As the impact of climate change on the daily lives of Pacific people continues to strengthen, many more people may be forced to migrate to urban centres, relatively higher islands, and internationally in order to ensure their human security. Forced migration may lead to conflict in receiving countries or communities. Understanding this nexus between forced migration and conflict is vital for the development of effective policies, institutions and actions to better handle shifting migration patterns and reduce its negative impacts on developmental gains.
In 2012 the Pacific Islands Forum Regional Security Committee (FRSC) recognized the development and security implications of poorly managed climate change induced migration and requested the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (Forum Secretariat) to undertake research and develop policy recommendations for the Forum member countries. This commitment was reaffirmed in 2014 with the Committee supporting the Forum Secretariat’s proposal to take forward its work on climate change induced migration and security issues.
In December 2014 a Letter of Agreement was signed between the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility (UNU-GCM) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to formalise a partnership for conducting the current research project.
This research project aims to understand both the main human security challenges faced by climate-induced migrants when settling in receiving countries or communities and the major reasons for tensions or conflict. The final objective is to formulate policy recommendations that could help UNU, PIFS, Forum Island Countries and other stakeholders from the Pacific to develop appropriate policy responses to promote human security and prevent conflict due to climate-induced displacement and migration.