The Climate Change and Displacement Initiative is an ongoing initiative instigated in 2009 designed to find practical and viable housing, land and property solutions for climate displaced persons.

Through rights-based and innovative policy and strategy development, targeted workshops, network building, awareness raising, publications, original research and other activities, the Initiative seeks both to inform the world of the massive scale of displacement which will affect forced climate migrants in the years and decades to come, and to advocate for rights-based solutions to this form of displacement, both within the nations affected and through regional and international resettlement initiatives.

The Initiative will achieve these aims through:

  1. Examining the precise scale and circumstances confronting present and future forced climate migrants within an initial focus on five countries: Bangladesh, Kiribati, Maldives, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu;
  2. Examining existing adaptation measures in each of the four focus countries and the extent to which these are adequate in addressing the displacement challenges ahead;
  3. Examining the extent to which local housing, land and property remedies for forced climate migrants are available, and conversely, the scale of inter-country forced migration likely to affect nearby safe countries, with a focus on New Zealand and Australia;
  4. Developing detailed contingency plans, resettlement feasibility studies, institution-building proposals and other steps to ensure the HLP and other rights of forced climate migrants; and
  5. Raising the public profile of the issue of forced displacement due to climate change, through the production of unique films, publications, training and other public relations materials.

The Climate Displacement Law Project

The Climate Displacement Law Project is a six-part project designed to significantly strengthen the international legal and normative frameworks protecting the rights of climate displaced people and communities on a global scale. One of the first objectives of the project will be the development of a consolidated, globally relevant, standard on climate displacement.

Land Solutions For Climate Displacement

In 2012-2014, DS will carry out a major project on land solutions for climate displacement with researchers and scholars from 7 climate-affected countries – Bangladesh, Kiribati, Maldives, PNG, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The study will examine in detail the feasibility of land acquisition, relocation and resettlement options for communities threatened with land loss and homelessness caused by climate change. 

The Where Will They Go? Project

While global awareness of the effects of climate change are becoming more widely known to a growing number of people, the human impacts of this process are less well-known. To bring a human face to the climate change and displacement question, Displacement Solutions is working together with leading photographers and documentary film-makers  to capture in still- and moving-pictures, the minute-by-minute essence of what it means to be displaced by climate change in the countries and locales most hard-hit by the effects of climate change. This Project will culminate in a major book of photography, a documentary film and an exhibition and book tour by the photographer Kadir van Lohuizen and the DS Director, Scott Leckie to bring the human reality of climate-induced displacement home to a wider global audience. 

The Climate Change Land Solutions Fund

Displacement Solutions is in the process of establishing a Climate Change Land Solutions Fund to generate funds for the purchase of new land resources for climate displaced persons.

For further information on any of the activities of this Initiative, please contact

The sasakawa award 

After having been long-listed for the Nippon Foundation’s Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction in December 2014, DS was honoured to be among the select few organisations to receive a Certificate of Merit in 2015, which can be accessed here

The Sasakawa Award is bestowed every two years on people and institutions that have made an important contribution to disaster risk reduction around the world. 

In 2014, some 88 nominations were received by the Awards Jury, including Displacement Solutions and our Climate Displacement Law Project. DS was officially nominated by the Executive Director of UN HABITAT, Jean Clos, for our work around the world seeking to resolve climate displacement through the provision of new land resources to climate displaced communities, work we have been engaged in since 2007. The DS nominee page can be accessed here. And the DS nomination essay can be downloaded here.