Story | 09 Feb, 2021

Dialogue: Migration, Environmental Change & Conflict

CEESP Virtual Dialogues: by Galeo Saintz and Elaine Hsiao, Co-chairs of the CEESP Theme on Environment and Peace

The co-migration of human and other species catalyzed by environmental change, including climate change, is anticipated to increase dramatically in the next decades. As calls mount for conservation to account for these trends, how will conservation practice be affected and what conflicts are likely to increase?

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Photo: © Jason Houston -

To discuss the role of conservation and the need for rights-based, people-centered, nature-based solutions addressing these challenges, this CEESP Virtual Dialogue brought together speakers from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), World Bank, University of California Irvine (UCI), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Some of the questions adressed included:

1. What will be the greatest challenges to conservation in relation to migration, environmental change and conflict? How are these impacted by COVID-19?

2. How can the conservation community respond to these challenges in ways that are conflict-sensitive and prepare us to build back better post-COVID?

3. Are there people-centred, nature-based approaches to addressing these challenges? Or are these two approaches diametrically opposed?

The recording of the Dialogue is available below, as well as an Infographic summarizing topics discussed during the Dialogue, including 1) challenges, 2) lessons learned, 3) recommendations for IUCN, and 4) calls to action

CEESP Dialogue Migration, Environmental Change and Conflict - BuildBackBetterPhoto: Ana Valerie Mandri Rohen & IUCN CEESP


  • Mariam Traore Chazalnoel - International Organization for Migration (IOM);
  • Andrea Dekrout - UN Environment (CMS);
  • Richard Matthew - Professor, University of California, Irvine (UCI) ;
  • Thomas Worsdell - Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP);
  • Kanta Kumari Rigaud - World Bank;
  • Alec Crawford - International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Moderators: IUCN CEESP Chair Kristen Walker Painemilla, and the Co-chairs of the CEESP Theme on Environment and Peace: Galeo Saintz and Elaine Hsiao.