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Call for Papers: International Symposium on Environmental Change and Migration, Washington, D.C., 28-29 May 2014

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KNOMAD’s Thematic Working Group on Environmental Change and Migration is organizing a symposium on May 28-29, 2014, and we very much encourage you to submit a paper and participate.  We also hope you will share this call for papers widely with your colleagues.

Experts generally agree that environmental change is but one of the many reasons that prompt people to migrate, sometimes operating on its own but more often through other mechanisms, particularly loss of livelihoods affected by environmental degradation. As understanding increases of the various ways that environmental change affects migration patterns, policy makers are increasingly thinking about how to manage the implications of these interconnections. The topic is important to several sets of policy makers, including those focusing on adaptation, development, urban planning, as well as migration. Yet, the mechanisms through which environmental change may affect movements of people have only recently received serious attention from researchers. Therefore, improving empirical analysis and identifying policy implications regarding environmental change and migration is an important research agenda.

The symposium will bring together scholars, policymakers, practitioners and donors (representing governments and foundations) in order to share perspectives on environmental change and migration and help shape future research that will be beneficial to policy development in this area. The conference will help set the agenda for future KNOMAD activities in this area, and contribute to ongoing discussions in other international forums.

Conference Aims:
1)   Discuss the findings of recent empirical research on the inter-linkages between environmental change, and migration, displacement and relocation.
2) Draw out the policy implications of what has been learned to date.
3) Identify methodological challenges to conducting research in this area and elaborate new approaches to overcome them.
4) Identify research questions stemming from the empirical evidence that can guide future research initiatives.
5) Develop a future research agenda on the inter-linkages between environmental change, migration and development.

Symposium proceedings will be compiled in a symposium report. Therefore, the Thematic Working Group on Environmental Change and Migration is seeking ready papers (including some recently published) that use innovative empirical methodologies to examine the impact of environmental change on migration patterns.  We also seek information about research in progress. This information will be included in reference documents provided to participants and links to articles and abstracts will be placed on the KNOMAD website.

Please submit papers and information about research in progress by 14 April, 2014 to Susan Martin (Georgetown University and Chair of the KNOMAD Thematic Group on Environmental Change and Migration) at, and Hanspeter Wyss (World Bank and focal person at the KNOMAD Secretariat) at  The authors of accepted papers will be invited to present their research at the conference, and will be notified by 21 April 2014.


Hanspeter Wyss

Senior Program Officer, DECIG/KNOMAD, World Bank

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