Study and Research Centre on Environmentally Displaced Persons

Coordinators’ Message

Migration as a result of environmental disaster is not a new phenomenon. Nevertheless, in recent decades, environmentally displaced people have gained greater prominence on the international agenda due to its increase and to the consequences that these movements have both for the dilemma of the demographic dynamics and for international relations. The increase of people affected by environmental disasters reflects a myriad of factor, including changes in global climate patterns, human actions, and conflicts. The rapid population growth in the poorest regions of the world, combined with unplanned development, particularly in urban areas, has placed a greater number of people at risk.

Indeed, mass displacement caused directly or indirectly by natural disasters brings potentially disastrous consequences both for the displaced and for local populations and governments. As a result, these problems frequently have direct implications on issues of state security, once they cause internal instability, and they can also have impacts on international relations.
While thinking in environmental protection efforts as a tool to reduce the number of environmentally displaced people is essential, it is also crucial, and perhaps more urgent, to develop mechanisms to mitigate adverse impacts brought by this type of displacement. This urgency is justified based on the multidimensional impacts that this problem causes, such as political, economic, societal, environmental and humanitarian impacts.

In light of the multifactorial and interdisciplinary nature of environmental issues related to the internally displaced people, the fields of study of the dynamic of migration and of the International Relations fall as the conceptual framework more appropriate in the Humanities and Social Sciences to do research in this topic because of its interdisciplinary nature. Still, to date, there is no research center consolidated in Brazilian Universities on the environmental dilemma. This is an important gap in Brazilian scholarship, which, on the other hand, NEPDA seeks to overcome, by providing further unity among researchers from Brazil and abroad that work with this topic. This is particularly due to the fragmentation of the topic among researchers in the country and to the consequent difficulties in producing knowledge in the area.

The consolidation of NEPDA, by enabling integration between Brazilian and foreign researchers, will strengthen research efforts aimed at improving the quality of scholarly production in the area. The excellence in research and scholarly production will certainly generate opportunities for the inclusion of Brazilian researchers in international research centers on migration, as well as the exchange of knowledge and researchers between Brazil and other countries.

The irreversible process of Brazil international insertion and its objective attempt to play a prominent role on forums of international politics require a constant formation of a critical mass that can provide fast and efficient inputs necessary for managers and decision makers to deal with the several challenges related to migration.

Therefore, NEPDA has a normative concern that goes beyond the conceptual plan since it aims, through the results of research and scholarly production, to promote impacts in academic and political fields. In short, besides strengthening ongoing studies and uniting researchers, facilitating their research efforts, NEPDA aims to become a reference center in Brazil on results production that impact the treatment of specific issues involving environmentally displaced people in Brazil and around the world. NEPDA also aims to get recognition and prestige of the renowned international research centers.

Prof. Dr. Andrea Pacheco Pacifico – Coordinator
Prof. Dr. Carolina de Abreu Claro – Coordinator – Vice-Coordinator

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