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08 April 2021
Coffee Chat: Climate Change, Displacement, and Human Health and Security

Join UNA-NCA for its next Coffee Chat on Thursday, April 8th from 1:00-2:00pm EST. 

Persons displaced due to climate change will increasingly seek asylum within the United States; current immigration and asylum policy fail to define a ‘climate refugee’ and thus lack mechanisms for legal entry, resettlement, or workforce integration. Expanding access to asylum to climate refugees will mitigate national security risks, propagate economic growth at state and local levels, and affirm U.S. commitment to upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This Coffee Chat will explore the potential impact of climate change on human displacement, current legal frameworks for supporting climate refugees, and the inextricable link between human health and safety and the environment. 

Register here.  

Dr. Shanna N. McClain, Earth Science Divisions Global Partnerships Manager, NASA
Dr. Shanna N. McClain is the NASA Earth Science Divisions Global Partnerships Manager and the Applied Sciences Lead for Risk Reduction and Resilience. She sits as a Visiting Scientist with the Environmental Law Institute, where she co-leads the program on environmental migration and displacement. She serves as Chair to the Environmental Peacebuilding Association’s Interest Group on Water, and to the IFRC-German Red Cross Anticipation Hub Working Group on Earth Observations. She worked previously for the joint UNOCHA/UN Environment Emergencies Section on issues relating to complex and protracted crisis. She holds a PhD in Environmental Science & Policy from Southern Illinois University, where her she examined the challenges of integrating three science and policy priorities – climate change adaptation, response to disasters, and resilience – into multilevel governance frameworks of international river basins.

Carl Bruch, Senior Attorney and Director of International Programs, Environmental Law Institute
Carl Bruch is the Senior Attorney and Director of International Programs at the Environmental Law Institute. His research focuses on making environmental law work. He has helped countries across Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia develop and implement laws, policies, and institutional frameworks to effectively manage water resources, biodiversity, forests, and other natural resources. He is an authority on the means to manage natural resources to support post-conflict peacebuilding, on environmental governance and institutions, and on ways to prevent, reduce, mitigate, and compensate for damage to the environment during armed conflict. In addition to working at ELI, Bruch has been an attorney with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (E-LAW). He is an adjunct professor with American University School of International Service, where he teaches a master’s-level course on environmental peacebuilding.
Ready to take action to support refugee rights? Join UNA-NCA and Lutheran Social Services (LSS) on Thursday, April 15th for an Advocacy Training.

Pablo Escribano, Regional Thematic Specialist on Migration, Environment, & Climate Change, IOM
Pablo Escribano is the Regional Thematic Specialist of the International Organization for Migrations on Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) for the Americas and the Caribbean. Previously, he worked at the Donor Relations Division of the IOM in Geneva, Switzerland. He also participated in the implementation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Observatory on South-South Migration, and worked on counter trafficking projects in West and Central Africa. Pablo Escribano holds master's degrees in political science and history from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris (Sciences Po).