Why Australia should harness migration as a climate change adaptation strategy
- Professor Jane McAdam
Across the globe, the adverse impacts of disasters and climate change are prompting millions of people to move. Disasters now displace many more people within their countries each year than conflict, and the Asia-Pacific region is the hardest hit. Between 2008 and 2018, more than 80 per cent of all new global displacement occurred in this region.
Australia cannot ignore the fact that internal and cross-border displacement within and from the Pacific Islands is likely to increase as disasters intensify and/or become more frequent, exacerbated by the impacts of climate change. Preventative measures, such as mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction, along with proactive measures, such as enhanced mobility, could significantly reduce the risk of future displacement, and thereby also reduce economic, social and human costs and suffering.
While most Pacific Islanders want to remain in their homes, there is widespread recognition that planning for mobility is necessary so that people have the option to move before disaster strikes. Smart migration policies can provide people with choices to take control of their own lives, rather than being displaced when disasters occur.
In this presentation, Professor Jane McAdam will explain why Australia should harness migration as a climate change adaptation strategy, and set out the legal and policy reforms necessary to achieve this.
Jane McAdam is Scientia Professor of Law and Director of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. She publishes widely in international refugee law and forced migration, with a particular focus on climate change, disasters and displacement. She is Editor-in-Chief of the leading journal in her field, the International Journal of Refugee Law. Jane has held visiting professorships at Harvard Law School and NYU, and is a Research Associate at Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre, an Associated Senior Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Norway, and a Senior Research Associate of the Refugee Law Initiative, London. In 2017, she was awarded the Calouste Gulbenkian Prize for Human Rights, becoming the first Australian recipient of the award.
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This is event is part of the UTAS Global Climate Change Week program. For more events, visit http://globalclimatechangeweek.com/events/