Seminars and Lectures


 EPICC Project Lead Kira Vike and EPICC migration researcher Julia M. Blocher present on climate-conflict linkages in a public-facing webinar co-organized with the Berghof Foundation, 25.02.2021

The Berghof Foundation and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) co-organized “Climate Change Impacts on Conflict – Moving from Acknowledgement to Action”, an online event featuring researchers and expert discussants. The aim is to advance the debate from stating the facts to taking action.

Starting with inputs from experts on Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Syria, the participants discussed how effects of the climate crisis, such as droughts and shifting rainfall patterns, affect local conflict dynamics. Based on these insights, an expert panel explored climate change and peacebuilding challenges that lay ahead for both disciplines, where innovative approaches are developed, and how organisations should reach out for increased cooperation and funding.

PIK researcher Julia M. Blocher provided evidence on Ethiopia, informed by the wider body of research on climate-conflict linkages and on climate-sensitive development that is also core to her EPICC research. EPICC Project Lead Kira Vinke served as a panellist, contributing input on innovative approaches to peacebuilding, strategies for multi-stakeholder participation, and sensitivity to gender dimensions of climate-conflict research and strategies.

You can watch the recording of the event here. [...]


EPICC Project Lead, Dr. Kira Vinke, presents the latest research on migration within the PIK Internal Online Lecture Series, 02.07.2020

The PIK Internal Online Lecture Series was established by PIK in face of the pandemic “to stay connected intellectually while being separated physically” due to home office being the current modus operandi. As part of this series, which covers a range of topics, Dr. Kira Vinke presented emerging topics and research questions that are being explored under the migration research within the EPICC project.

The talk started with the introduction of the project and Migration team who are addressing the Output’s overarching question which is whether migration can be an effective adaptation strategy by improving household resources, capabilities and resilience. In this respect, two types of migration are identified: proactive and reactive migration. The former is generally considered to be more likely to be effective, as it assumes a longer time period for planning and high level of agency. Reactive migration is instead deemed to be less likely to be ‘adaptive’, occurs on a short notice, and is a relatively involuntary decision – for example, to escape an imminent environmental threat. In addition, Dr. Vinke elaborated on ongoing research, namely the role environmental and climatic factors play for migration. She presented findings from a meta-analysis on environmental migration, also conducted as part of the project. The research shows a strong connection between environmental factors and migration and the significance of political and socio-economic factors thereon. Environmentally-induced migration is found to be particularly strong in studies focusing on middle-income and agriculturally-dependent countries, and weaker in studies concentrating on low and high-income countries. The findings will be published in an academic article soon.

Subsequently, Dr. Vinke presented EPICC’s interdisciplinary migration research on Tanzania, Peru and India which benefits from the close collaboration with the other EPICC research topics, such as Climate, Hydrology and Agriculture. As regards to the work on Tanzania, PhD student Julia Blocher studies which individual and household characteristics make a household member more likely to migrate and assesses how migration in Tanzania is likely to be shaped in the future by environmental factors. An upcoming report to be jointly published with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), entitled “Assessing the Evidence: Climate Change and Migration in Tanzania”, identifies northern pastoralists among the groups in the country that are most vulnerable to climate change. The research on Peru conducted by PhD student Jonas Bergmann looks at three no-analog threats, namely: changes in El Niño intensification, rapid deglaciation and extreme heat events, all of which show urgent necessity to develop an action plan on climate migration. His research examines large and complex well-being consequences of migration from areas with climate hazards. The findings will also be presented as a joint publication within the popular series of IOM, titled “Assessing the Evidence: Climate Change and Migration in Peru”. The migration research on India focuses on the Northern state of Uttarakhand, where PhD student Himani Upadhyay studies intense out migration and depopulation across the hill districts. This is a source of conflicts and competition of resources in the urban district and widens the gap in regional economic inequality. In addition, agricultural workload in the depopulated areas becomes higher, especially for women, which instigates even further the migration processes. The findings will appear in a joint publication with the project partner TERI.

Lastly, Dr. Vinke gave an account of two international human rights instruments, i.e. the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (1998) and Geneva Refugee Convention (1951), which fail to effectively address the issue of climate change in the 21st century, leading to lack of protection of climate-displaced persons. She introduced the Nansen passport, devised by Fridtjof Nansen, 1922 Nobel Peace Laureate, as the first legal tool to allow displaced people to travel and work in Europe. More information on the climate passport can be found in the WBGU Policy Paper: Just & In-Time Climate Policy. In addition, further research on policy for Human Mobility is being currently conducted.

Please note that once the above-mentioned reports are published they will be listed under the EPICC publications.


Webinar on the Monsoon Prediction in Central India and Telangana - Research that helps farmers to plan for their agricultural cycle during the monsoon season, 13.05.2020

Prof. Elena Surovyatkina delivered a lecture on the monsoon prediction for Central India and Telangana for 2020 during a webinar that was attended by a total of 450 participants from Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies from India.

The online event was organized by the Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) in Hyderabad, India, and was presided over by Vice-Chancellor V. Praveen Rao. Legislator Chennamaneni Ramesh, a Humboldt-expert in Agriculture. The chairman of the Indo-German Project on Sustainability introduced the speaker.

Prof. Surovyatkina announced that the onset of monsoon in Telangana is to occur between 16th and 24th of June. Furthermore, she predicted isolated rainfall and dry spells between the last week of June to mid of July and continuous spells of rain subsequently. This information is delivered one month before the start of the monsoon, and is crucial for the agricultural community in India.

The long-term forecast of the monsoon onset, delivered specially for the drought-prone regions in Central India, supports farmers in planning for the agricultural cycle: i.e. to prepare their fields in time for crop sowing or to buy appropriate seed varieties in time. Unexpected early or late monsoon onset results in farmers losing their investment. Using the monsoon onset forecast, the Farmers Advisory Panel of the Agricultural State University advice local farmers and stakeholders on the selection of crop varieties, the timing of the preparation of their fields and timing of crop sowing.

Further information on the monsoon forecast can be found on the PIK Monsoon Page.

EPICC Seminar on Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience & Migration in Potsdam, Germany, 04.03.2020

Dr. Roman Hoffmann and Jonas Bergmann gave a talk on Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience and Migration to members of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) and participants from the German Armed Forces. The talk which was addressed to the about 30 attendees was part of the seminar series "Strategy change through climate change? How climatic changes shape our security policy", organized by the Bundeswehr Information Center in collaboration with the YATA. It was focused on global climate science, observed trends and projections, as well as specific local risks and impacts in Peru and Tanzania, two of the partner countries in the EPICC project. The presenters assessed evidence on adaptation strategies and climate migration within these, pointing to challenges and opportunities. The presentation concluded with recommendations on how to raise resilience and address vulnerabilities related to climate change, followed by a rich discussion with the participants. 


EPICC Guest Researcher shares Knowledge on a Participatory Approach that supports Local Information for Weather Forecasts in Tanzania, 07.01.2020

Mr. Emmanuel Ole Kileli Leyani from Tanzania visited PIK as a guest researcher from December 2019 to January 2020. He is the Progam Officer at Parakuiyo Pastoralists Indigenous Community Development Organization (PAICODEO), founder and director of the Ereto Maasai Youth Organization (EMAYO), and Executive Director of The Kesho Trust.  During his research stay, he worked in close collaboration with the migration team, while he also interacted with other project teams such as those from Hydrology and Water Resources, Climate, Agriculture and Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer.

Besides supporting the migration research on mobile farmers and pastoralists, Emmanuel gave a presentation on “Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP)”, during the project’s monthly meeting on the 7thof January 2020. Besides the EPICC Team, more than 15 scientists from PIK joined the lecture. PSP is a method that he and his organization applies to make use of weather forecasts in Tanzania. The approach brings together different stakeholders to share, discuss, and interpret weather forecasts specific to their localities before putting them into use. Therefore, PSP integrates scientific and traditional knowledge in the interpretation of weather forecasts. “Climate change impacts are felt most by local communities in my country, especially small scale farmers and pastoralist communities whose livelihoods depend mainly on seasonal rainfall”, says Emmanuel. Therefore, he highlights the potential of the method that can help local communities (end-users of climate information) to make informed decisions about when to prepare their crop yields, sow seeds, or organize their seasonal livestock migration based on three months weather forecasts of their local area.

Emmanuel insists on the current need for accurate weather information for better decision making by the pastoralists and farming communities in Tanzania. He praised the work of PIK and especially that of the EPICC project aimed at generating knowledge and information that could positively influence policy change or effective implementation in his home country.

For more information about Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP), Emmanuel recommends the "Practical Guide to Participatory Scenario Planning” published by CARE.
For more information about Emmanuel please find his contact details here.


Further Seminars and Lectures in 2021

04/03/2021 - The European Institute of the London School of Economics (LSE) (online):
Julia M. Blocher gave an introductory presentation on migration and displacement in the context of a changing climate. The talk covered conceptual and methodological challenges; empirical evidence, including on motivations for migration and place attachment; and the latest thinking on migration as an adaptive strategy, inter alia. New case study research from Tanzania conducted for the EPICC project was shared as an example.

Further Seminars and Lectures in 2020

26/11/2020 - Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience at King’s College London (online):
Julia M. Blocher presented one online seminar in the series, focused on migration and displacement in the context of a changing climate. 

09-11/2020 - ECOLENS by the Indian Documentary Foundation (IDF) (online):
Himani Upadhyay
gave a talk titled “Climate Migration: Causes and Futures” focusing on how global climate crisis affects migration at local, national and transnational levels, and what it means for these societies. Videos were recorded on all sessions, see ECO LENS Nov 9, 2020 - Part 3.

03/09/2020 – Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN) – 4th Session Climate Change and Gender (online):
Jonas Bergmann was invited to present results on Climate Change and Migration.

19/02/2020 - Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) (Hamburg, Germany):
Dr. Stephanie Gleixner and Dr. Anastasia Lobanova participated in DWD Discussion workshop on forecasts and presented their research results.

13-17/02/2020 - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (Zürich, Switzerland):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina participated in round-table on tipping elements and presented Monsoon prediction.

17/01/2020 - The International Green Week (Berlin, Germany):
EPICC Advisory Board member Sven Plöger and Project Lead Dr. Kira Vinke participated in a discussion round on forest, climate and nutrition at a kick-off event of the International Green Week.

13/01/2020 - Heidelberg University (Heidelberg, Germany):
Dr. Kira Vinke participated as guest lecturer presenting to working group "Climate change and Health".


Seminars and Lectures in 2018/19

16/12/2019 - The University of California San Diego (San Diego, USA):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina
 and Nitin Babu George presented the results of the Monsoon research.

02-03/12/2019 - Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) (Innsbruck, Germany):
Julia Blocher gave a lecture on "Climate Change and Human Mobility" for master students at MCI.

04/11/2019 - The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (Potsdam, Germany):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina was invited to present the results of Monsoon research at Herbstschule "System Erde" in a video-lecture titled “When does the Indian Summer Monsoon Begin?”. The input was developed in cooperation with EPICC guest researcher Roman Medvedev and help of EPICC Migration Output researcher Jonas Bergmann.

28/10/2019 - Nollo (online):
Jonas Bergmann participated in Online Panel Discussion - "The Great Migration: A discussion of the deep impact climate change is having and will have on global migration".

25/10/2019 - The Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing, China):
Dr. Jingfang Fan presented: "Statistical physics approaches to Earth complex systems".

24/10/2019 - China Meteorological Administration (Beijing, China):
Dr. Jingfang Fan presented: "Statistical physics approaches to Earth complex systems".

17/09/2019 - German Centre for Research and Innovation (New Delhi, India):
EPICC Senior Scientific Advisor Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber held a Science Circle Lecture titled "The Climate Emergency, The German "Energiewende" and The Great Transformation". He spoke about the urgency of the climate crisis and gave a warning regarding the severity of the Tipping Elements. Professor Schellnhuber emphasized Germany's Energiewende, a switch to renewable energy sources, as an exemplary strategy for countries like India with high solar energy potential.

07/2019 - Cambridge Global Conversations (CGC) – Ethics in a Time of Climate Change, Intellectual Forum Jesus College (Cambridge, UK):
Dr. Kira Vinke
shared her thoughts on the causes of climate migration, climate justice, political will, and more. A CGC Climate Ethics Video was recorded on the sidelines of the CGC#1 Climate Ethics Event.

10/05/2019 - Andreas Gymnasium (Berlin, Germany):
Jonas Bergmann held a presentation titled "Climate crisis and migration - an outlook into your future" during biology class discussion to the students. The presentation introduced the environmental influences on migration and displacement, the basics of climate change, and how the climate crisis is shaping population movements.

15/04/2019 - Centre for International Studies - TU Dresden (Dresden, Germany):
Jonas Bergmann held a block seminar titled "Climate Risks and Migration" during the summer semester 2019.

22-23/03/2019 - Conservation International (San Martín, Peru):
Jonas Bergmann facilitated and presented at a workshop titled: "Sustainable Scenarios for Alto Mayo: Planning and Action for Thriving Communities and Ecosystems".

20/03/2019 - MeteoSwiss (Zürich, Switzerland):
Dr. Stephanie Gleixner presented EPICC Project at "Abschluss Workshop des Meteo-Swiss-SENAMHI Projektes CLIMANDES".

24/01/2019 - German Consulate in Bangalore, Federal Foreign Office, German Centre for Research and Innovation (Bangalore, India):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina held a presentation at Science Circle Lecture titled: "Tipping elements approach for predicting onset and withdrawal of Indian Summer Monsoon".

29/11/2018 - Technical University Munich (Munich, Germany):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina participated in a Ph.D. Seminar – Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management and held a presentation titled: "A Better Way to Predict the Indian Monsoon".

18/10/2018 - Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai IIT Madras, Department of Physics (Madras, India):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina held a presentation titled: ”Monsoon Forecast for Central India: Evidence from Observations".

18/10/2018 - Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) (Pune, India):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina held two presentation titled: "Monsoon Forecast for Central India: Evidence from Observations" and "Predicting onset and withdrawal of Indian Summer Monsoon: observational evidence for results of Tipping elements approach”.

16/10/2018 - German Embassy, Delhi, Federal Foreign Office, German Centre for Research and Innovation (New Delhi, India):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina held a presentation at Science Circle Lecture titled: "Monsoon Forecast under Climate Change".

26/06/2018 - International Center for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS) (Bangalore, India):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina held a presentation titled: "Prediction of Indian summer monsoon: from Complex Network to Tipping elements approach" at the ICTS Workshop.

26/06/2018 - Indian Meteorological Society (IMS) (Delhi, India):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina held a presentation titled: “Monsoon Forecast Under Climate Change”.

19/06/2018 - Water Technology Centre of Prof Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) (Rajendranagar, India):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina presented Mosoon research at "Monsoon Prediction in Central India under Climate Change" workshop.

12/01/2018 - Indian Meteorological Society (IMS) (Pune, India):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina held a presentation titled: "Predicting onset and withdrawal of Indian Summer Monsoon: Observational evidence for results of Tipping elements approach".

08/01/2018 - Amrita University (Coimbatore, India):
Prof. Elena Surovyatkina participated in the Workshop on Data-Driven Modelling 2018: ”How to predict the upcoming spatially organized critical transition?”. She held the following presentations: (1) "Introduction to Non-linear Dynamics" and (2) "Introduction to Fluid Dynamic Equations and Data Collection by Simulation".