 2008.

  23. Bogardi et al. 2007.