Worldwide around 65.3 million people are forcibly displaced (UNHCR), the vast majority within their countries of origin. They are fleeing from war, violence, suppression and persecution. Additionally, many thousands are leaving their homes because of hunger and poverty induced by a lack of economic opportunity, an ever-increasing degradation of their natural environment and the growing number of natural disasters.
In addition to the provision of immediate relief for refugees in Germany and for the internally displaced in their countries of origin, The Federal Government of Germany together with its Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), focuses on understanding the structural causes of displacement in order to improve living conditions in the home countries of refugees and the internally displaced. By this means, they aim to provide long term perspectives in order to prevent flight and it’s traumatic ramifications.
In 2009, five German higher education institutions – Technical University Braunschweig, University of Hohenheim, University of Kassel, Cologne University of Applied Sciences and Ludwig-Maximilians-University München – were selected to be part of the Excellence for Development Cooperation (Exceed) Program by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Since then, these centers together with their 37 partners in developing countries, have been establishing think tanks to contribute to the post-2015 development agenda.
These five Exceed Centers combined forces to take a closer look at the environmental and socioeconomic dimensions of forced migration together with scientists, politicians and the public from around the world by participating in the first Exceed Conference in Berlin. This up-to-date topic was chosen to strengthen the connection between local research on conflicts and their consequences in today's world and global action towards the mitigation of these consequences. During the course of the conference, current research results were presented, challenges were discussed and new strategies to prevent forced migration were identified by using an interactive conference set-up.
Prof. Dr. Katja Radon