CIFAL Philippines

International Conference on Human Mobility and Climate Action

21 October 2021 – The University of the Philippines – Centre International de Formation des Autorités et Leaders or the International Center for Authorities and Leaders Philippines (UP-CIFAL Philippines), together with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), hosted the International Conference on Human Mobility and Climate Action last 18-20 October 2021.

The 2020 World Migration Report stated that millions of people globally move “in anticipation or as a response to environmental stresses”. Climate factors and their complex interaction with various drivers of migration including economic, political, cultural and demographic factors shape the intention and decision-making process of whether or not to move. 

With the growing urgency of the situation, the international conference provides a venue for discourse on how leaders, communities, and agencies could respond to the complex challenges of human mobility-climate change nexus and explore possible ways forward with timely, scientific, and rights-based adaptive responses in its core.

The 3-day conference consisted of four plenary, and eight parallel sessions each discussing a topic relating to the human mobility – climate change nexus. 

  • Day 1: Urban Governance

o   Conference Inauguration

o   Human Mobility, Environment and Climate Change Nexus (Keynote Address)

o   Harnessing Neighborhood Studies for Sustainable Communities 

o   Sustainable Urban Development and Management for Livable and Resilient Cities 

o   Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience for Sustainable Development 

o   E-Governance and Urban Planning for Smart Cities

  • Day 2: Social Inclusion

o   Human Mobility, Climate Change, and Emergency Response (Plenary Session)

o   Virtual World Café for Policy Roadmap

o   Social Protection of Migrants Experiencing Climate Risks

o   Human Rights – based Approaches to Address Human Mobility and Climate Risks

o   Upskilling Environmental Migrants for Climate Resiliency and Sustainable Development in Local Communities

o   People and the Planet: Women and Indigenous People in the Context of Migration and Climate Change

  • Day 3: Environmental Sustainability

o   Human Mobility on Climate Risk Management

o   Declaration of Unity and Closing Ceremony


The Conference brought in more than 30 local and international experts on human mobility, climate change, environmental migration, disaster risk reduction, urban planning and development, and human rights and social protection. This was attended by around 200 participants composed of climate and environmental scientists, migration and development experts, disaster risk reduction specialists, representatives of international organizations, public servants and leaders of national government agencies and local government, members of the legislature, representatives of the industry, academic institutions, and civil society organizations.  

 The Conference ended with a Declaration of Unity crafted from the insights on existing gaps, entry points, and possible areas for collective action in addressing the issues surrounding the migration, environment, and climate change nexus during the virtual world café activity. The participants discussed and debated on topics like disaster risk reduction and resilience, safe and dignified resettlement and planned relocation, sustainable urban development for smart and livable cities, upskilling environmental migrants, social protection for migrants, and emergency response among others.

The Declaration of Unity calls for a whole-of-society approach in adaptation, mitigation, and resilience-building as the response to the climate crisis. Additionally, it demands a comprehensive, holistic, and inclusive green migration governance that recognizes migration as a last resort and that in the event of migration, we ensure the dignity, safety, and human rights of climate migrants. This declaration will then be signed by the conference partners. 

The International Conference on Human Mobility and Climate Action is in partnership with CIFAL Jeju, CIFAL Newcastle, CIFAL Shanghai, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Centre for Neighbourhood Studies (CeNS), and UP Resilience Institute (UPRI). Moreover, Business World, ABS-CBN News Channel, DZMM Teleradyo, and CNN Philippines are the official media partners of this conference.