The project “CREATE - Climate Refugees Exist” aims to raise awareness on climate change as a root cause for migration, fostering Science Diplomacy as a key tool to find common solutions in order to unlock the potential of migrants, and is promoted by the Italian National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics - OGS.
Climate change as a root cause of migration is becoming an urgent issue in the global agenda. Nevertheless, common knowledge of the phenomenon of Climate Refugees, and how it is going to evolve in the future, is definitely missing in our society. A new language is needed in order to promote a debate from a scientific and a social point of view. Thus, Science Diplomacy is a key tool to find common solutions in order to unlock the potential of migrants and Trieste is the right place to drive this debate, being a coastal city facing the consequences of climate change, at the end of the Balkan Route. Moreover, it hosts a number of scientific institutions that can bring the discussion to a Science Diplomacy level: ICTP, TWAS, UNHCR, CEI.
Within this framework, thanks to its expertise on Science Diplomacy and Climate Change, OGS would fulfill the urgent need to include climate refugees in the scientific, diplomatic, social and cultural agendas. We decided to tackle this sensitive issue through the unconventional method of a role-play game. In fact, game based learning is an effective way to address sensitive issues and the role-play approach encourages participants from different backgrounds to engage in a serious, fact-checked and in depth reflection.
On the 2nd of July, 2022, took place the kick-off event of the project, with the lecture Climate, Hunger, Conflicts, migrations: turning four problems into a solution, by Grammenos Mastrojeni, Senior Deputy Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
According to the timeline, the role-play game was developed during the Summer and tested with the students of the Advanced Master in Sustainable Blue Economy in Autumn. The game was then translated and published online. It can be downloaded for free at this links:
The game was presented at the Trieste NEXT festival, at the speakers’ corner within the OGS’ stand, and at the European Sharper’s Night. Also, during the initiative “Nautici in Blu”, our team facilitated a game session with 80 students of the Nautical High School.
On the 15th of January, 2022, a Conference took place at the University of Trieste, followed by a game session, representing the final event of the project.