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Evidence vs Myth: Understanding Displacement in a Changing Climate


8 December 2020 | 14:30 - 16:00 CET


We are very pleased to invite you to an exciting online dialogue entitled "Evidence vs Myth: Understanding Displacement in a Changing Climate" taking place from 14:30 to 16:00 on 8 December. This will be the first of two events that IDMC organises in addition to its expert forums as lead-in to our 2021 Global Report on Internal Displacement, with a thematic focus on climate change and disaster displacement.

The event will feature a prominent panel of experts who help to provide evidence that debunks common and dangerous myths surrounding climate change and displacement. Notions suggesting that displacement linked with disasters is temporary, that disasters are natural and therefore displacement unavoidable, and that climate change will result in “mass displacement” will be countered during this event.

When the total number of internally displaced people (IDPs) has hit an all-time high, and while misinformation now spreads as fast as the Covid-19 pandemic itself, accurate information and evidence that informs policies and practices aimed at protecting those most affected has never been more important.


Moderator and opening remarks:

Alexandra Bilak, Director of IDMC


  • António Vitorino 

António Vitorino has been IOM's Director General since October 2018. He served as Minister for National Defence and Deputy Prime Minister in Portugal within the government of António Guterres, now the United Nations’ Secretary General. He is a former European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs.

  • François Gemenne

François Gemenne is the director of the HUGO Observatory at University of Liège (Belgium), a research center committed to the study of interactions between environmental changes, human migration, and politics. He lectures on environmental and migration policies in various universities, including Sciences Po Paris. He is a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

  • Sonia Shah

Sonia Shah is an investigative journalist and author of critically acclaimed and prize-winning books. The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move (2020) was praised by Publisher's weekly as "a masterful survey of migration [...] countering some long-held misconceptions". She has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many others.

  • Prof. Rajib Shaw

Rajib Shaw is professor at the Graduate School of Media and Governance in Keio University’s Shonan Fujisawa Campus (Japan). He was the chair of the United Nations Science Technology Advisory Group (STAG) for disaster risk reduction and is the coordinating lead author for the IPCC. He is the co-founder of Delhi based start-up Resilience Innovation Knowledge Academy (RIKA) India, and former executive director of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR).

For more information on this high-level dialogue, please contact, contact