Report

Environmental change and migration: implications for Australia

4 Dec 2012
Description

This paper argues that Australia needs a national policy framework on environmental migration, as climate change and natural disasters could displace potentially  thousands of people in coming years.

In the Pacific Islands region, climate change and natural disasters could displace potentially  thousands of people in coming years.  A significant number of these people could end up as environmental migrants to Australia.  This paper argues that Australia needs a national policy framework on environmental migration to manage the new flow of migrants in ways that maximise the benefits, but also minimise the costs to the country, including any increase in irregular migration.

Key points:

  • It is likely that an increased number of migrants will arrive in Australia during the next decade as a result of the effects of environmental change in Pacific Island countries.
  • Even if the scale of any environmental migration to Australia can be reduced by supporting adaptation to environmental change in the affected countries, some migration to Australia from the Pacific Island is still likely to occur.
  • Australia needs a national policy framework on environmental migration that includes continuing support for multilateral initiatives on environmental migration, capacity-building in origin and transit countries, and national legislation that leverages existing labour migration programs and targets a limited number of countries.
Publication Details
Published year only: 
2012
318
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