The right to move and the right to stay?!

Community decisions in a changing climate

Time and location

Monday, 9 October, 19:00
Hauptbücherei am Gürtel, Urban Loritz-Platz 2a, 1070 Vienna

Languages: German and English with simultaneous interpretation



Mana Omar

Executive Director of Spring of the arid and semi-arid lands (SASAL), Fridays for Future Africa

Diogo Andreola Serraglio

Researcher and practitioner with experience in international migration and climate policy, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, HABITABLE project

Moderation: Daniela Paredes Grijalva

University of Vienna, Institute for Geography and Regional Research/VIDC

Opening: Michael Fanizadeh

VIDC Global Dialogue

Performance by UÝRA

Curated by

Daniela Paredes Grijalva, University of Vienna/VIDC and Michael Fanizadeh, VIDC Global Dialogue


Flooded houses in Bentiu City South Sudan, © shutterstock/rameesha bilal shah

Flooded houses in Bentiu City South Sudan, © shutterstock/rameesha bilal shah

The event starts with a performance by UÝRA. The performance addresses the realities of environmental damage, displacement and migration in the Amazon region. Afterwards, climate scientist Diogo Andreola Serraglio and researcher and activist Mana Omar from Fridays for Future Africa will discuss how the global phenomenon of climate change is linked to (forced) migration and immobility, using examples from Ethiopia and Kenya.

At our event, we will hear about existing policies and practices in particularly affected regions of the Global South where people and governments are planning to address climate change and changing mobility needs. We will discuss what European actors can do to support people in coping with the climate crisis in particularly affected regions. What about the polluter pays principle: shouldn't we do more to support those people who have been displaced by the climate crisis? How can we build resilience in communities that cannot or do not want to migrate? Marginalized groups such as indigenous populations, women, children, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis and to the reproduction of unequal social structures.

The impacts of climate change are felt more strongly around the world with each year that passes. While some successes have been achieved through international agreements, these successes are far too slow in implementation compared to the rate at which we are stressing and destroying ecosystems. The climate crisis may lead to migration, and it may also lead to immobility or even displacement. The needs of people affected by the impacts of climate change are diverse, so the responses to these needs must also be diverse. However, the debate in Austria and Europe is not so much about how to support countries and regions in the Global South that are particularly affected by the climate crisis, but rather focuses mostly on how to protect against possible “climate refugees”. The wishes and experiences of the affected populations are often completely neglected. For example, pastoralist peoples who traditionally live across borders face increased conflict, harsher droughts, and stricter border controls. As a result of the climate crisis, women and girls are particularly at risk of various forms of gender-based violence such as forced marriage or human trafficking.


Mana Omar

Executive Director of „Spring of the arid and semi-arid lands“ (SASAL) an NGO working with pastoral communities to build climate resilience. The Somali indigenous community in Kenya that she is a part of experiences the impacts of climate change, including climate-induced migration.  She is a trained climate scientist with a degree in Meteorology and a Master in Environmental Governance. Omar is also a member of YOUNGO the Official Children and Youth Constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Fridays for Future Africa as well as a youth leader with the UN women Feminist Action for Climate Justice Action Coalition.

Diogo Andreola Serraglio 

is a researcher and practitioner with experience in the field of international migration and climate governance, mostly aimed at supporting ongoing global efforts on policy and practice. He has continuously worked, researched and published on issues related to climate-induced migration, both as an academic researcher and as an international consultant. He has consulted for the Platform on Disaster Displacement, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the German Development Institute on forced population movements in the context of climate and other environmental changes across Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He holds a Ph.D. and M.D. in Law at Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (Brazil) and is a research member of the South American Network for Environmental Migrations. Serraglio currently holds a Research Analyst position at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research working on the HABITABLE project and its work package addressing micro- and meso-level coping strategies and adaptation solutions through qualitative analysis. The HABITABLE project is the largest research project on climate change and migration to have ever been funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program. 

Moderation: Daniela Paredes Grijalva

University of Vienna, Department for Geography and Regional Research. For her PhD project at the University of Vienna she investigates how (im)mobilities relate to environmental change in Indonesia. She has previously worked on transnational migration, gender, and social protection as a researcher and practitioner. She is also a consultant at VIDC focusing on climate justice and migration and a member of WIDE Austria.

Performance: UÝRA

UÝRA, born in Manaus (Amazônia), is an indigenous person in the context of the diaspora, Two-Spirit (trans) and human rights activist. UÝRA works as a visual artist and art educator. UÝRA holds a degree in Biology and a Master's degree in Amazon Ecology. Through art, UÝRA creates images that confront different "natures": that of living in freedom and that of violence against biodiversity and vulnerable groups of people. In exhibitions in Brazil and around the world, UÝRA explores, presents, and discusses colonial erasure and the resistance of indigenous peoples in history and the present.
UÝRA was a highlight of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo, Bienal Manifesta (Kosovo), winner* of the 2022 PIPA Prize and the 2023 YES to Racial Equality Prize. UÝRA's works are in the collections of institutions such as the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Castello di Rivoli (Italy) and the Los Angeles County Museum.