Framing Environmental Degradation, Human Mobility and Human Development as a “Matter of Common Concern”

    On average, 22.5 million people move each year within and across borders because of climate and weather-related disasters. Alongside those who move are those who stay behind or are trapped in severe conditions of vulnerability where habitation on land might no longer be possible. Furthermore, these impacts are not distributed equally; we know that those who have least contributed to anthropogenic climate change are affected the most. Without concerted action and a reconfiguration of State sovereignty and interests, this global problem cannot be effectively addressed.

    Project ClimCo2 (Climate change, Migration and Common Concern) aims to frame environmental degradation, labour mobility and human development as a matter of common concern and to adopt a fresh approach to environmental migration governance. In order to explore and assess the legal implications of this theory in context, our project adopts a case study of the South Pacific region. You can find more information about our research areas, team, events and publications.

    Uncharted Territory: How the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Destabilizing the Borders of Our Freedoms

    Academic Commentary by Prof Elisa Fornalé in JURIST Legal News & Research a collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

    APRIL 7, 2020

    JURIST Guest Columnist Elisa Fornalé, SNSF Professor at the University of Bern, discusses how the COVID-19 crisis has the potential to erode human rights and personal freedoms.

    With the astonishing speed of the spread of COVID-19 – affecting more than 199 countries, 1,315,989 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 74,000 deaths – many countries are implementing extraordinary measures to meet this unprecedented challenge and to cope with the severe implications of the coronavirus crisis.

     Read the Article

    CLI_M_CO2 team wins distinction award in SNSF Scientific Image Competition

    The CLI_M_CO2 picture "Sea Change" has been awarded a Distinction by an international jury for the category "1. Object of study".

    An official award ceremony was held on Wednesday 15 May 2019 during the Biel Festival of Photography, where the winning works were exhibited. The winning pictures and all other entries will also be shown in several exhibitions, including the Zurich Film Festival. The jury selected 4 winning entries and awarded 11 distinctions out of a total of 457 contributions from 240 scientists from a variety of research institutions across Switzerland.

    “My project studies the impact of climate change on human mobility in the small island states of the Pacific. Given their low elevation, many South Pacific States are portrayed as ‘sinking islands’. This region is already facing severe collective problems as a result of slow-onset environmental changes, such as rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and increasingly intense hurricanes. This picture was taken during field work in Kiribati, a group of 33 low-lying atoll islands, where rising sea level is causing erosion or loss of land and salinisation of water. The population is increasingly concerned by the possibility that they might lose their homes and be forced to move internally or to another country. The picture shows the building of walls as a possible strategy to mitigate the gradual increase of sea level”.
    “The picture conveys the feeling of imminent danger: rising sea levels, made visible here through a protective wall. It presents a tangible example of contrasts: the hard-to-perceive phenomenon of global warming on the one hand, and its impact on the daily life of inhabitants on the other, here represented by mundane clothes lines. The island is still there, but for how long?”
    The CLI_M_CO2 Project is funded under the grant No. PP00P1163700 by the Swiss National Foundation Research.
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