Water and Displacement (HYBRID)

Water and Displacement (HYBRID)



6 December 2021
Salle Obasi, WMO Headquarters, Geneva

This meeting was held on 6 December 2021 from 15:00 to 17:00 (CET).

The event recording is available on the Water and Climate Coalition website https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO1fxwC3b7s 

You can access the report here.


A high-level event organized by WMO, the Government of Slovenia and the European Union Commission discusses the link between water and displacement, with climate change accelerating a global water crisis, which – together with rainfall variability – is expected to be one of the contributing forces in population displacement.

The event will be opened by: Petteri Taalas, WMO Secretary General Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management Stanislav Raščan, State Secretary at the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and acting Minister for Development Cooperation

Displacement is one of the adaptive solutions for those affected by environmental degradation and the adverse effects of climate change, which often includes populations in fragile contexts or affected by conflicts. Some countries are particularly exposed to environmental pressure and consequent human mobility, both directly, through the impacts on their population and economy, and indirectly, through the impact of displacement on the hosting societies.

One aspect of climate-related displacement is sudden and temporary moving in the face of hydrological disasters (intensive climate risks), which make up for 90% of all natural disasters related to natural hazards. In addition, displacement also occurs due to slow-onset water related disasters, such as coastal erosion, sea-level rise, droughts and desertification.

The event will raise awareness of the link between water and displacement. Climate change is accelerating a global water crisis: how much of a role will this play in global population displacement?

The event will be a collective effort by policy makers, institutions and academia to start unpacking evidence on the links between water and displacement, and to better understand the role of the waterclimate-development nexus in human displacement, discussing the existing policy initiatives in this context. Participants Representatives of Permanent Missions in Geneva, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, non-governmental and international organisations, as well as other interested stakeholders including academia and the private sector.


Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

• Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management

• Stanislav Raščan, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and acting Minister for Development Cooperation, Slovenia (presentation available

Panel 1: Evidence on the link between water and displacement

· Robert Mardini, Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

· Olga Algayerova, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

· Esha Zaveri, Senior Economist, World Bank (presentation available) 

· Boštjan Rogelj, PhD., assistant professor, Department of Geography, University of Ljubljana

Panel 2: Actions to address water / climate / disaster displacement

· Mami Mizutori, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction

· Andrew Harper, Special Advisor on Climate Action, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)(presentation available)

· Manuel Marques Pereira, Head of Division for Migration, Environment and Climate Change) at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) (presentation available)

· Walter Kaelin, Special Envoy of the Chair of the Platform for Disaster Displacement (PDD)

Please find the concept note and the agenda.


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