Data Conservancy Researchers Present at 2011 Nansen Conference

Romero-Lankao and Qin Focused on Their Study of Climate Change and Migration in Mexico


Paty Romero-Lankao and Hua Qin gave an invited presentation at the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement in the 21st Century, held in Oslo, Norway, June 5 – 7.  The conference was organized by the Norwegian Government as one of the main events of the Nansen-Amundsen Anniversary.  2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Fridtiof Nansen, who undertook some of the first systematic surveys of the Arctic climate system and was also the world’s first High Commissioner for Refugees.


The meetings brought together researchers, practitioners and government officials representing both the climate change and humanitarian communities, and provided a timely opportunity to further explore the links between these two related and important issues.  Its main focus was on the vulnerability, resilience and capacity for adaptation of communities in areas prone to disaster due to climate change, the protection of displaced people, and promotion of action to help prevent or manage displacement.


Paty and Hua’s presentation focused on the impacts of climate change – particularly drought and relevant environmental stresses – on population mobility in Mexico through climate and population data analysis and literature review.  This study is conducted in tandem with the research on urban vulnerability to climate change funded by the Data Conservancy project.  It provides an overview of the association between slow-onset climate change trends and migration patterns in Mexico, and explores policy options to support migration as a livelihood and adaptation strategy.


Population mobility in Mexico is driven by multiple factors including labor markets, agricultural crisis, economic liberalization, and climate and environmental change.  A large body of literature on migration in Mexico demonstrates that labor migration plays a vital role in many families’ strategies to accumulate wealth or seek a route out of poverty. Therefore, the interaction between climate change and human migration in Mexico needs to be placed in the broader contexts of changing environmental conditions, socioeconomic development (including urbanization process), and livelihood migration dynamics.


Information about the Nansen Conference and a PDF of Romero-Lankao and Qin’s presentation is available at

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