UP-CIFAL Philippines holds conference to create policy, recommendations for sustainable development

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Photo from UP-CIFAL

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The University of the Philippines - International Center for Authorities and Leaders Philippines (UP-CIFAL Philippines), together with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the Department of Foreign Affairs, hosted the International Conference on Human Mobility and Climate Action on October 18 to 20.

The conference provided a venue for discourse on how leaders, communities and agencies could respond to the complex challenges of human mobility and climate change, and explore possible ways forward with timely, scientific and rights-based adaptive responses.

According to the 2020 World Migration Report, millions of people globally move “in anticipation or as a response to environmental stresses.” Climate factors and their complex interaction with various drivers of migration, including economic, political, cultural and demographic factors, shape the intention and decision-making process.

The conference brought in more than 30 local and international experts on human mobility, climate change, environmental migration, disaster risk reduction, urban planning and development, and human rights and social protection.

It was also attended by around 200 participants composed of climate and environmental scientists, migration and development experts, disaster risk reduction specialists, representatives of international organizations, public servants and leaders of national government agencies and local government, members of the legislature, representatives of the industry, academic institutions, and civil society organizations.

The three-day conference consisted of four plenary and eight parallel sessions, each discussing a topic relating to the nexus between human mobility and climate change.

Photo from UP-CIFAL

The participants discussed and debated on disaster risk reduction and resilience, safe and dignified resettlement and planned relocation, sustainable urban development for smart and liveable cities, upskilling environmental migrants, social protection for migrants, and emergency response.

Discussions last October 18 centered on urban governance. The topics were human mobility, environment and climate change nexus; harnessing neighborhood studies for sustainable communities; sustainable urban development and management for livable and resilient cities; disaster risk reduction and resilience for sustainable development; and e-governance and urban planning for smart cities.

On October 19, the conference focused on social inclusion. The topics were human mobility, climate change, and emergency response; policy roadmap; social protection of migrants experiencing climate risks; human rights-based approaches to address human mobility and climate risks; upskilling environmental migrants for climate resiliency and sustainable development in local communities; women and indigenous people in the context of migration and climate change.

Environmental sustainability was the focus of the conference on October 20. The discourse centered on human mobility and climate risk management.

The conference ended with a declaration of unity crafted from the insights on existing gaps, entry points, and possible areas for collective action in addressing the issues surrounding the migration, environment, and climate change nexus.

Photo from UP-CIFAL

The declaration of unity calls for a whole-of-society approach in adaptation, mitigation, and resilience-building as the response to the climate crisis.

It also demands a comprehensive, holistic, and inclusive green migration governance that recognizes migration as a last resort. It aims that in the event of migration, the dignity, safety, and human rights of climate migrants are ensured. The declaration will then be signed by the conference partners.

The International Conference on Human Mobility and Climate Action is in partnership with CIFAL Jeju, CIFAL Newcastle, CIFAL Shanghai, International Organization for Migration, Centre for Neighbourhood Studies, and UP Resilience Institute.