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Researcher Looks At Climate Change Effects On Migration In Fiji, Vanuatu

Researcher Looks At Climate Change Effects On Migration In Fiji, Vanuatu
Climate change advocate, Cosmin Corendea. Photo: Mere Satakala
April 01
15:45 2017

It’s a necessity, it’s a must we have to continue fighting climate change, continue to be resilient, and continue to address migration and human rights in the context of climate change.

These were the words of United Nations University Associate Academic Officer, Cosmin Corendea in Suva yesterday.

He said Fiji was a leader in the region on so many levels in regards to climate change. An example of this would be Fiji’s development of the guidelines of plan of relocation.

“That’s a beautiful example to follow for other countries in the region because it has some success, also challenges as well; this is something we need, for example, for Fiji to share with the other countries in the region just to make the example workable for the other parts,” he said.

Mr Corendea has been in Fiji for over a month and is working on a project focused on the gaps in the legal system between the national legislation and the customs law and its affects and implementation much like the Paris Agreement.

He said one of the preliminary findings of his research was the need to look at the relationship between climate change, human rights, and migration.

“The problem which we identified is that more than 30 per cent of people affected by climate change process have already decided to migrate, so the number is increasing, so the migration and the movement of people is increasing because of climate change.”

He also mentioned that if people migrate, then their basic human rights should be respected and a regional migration framework should be considered.

“The project is for two years and we’ve had workshops, meetings with Government representatives, and civil societies, and community leaders,” he said.

The project is titled: Towards a Pacific Regional Framework on Climate Change and Human Mobility” and will be ready before the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) in November.

The project focuses on Fiji and Vanuatu.



Cosmin Corendea is best known for initiating and developing the concept of International hybrid law in 2007.

He recently published a book titled: Legal Protection of the Sinking Islands Refugees in July 2016.

He works as a Legal Expert and Associate officer at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security in Bonn, Germany.

He has experience of more than 15 years on climate change- focusing on issues with environmental degradation, adverse effects on climate change, institutional vulnerabilities and adaptation, climate equity, climate justice, human rights, and human mobility.


Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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