Symposium "Climate Change, Water Stress, Conflict and Migration" (2011)

Date 21 September 2011
Hosted by International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague
Organized by Alliance for the University for Peace
Registration required
A Symposium in the framework of the International Day of Peace.


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Programme | Photo Gallery | Press Release | Background Paper | Colloquium Papers

Short reports (in English and French) written by a journalist of the Wereldomroep (World Broadcast)


Powerpoint Presentations by:

  • Rolain Borel
  • Major General Muniruzzaman
  • Tamer Afifi
  • Alex Flavell

If you wish to receive a hard copy of the Colloquium Papers please send an e-mail to
The UN mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica, along with their partners, is organizing a symposium on Climate Change, Water Stress, Conflict and Migration, with a special focus on the water dimension of these processes. This event will be taking place upcoming September 21st at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague. Coordination of programme, speakers and invitations is in the hands of the Institute for Environmental Security/The Hague Office.

The organisers are most appreciative of the support by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cordaid (Netherlands Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aid), the Netherlands National Committee IHP-HWRP, the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO, the World Wide Fund for Nature/Netherlands and for the ISS providing the venue!

The symposium will serve as a platform where the links between climate change, water stress, migration and conflict will be discussed from a human security perspective. As such, the discussion will revolve around capacity building and resilience in hotspots, conflict prevention, and a (international) legal framework of protection of environmental migrants. The end product of this symposium will be policy recommendations as discussed by the symposium's participants, afterwards presented to targeted (inter)national audiences, such as the United Nations with their various organs and specialised agencies, the European Union, national governments, and NGOs in the fields of humanitarian relief, peace building, water management and the environment.

A special audience may be the 17th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held at the end of this year in Durban, South Africa.

The symposium will hold presentations by prominent figures in the policy, security and legal perspectives of migration and conflict as climate change impacts on individuals. The overall keynote will be delivered by Prof. Dr. Rolain Borel, Head of the Department of Environment, Peace and Security at UPEACE. Major General Muniruzzaman (ret.), President of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), Bangladesh, will be presenting on the security perspective in its various dimensions; Dr. Tamer Afifi, from the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security, Bonn, Germany, will speak on the climate change and migration perspective; Mr Alex Flavell, Policy Liaison and Project Development Coordinator, International Organisation for Migration, Brussels, Belgium, will give an overview of international migration policy; and Dr. Wybe Douma, senior researcher, T.M. Asser Institute, The Hague, will focus on the various international legal regimes dealing with the problematique and introduce the draft recommendations.

A panel of experts with field experiences will illustrate practical problems and solutions, especially as they relate to water availability and the protection against droughts and floods. The panel will be chaired by Wouter Veening, Institute for Environmental Security, and exists of:

It is thought that these speakers and the panel would constitute the first half of the symposium and that the second half would evolve into a working session in which break-out groups would discuss the various draft recommendations (to be sent around well in advance of the meeting), with the outcome of the discussions summarised at the end of the day, to be shared as a follow-up with the audiences mentioned above.


Contact information:
Wouter Veening, Chairman/president Institute for Environmental Security (IES), board member Alliance for UPEACE, 
Cristy Cedillo, Project Officer Institute for Environmental Security (IES),

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