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2020 Virtual Forum on Earth System Governance

LUCSUS researchers will be part of the upcoming 2020 Virtual Forum on Earth System Governance, where they will be organising a session on migration and climate change.

LUCSUS and the University of Liége will be facilitating an innovative session on 16th of September, 2020 at 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM (CEST) in the 2020 Virtual Forum on Earth System Governance. The session Is climate change migration a self-fulfilling prophecy? Interdisciplinary dialogues on the migration-environment nexus. aims to facilitate cross-fertilisation of migration studies and climate change studies and hence foster a better dialogue between migration scholars and the climate change research community.

If you are interested to learn more about the interwoven factors of climate change and migration, then this is the golden chance.

About the session: 

The aim of this sessoin is to facilitate a cross-fertilisation of migration studies and climate change studies and hence foster a better dialogue between migration scholars and the climate change research community. The policy debate of climate change is well supported by science, not least thanks to the IPCC. But there is one field within the vast area of climate change where science and policy are diverging: the links between climate change on the one hand, and migration and conflicts on the other. The policy debate stubbornly reiterates that climate change will lead to mass migration and armed conflicts, while the science is uncertain, contested and polarised. Powerful actors, such as military leaders and heads of state, have accepted a simple deterministic view that climate change will lead to migration and conflicts, hence the risk of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is therefore urgent to deepen the understanding on the complex linkages between migration and climate change, and to improve the communication between science and policy in order to prevent counter-productive responses. Migration studies have a long and rich history over more than a century in anthropology, economics, geography, political science, and sociology. In climate change studies, migration has emerged more recently as an important field of inquiry – but often with weak links to the wealth of earlier migration theories.

The session will be organized in four parts:
1.Before the event, submit questions: We invite scholars (in the ESG community and the two organising projects) interested in the debate on migration and climate change to submit short discussion questions to prior to the event. These questions will be subject to discussions in three break-out groups.

2.Introduction: We start with three very short presentations by migration scholars, focusing on theoretical insights (10 minutes each): Migration theories – historical evolution, different schools of thought and state of the art (Dr. Caroline Zickgraf, University of Liége) Political ecology approaches to migration (Dr. Mine Islar, Lund University) Migration in current climate change / environmental science (Dr. Etienne Piguet, University of Neuchatel) Presentation of the research questions to be discussed by Dr. Anne Jerneck, Lund University (5 minutes)

3.Break-out groups: Participants will be divided into three break-out groups, each led by one of the scholars above. The submitted questions will be discussed in these groups (40 minutes)

4.Summing up: Participants go back to the plenary for a short summing up and planning for a possible continuation (15 minutes).

Conveners : Lennart Olsson, Francois Gemenne 

This conference was supposed to be held in Bratislava, however, but has now moved to online. The conference is free.

To register, please visit:

Find more about the programme,