Climate Change Displacement and the Right to Education in Small Island Developing States

Guidance on building resilient education systems to meet the needs of people displaced by climate change.

Date Published
31 Jul 2023
Philip Vaughter Ying-Syuan (Elaine) Huang Jonghwi Park
Series Title
UNU-IAS Policy Briefs
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This policy brief offers guidance on building resilient education systems in small island developing states (SIDS) to meet the needs of people displaced by climate change. Considering the unique challenges faced by SIDS, it puts forward practical recommendations to minimize learning disruption during extreme weather events and facilitate post-disaster recovery.


While many of the world’s SIDS have achieved access to basic education, ensuring the quality and continuity of education in the face of climate change presents a unique challenge. Internal displacement and international migration stress urban infrastructure and threaten already vulnerable populations in SIDS and their access to education.


  • Build and maintain multiple facilities that can serve as evacuation centres so schools can continue as learning facilities in the aftermath of extreme weather events.
  • Continue to develop teaching materials and pedagogies within SIDS’ education systems to be employed during times of disruption, while ensuring learners’ socialization needs are met in the case of online or distance learning.
  • Create parallel curricular competencies between SIDS and destination countries, and advocate for access to education and training in any bilateral or multilateral arrangements for mobility and migration.

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