The Climate Academy 2023
"Supporting community choices in a changing climate - Learning from planned relocations"
|Call for applications||23 February 2023|
|Application deadline||31 March 2023|
|Notification of acceptance||2 May 2023|
|Climate Academy stage I (virtual)||11 - 15 September 2023|
|Climate Academy stage II (in-person)||25 - 29 September 2023 in Dakar, Senegal|
The Climate Academy
The Climate Academy 2023 will take place in two stages:
a) stage I: virtual 11 – 15 September, 2023
b) Stage II: in-person event 25 – 29 September, 2023.
The stage II (in-person) event is scheduled to take place in Dakar, Senegal depending upon the COVID-19 situation and prevailing regulations. In case an in-person event will not be possible, stage II will take place virtually as well. Additionally, to virtually engage with interested actors from across the globe and enhance our collective voice, key virtual events of the academy will be open to everyone.
The 2023 academy will have a special focus on sharing lessons from experiences of planned relocations. Young professionals, including academics, policy makers and practitioners are invited to apply between 23 February and 31 March 2023.
Climate Academy 2023
"Supporting community choices in a changing climate - learning from planned relocations"
The growing frequency and severity of negative climate change impacts have given rise to concerns about the long-term habitability of climate change “hotspots” for populations around the world. Differences in culture, circumstance, and identity condition how local communities and individuals within them perceive and respond to climate change risks and impacts, what they consider makes a place (in)habitable, and their perceptions of mobility. Research on human mobilities in the context of climate change shows that moving is but one possible response in the face of climate change risks and impacts. Many people prefer not to move, while others would have moved regardless. When people move, their movements can take many forms, of which planned relocation is just one.
The decision of whole groups of people to relocate is often considered as a ‘last resort’, and with good reason: past experiences show that the consequences for communities are often negative. So, it is rarely self-evident or inevitable that a whole community should move. Instead, the decision to relocate in a purposeful, coordinated manner may be made only by some communities in specific contexts and under certain circumstances. It is vital that when relocations occur, the process happens under the best possible conditions, maximizing adaptive outcomes, minimizing losses and damages and preserving human rights and dignity.
Historical experiences with planned relocations – in the context of large infrastructure development such as dam-building, for example – have often had detrimental results on affected peoples’ livelihoods and wellbeing. With such cautionary experiences in mind, people-centered research, policy, and practice is needed today to identify and establish the processes and conditions allowing people to move out of harm’s way in a dignified manner. Whether communities choose to move now or later, all together or in groups, close or far, to one or more destinations, careful planning, community leadership, and profound participation are required. At the same time, planning is required if people decide to adapt and stay, for circumstances may change and/or people change their minds.
While the decision to move ultimately lies with individuals in affected communities, they are likely to require external support in implementing their decisions, whether they aim to move now, in the future, or adapt to stay. This assistance may need to come from a diversity of stakeholders, in collaboration with communities and one another. Further, this support can take various forms, including but not limited to risk expertise, legal and policy frameworks, stakeholder dialogue facilitation, technical and logistical assistance, financial resources, social and mental health support, and support in finding new livelihood opportunities. Relocation processes, when they take place with free and informed consent, also represent opportunities to correct historical inequalities in areas such as access to quality housing, exposure to environmental risks and pollution, and economic opportunity.
The question of when and under which conditions relocations can occur also poses deeper political and philosophical questions about the allocation of responsibilities for implementing community decisions, about the connections of people and culture to place, about mourning and memory, and the meaning of home in a changing climate.
Local, national and global focus
To further explore these points of interest, we invite applications which address the prospect of community-led relocations at one of three interconnected scales. Work at each scale will need to pay special attention to community involvement and leadership in decision-making; as well as to communication, bridge-building, and the identification of responsibilities across scales. Participants will also reflect on the gendered dimensions of their work, bringing a perspective from one of three key foci:
Issues to be addressed at this scale may include local risk assessment processes, community-led and inclusive decision-making processes, trauma-informed work and mental health, identifying and addressing locally inscribed inequalities and interactions with national authorities.
Issues to be addressed at this scale may include national evaluation and planning processes, political mandates, the allocation of ministerial/agency responsibilities for relocation-related processes, inter-ministerial coordination, finances and their attribution and legal issues pertaining to, e.g. land tenure.
Issues to be addressed at this scale may include regional coordination processes, information-sharing and development of best practices, comparative research, ties to global policy dialogues and fora such as the UNFCCC or Global Compact on Migration, South-South cooperation and access to global funds.
The Academy will bring together a balance of participants who can provide perspectives from across these three scales, with the objective of creating a sustained dialogue to identify – and bridge – differences in perspective, culminating in collaborative work on common outputs.
Objectives of the Academy programme
Envisaged outputs of the 2023 Academy
What we offer:
- A unique network and dialogue opportunities with UN delegates and government officials
- Close cooperation with leading policy makers and actors from the climate change domain
- Financial assistance to deserving applicants (for participation in stage II in Dakar, Senegal)
There is no fee to participate in either virtual or in-person part of the academy.