Climate refugees: who are they?

Climate refugee


The specific and general objectives of the session are the following:

- to develop the knowledge about the subject of climate refugees

- to share opinions about the definition of “climate refugee”

- to consider the consequences of our daily habits in others’ life


Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes on the target groups are the following:

- to get acknowledged about the term “climate refugee”

- to create mental models about the term “climate refugee”

- to highlight how a new kind of refugees have started to appear on the scene of migratory movements


Target group

All groups/society

Adolescents, Adults

Number of participants: 10-20 people



(1 - very easy, 5 - very difficult)

The degree of expertise needed - 2

The amount of work to prepare and implement the scenario - 2

The relative overall cost predicted - 2



1h 45 min



Room with capacity for 20 people, seating arrangement, tables


Internet connection/wifi, pens and block notes for each participant, pieces of coloured cardboard to create posters for each group, world map, coloured drawing pins, materials for poster are voluntary (e.g. newspapers, glue, scissors, different sort of paper etc.)



It is not required a huge knowledge by facilitators. Participants will be more involved in searching information by themselves and sharing information with other participants instead of teaching them some notions about this subject.




Desertification across the West African Sahel and Mexico, and extreme weather events occurring with increasing frequency around the World are displacing millions of people each year. Thus, a new terminology called “climate/environmental refugee” has been born.

Different factors can lead to migration: such as natural disasters; development projects that involve changes in the environment; progressive evolution of the environment; industrial accidents (Chernobyl, Fukushima, etc.); and environmental consequences due to conflicts.



Stage 1: Brainstorming phase with guidance questions about the term of climate refugee (15 min)

The facilitator asks participants the following questions in order to test their knowledge of the topic:

1) Which kind of refugees do you know?

2) Have you ever heard of the term “environmental/climate refugee"?

3) What do you think about this term?

4) What could it be related with?

5) What comes to your minds when you have heard of this term?


Stage 2: Internet researches in groups (30 min)

The facilitator first explains that climate refugees situation as a global problem, according to the information in Annex 1.

Then, the facilitator creates groups and assigns a country to each group. All chosen countries will be indicated in the world map by using drawing pins (e.g. Indonesia, Sudan, Turkey, Libya, Niger, Mexico).

After that, an investigation phase begins. All the groups will search the countries’ problems related with climate change and environmental refugee condition.


Stage 3: Creation of posters (15 min)

The groups are invited to organise their findings in a poster (one poster for each group) that can help them to make a final oral exposition to other participants. The facilitator can give participants the materials for the posters (e.g. newspapers, glue, scissors, different sort of paper etc.), but it's not obligatory.


Stage 4: Final exposition of results (30 min)

Each group will present orally at the form the results of their research.

Starting from the poster, one “group leader” chosen by his/her group will present to other groups the condition of the climate refugees in the chosen country.


The facilitator proposes a final discussion in plenary (15 min)

 The following questions could be asked:

1) What have you learnt about climate refugees?

2) Do you feel concerned about this topic? Why? Why not?

3) Have you ever considered the consequences of your daily habits in others’ life? For example, the climate changes is a common responsibility or do you feel “not guilty”?

4) Do you know towns/cities not far from you from which inhabitants had to move for natural disasters (earthquakes, flooding, landslides)?

5) Is the situation the same in rich and poor countries?

6) Have you ever thought to move from your city because of climate?


Support tools

Presence lists, evaluation forms (if required)


The Erasmus + project “Educating on climate forests” in which EURO association is a partner . Website:

Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Retrieved from

Climate Change: The IPCC Impacts Assessment (1990). Retrieved from


Ideas for action

This activity could be developed by deepening the knowledge of the climate refugees condition.

In the stage 2 you can divide groups linked to the different cases (for example: desertification, extreme weather etc.)


Annex 1: Climate refugees condition as a global problem.


Created by EURO





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