Data and knowledge on human mobility in the context of natural hazards

Data and knowledge on human mobility in the context of natural hazards
11 November 2020, 1.30pm - 3.00pm

The International Refugee Law Seminar Series, sponsored by the Refugee Law Initiative at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, provides a public space for discussion, promotion and dissemination of research between academics, practitioners, students and others with an interest in the refugee and forced migration field.

11th RLI Annual Seminar Series 

Academic Year 2020-21 Webinars


How can law and policy engage with the impact of natural hazards on human mobility? 

Environmental processes shape human mobility, including processes of displacement, migration and planned relocation, within countries and even across borders. They can also entrench immobility for specific groups. Natural hazards that shape mobility in such contexts encompass the slow-onset impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, as well as sudden-onset disasters linked to storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and even biological hazards like the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This webinar series brings together diverse scholarly and practitioner perspectives on how law and policy can respond to this global challenge. Its six topical sessions will be broadcast live in an interactive format via Zoom technology to enhance participation from across the globe.

The series is convened by the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) and its Internal Displacement Research Programme, in partnership with the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), a state-led initiative working to improve protection for people displaced in the context of disasters and climate change.

Data and knowledge on human mobility in the context of natural hazards

Moderator: Atle Solberg, PDD

State of the art on empirical evidence around diverse forms of human mobility and immobility in the context of environmental challenges, including empirical challenges, data and trends and projections for the future.

    • Justin Ginnetti, Independent Consultant – internal disaster displacement data: what do we know and what do we not know? 
    • Caroline Zickgraf, Hugo Observatory – notions of habitability and social tipping points for understanding mobility in the context of climate change and slow-onset events 
    • Kanta Kumari Rigaud, World Bank – Expanding the Groundswell model on climate induced migration to inform policy dialogue and action
    • Luiza de Moura Pallone, South American Network for Environmental Migrations - case study of Brazil and what we know about the empirical situation

This seminar will be held via zoom - access link provided upon sign-up.

Speaker bios:

Atle Solberg is the Head of the Secretariat of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD). Atle is a political scientist from Norway and he was the Head of the Nansen Initiative Secretariat, the predecessor of the PDD, from 2012 to 2015. His background is primarily from international humanitarian action and from working in the context of displacement (both in conflict and natural hazard situations). He has worked for UNHCR and UN OCHA in Switzerland, the Balkans and in Central America, and for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in the Balkans, Indonesia and Colombia. He has research and teaching experience from the University of Bergen on humanitarian issues as well as on the protection of unaccompanied minors. Atle has also undertaken evaluation of humanitarian aid and worked as a consultant both with a focus on Norway as well as on the post-conflict recovery situation in the Balkans and Central America. 

Justin Ginnetti is an independent consultant with expertise in displacement risk. From 2015 to SeptemberOctober 2020, Justin was IDMC's Head of Data and Analysis, and prior to that he was a Policy Officer at the UN Office fOR Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) where he worked on the Global Assessment Report. He served as a chapter scientist and contributing author of the IPCC’s Special Report on Extreme Events and Disasters (SREX), and the WMO’s guidance on assessing droughts. Justin holds a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, where he studied climate change-induced displacement and forced migration of agro-pastoralists in the Horn of Africa. Previously, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania.

Caroline Zickgraf is FNRS Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Liège. She holds a doctorate in political and social sciences from the University of Liège as well as degrees from Leiden University (MPhil) and Michigan State University (MA). Dr. Zickgraf has consulted for the World Bank, the Nansen Initiative, the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on the links between climate change and migration. In 2016, she began leading ULg in the Horizon 2020 project ‘EDGE’ (Environmental Diplomacy and Geopolitics), a partnership with University of Economics Bratislava and Sciences Po-Paris. Dr. Zickgraf’s main areas of research are the migratory impacts of climate change on coastal populations, transnationalism and transnational families, and (im)mobility. Currently, with the generous support of the Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS), she is conducting the research project ‘IMMOBILE’ (Immobility and the Environment), which analyzes populations ‘trapped’ or who choose to stay in areas affected by environmental changes and their relationships with those who go. For this project, she is conducting case studies in Senegal (Université Gaston Berger), Vietnam (Can Tho University) and Japan.

Kanta Kumari Rigaud is a Lead Environmental Specialist, and Regional Climate Change Coordinator in the Africa Region of the World Bank Group. She is a leading expert on climate adaptation and resilience and works on climate policy, strategy and knowledge management. She led a multidisciplinary team on the Bank's pioneering flagship report on Groundswell - Preparing for Internal Climate Migration and on the Turn Down the Heat report series which looked at nexus of climate science and development impacts.  She has worked with multiple countries in the Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean as the Bank's Focal point for the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience - working to mainstream climate resilience into core development planning and for transformation at scale. She is currently leading the Bank’s work on the Next Generation Africa Climate Business Plan;  deepening analysis of climate induced migration in West Africa; and working with countries in East Africa on advancing their commitments to the Paris agreement. Previously she led the development of the World Bank’s climate risk screening toolsand learning platforms to support climate informed action, and also worked on operational projects in the Middle East and North Africa Region of the Bank. She has a doctorate from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.  She currently serves as co-chair of the Technical Working Group on Environmental Change and Migration of  KNOMAD  - the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development. 

Luíza de Moura Pallone is a researcher at RESAMA, the South American Network for Environmental Migrations. She holds a Master's degree in Advanced Migration Studies from the University of Copenhagen, in which she focused on the centuries-long case of internal migration in the context of droughts in the Northeast region of Brazil. Luíza also works as a Senior Information Management Assistant at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in Copenhagen and previously had 4 years of field experience working with refugees and asylum seekers in Brazil.


Refugee Law Initiative
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