4 McGill Int'l J. Sust. Dev. L. & Pol'y 1 (2008)
Climate Change Migration, Refugee Protection, and Adaptive Capacity-Building

handle is hein.journals/mcgijosd4 and id is 11 raw text is: Climate Change Migration, Refugee
Protection, and Adaptive Capacity-Building

Robert McLeman*

7his article describes the potential for large-scale
population displacements and migration as a
result of climate change. A/igration is one of
many ways by which households exposed to cli-
matic stresses may adapt. Given current trends in
climate change, increased rural-to-urban migra-
tion in developing regions and increased levels of
international migrailon aong p gre-existing social
networks may be expected. Two international
policy ins/ruments that may be relevant for
managing climate change-related migration are
the Convention relating to the Status of Ref gees
and the United Nations Framework Convention

on Climate Change (UNFCCC). People dis-
placed by climate chyange would not qualif, for
protection as Convention refugees under the
former conven/ion, and /here is lit/le evidence
this situation wil change in the nearjfuture. 7he
international communiy is, however; commit
ted under the UNFCCC to assisting vulnerable
developing nations build capacity to adapt to
the impacts of climate change. 7his commitment
provides an oppor/uniiy for developed nations
to prevent future climate-related migrations by
expanding /he range of adaptation alternatives.

Cet article trai/e de 'dventuali/d dune migration
et d'un ddplacement de la population a grande
&helle resultant des changements climatiques.
La migration est une voie, parmi d'autres, par
laquelle les menages expos&s aux contraines
climatiques peuvent sadapter. En raison des
tendances climatiques ac/ueles, l'accroissement
de lPurbanisation dans les regions en ddveloppe-
ment et de la migration in/ernationale le long
de reseaux sociaux prdexistants est a prdvoir.
La Convention relative au s/atut des refugi&s
et la Convention-cadre des Nations unies sur
le: changements climatiques (CC]VUC(C) sont
deux politiques internationales potentiellement

perinentes pour gerer la migration resultant des
changements climatiques. Lapremi~re ne confere
pas de pro/ection aux personnes dplacees par les
changements climatiques, et cette absence de
qualification risque de demeurer inchange dons
un avenir rapproch. La communaute interna-
tionale est cependant engag&, par la CGNUCC,
a soutenir les nations en ddveloppement, plus
vulnerables, dans leur processus d'adaptation
aux impacts des changements climatiques. Cet
engagemen/, de par laccroissement des mesures
alternatives d'adaptation, constitue une oppor-
lunitdpour le: nations dkveloppdes de'prdvenir les
migrations relies aux changements climatiques.

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Ottawa.

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