14 Oct 2015

110 states endorse action to help climate migrants

2:59 pm on 14 October 2015

Governments from 110 countries have endorsed a programme of action to protect people displaced by disaster and climate change.

High tides in Kili Island, Marshall Islands, February 2015.

High tides in Kili Island, Marshall Islands, February 2015. Photo: Kili/Bikini/Ejit Local Government Marshall Islands

Ministers and senior civil servants have been meeting in Geneva as part of the Nansen Initiative which has been aiming for international consensus on addressing the needs of those affected.

The countries have adopted a Protection Agenda with three priority areas for action.

They include collecting data and enhancing knowledge, improving humanitarian protection measures and dealing better with the risk of disaster back in home countries.

184 million people were displaced by disaster between 2008 and 2014.

Several small Pacific island countries have warned their people may be forced to migrate due to the effects of climate change, in particular rising seas.

The Nansen Initiative has been consulting governments and civil society over measures to improve protection for displaced people.

A high tide across Ejit Island in Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands on March 3, 2014, causing widespread flooding. Officials in the Marshall Islands blamed climate change for severe flooding in the Pacific nation's capital Majuro.

Flooding caused by huge spring tides which Marshall Islands officials have blamed on climate change. Photo: AFP