Civil Strife and Displacement

WE POORLY UNDERSTAND the ways in which multiple complex, coincident, and interacting environmental changes will alter habitability and drive population displacement, but these changes are likely to be associated with large burdens of disease and disability. Little is currently understood about how the combination of climatic disruption, natural hazards (e.g., droughts, heat waves, floods, fires, tropical storms), water scarcity, land degradation, and resulting crop and livestock failures may interact to make parts of the world that currently support large numbers of people uninhabitable. How many people are likely to be displaced? What populations are most vulnerable? And when people are displaced (many of them with very few resources) into areas where they may not be welcome, will civil strife ensue? We know that such displacement is associated with sharp increases in infectious disease outbreaks, malnutrition, and physical and mental trauma. What are the best approaches to managing increasing requirements for population movement with the least conflict and health burden? These types of questions require urgent focus.

Learning Objectives
L1: List the direct and indirect drivers of civil strife and displacement.
L2: Analyze the impact of transnational movements on population health.
L3: Consider how projected ecosystem changes over the next 50-100 years may impact issues of civil strife and displacement.
Teaching Resources
Ecosystem Approaches to Health Teaching Manual
A teaching manual with sample modules and associated activities for teaching about health and environmental change produced by COPEH-Canada.
→ Español 
→ Français 
→ English 
→ Read more

Webinar Series: Climate Change and Migration
This series includes three webinars on the relationship between climate change and migration. The first webinar looks at the connection between climate change and armed conflict. The second webinar introduces the link between climate change and migration. The third webinar assesses the progress made in addressing climate-linked displacement since the Paris agreement.
→ Watch the videos

Climate Change and Health
(L2, L3) Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health podcast shares an in-depth conversation about the effects of climate change and the steps we can take to reduce the damage.
→ The podcast
→ Teaching tool

Drought and War Heighten Threat of Not Just 1 Famine, but 4
(L2, L3, L4) In Somalia and other African countries suffering from drought and famine, lack of clean water and proper hygiene are behind massive outbreaks of communicable diseases in displaced-persons camps.
→ Read more

Population Displacement and Global Health
This University of Oregon course provides a conceptual framework necessary for understanding the causes and consequences of human displacement in the contemporary era.
→ Syllabus

Planetary Health Alliance

The Planetary Health Alliance is a consortium of over 340 universities, government entities, research institutes, and other partners around the world committed to understanding and addressing global environmental change and its health impacts.
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