Legal Status and Treatment of Environmental Refugees

About the Project

This project aims at the investigation of the legal status and the treatment of “environmental refugees”. The project was commissioned by the German Environmental Federal Agency and was carried out in cooperation with the University of Vienna, Department for International Law and International Relations.

On the basis of an in-depth analysis of the notion “environmental refugee” and the development of a working definition, it was examined to what extent States are obliged under international law to take measures regarding the prevention of or coping with environmental degradation and whether States are obliged to grant protection to “environmental refugees”. Based on this analysis, protection gaps  were identified and possible solutions for closing this gap were elaborated. The results of the study were commented by selected international law experts at a workshop held in Berlin in September 2009; the comments were integrated in the final report.

For the German version of the study and two articles about the project, please see the attachment.

Project Data

Country: International
Persons involved: Margit Ammer (Researchers), Gerhard Hafner (Project Leader, University of Vienna), Manfred Nowak (Project Leader, LBI-GMR/University of Vienna), Lisa Stadlmayr (Researchers)
Contact persons: Margit Ammer
Lead Organisation: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR), University of Vienna, Department of European, International and Comparative Law
Project start: 10/2008
Project end: 12/2009
Project completed: Yes
Funded by: German Federal Environment Agency
Programme Line LBI-GMR: Legal Status and Treatment of Environmental Refugees