The Hugo Observatory (University of Liège, Belgium) will coordinate the largest research project on climate change and migration to have ever been funded by the EC's Horizon 2020 programme. With a total budget of 6.8 million euros, this project brings together the two key research topics of the Observatory and shall be the backbone of its research activities for the coming years. It also complements the other projects the team is currently involved in on. "This is an essential recognition of the importance of the work we have been doing at the Hugo Observatory over the last three years," says Director of the Observatory, François Gemenne (Fund for Scientific Research - FNRS, ULiège).
The HABITABLE project - Linking Climate Change, Habitability and Social Tipping Points: Scenarios for Climate Migration - seeks to advance the understanding of how climate change does and will affect migration and displacement patterns. It is centred around the notion of habitability and will introduce the concept of social tipping points as an original way to analyse how environmental disruptions can potentially trigger major social changes. Caroline Zickgraf, Deputy Director of the Observatory, highlights that "mass migration is often identified as one of the most dramatic consequences of climate change - this project will enable us to know better how climate change influences migration, and how we can address it."
HABITABLE will be implemented by a diverse consortium associating 20 partners from different disciplines, coming from 17 countries across three continents. The consortium includes academic research institutions, think tanks, non governmental organisations, and international organisations from Europe, West Africa, Southern Africa, East Africa and Southeast Asia.
This is the second time within 2 years that The Hugo Observatory receives funding through the highly competitive process of Horizon 2020, after the MAGYC project on migration governance was launched in the fall 2018, with a budget of 3.2 million EUR.
The HABITABLE consortium includes: University of Liège (BE), University of Vienna (AT), Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (DE), University of Exeter (UK), Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) (NO), Lund University (SW), La Sapienza Università di Roma (IT), Adelphi (DE), Université de Neuchâtel (CH), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (FR), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (ZA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (FR), University of Ghana (GH), CARE France (FR), University of Twente (NL), Université Cheikh Anta Diop (SN), Stockholm Environment Institute Asia (SW), Raks Thai Foundation (TH), University of Addis Ababa (ET), Institut National de la Statistique du Mali (ML).