Climate Change, Human Mobility, and Protection: Initial Evidence from Africa

Vikram Kolmannskog

Nowadays it is increasingly recognized that climate change constitutes a factor of displacement that cannot be disregarded anymore. In its First Assessment Report in 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that the gravest effects of climate change may be those on human mobility. Further, in 2007, its Fourth Assessment Report authoritatively established that human-induced climate change is accelerating and already has severe impacts on the environment and human lives. Although there is not a mono-causal relation between climate change, disasters, displacement, and migration, this article supports the existence of a clear link between the phenomena which is increasingly recognized, and aims at exploring the protection challenges and responses in this context. Some initial empirical findings in relation to this link are presented, focusing on two African countries: Somalia and Burundi.