Guidance on Protecting People from Disasters and Environmental Change through Planned Relocation

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Brookings, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
Created: 4/22/2021 -


This Guidance seeks to assist states, communities, and other actors in protecting people through Planned Relocation from the impacts of disasters and environmental change, including the effects of climate change.

This Guidance was developed in a consultative process through a series of meetings between 2011 and 2015 which brought together representatives of States, international organizations, and experts from a wide range of disciplines and experiences. Indeed, the issue of Planned Relocation is a complicated one where expertise from different fields is needed, including disaster risk reduction, development, humanitarian response, human rights, climate change, migration, environmental studies, and law.

To support the development of this Guidance, a number of studies and background documents were commissioned, including an analysis of 30 different frameworks relevant to the issue, ranging from the World Bank’s Operational Policy on Involuntary Resettlement to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

Published On


Adaptation Phase
National / Federal
Sector Addressed
Climate Justice
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Create/enhance resources and tools
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Managed retreat of built infrastructure, relocation of people/communities
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Culture / communities
Public safety threats
Storms or extreme weather events
North America
United States