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IUSSP Workshop on Climate, Migration & Health
with a focus on refugee movements 
Boulder (Colorado), United States, 25-26 May 2017 

In late May, 2017, the CU Population Center, Institute of Behavioral Science, at the University of Colorado Boulder, in collaboration with the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Migration, Climate & Health held a workshop exploring the linkages between climate, migration and health with a focus on refugee movements.  The workshop was held at the University of Colorado Boulder and was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (5R13HDE078101-03) and CU Boulder’s Institute of Behavioral Science.


The workshop’s objectives were to identify knowledge gaps as related to climate, displacement and health, and begin development of tangible outputs that bring forth those gaps and outline a research agenda. Ten researchers were chosen to participate representing primarily demography, sociology, geography, and economics. The workshop was indeed that – a workshop. Less emphasis was placed on participants presenting their own research in detail; more emphasis was placed on each scholar sharing their perspective on the 3-way connection and considering the places in the migration-climate-health triad within which their own expertise is best situated.


The structure of the workshop also emphasized group brainstorming to develop an overarching conceptual framework, followed by detailed discussion within smaller workgroups. The iteration between large and small group discussion moved participants toward an outline for an initital paper highlighting knowledge gaps. The paper further calls policymakers to consider the three-way interaction between migration-climate-health.


The workshop participants developed a conceptual framework to illustrate important connections between migration-climate-health while disaggregating all three components into constituent parts (e.g. short/long-term migration; acute/chronic environmental pressures; physical/mental health). The draft paper then uses a variety of existing research to illustrate important connections across dimensions of the migration-climate-health triad.


The workshop participants are finalizing the initial paper with the aim of submission to a high-impact scientific outlet by November 2017. The IUSSP Scientific Panel on Migration-Climate-Health is now moving forward with additional activities while also looking forward to another collaborative workshop during May 2018.  


For more information about this meeting and its follow-up, IUSSP members may contact Lori Hunter ( 


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University of Colorado Boulder campus.