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CDPI VOLUNTEER PROFILE: Azin Emami


The Climate Displacement Planning Initiative (CDPI) is an entirely volunteer-run organization based in Vancouver, BC, but with team members and colleagues around the world. Over the course of the year, CDPI will be doing features on current and past members of the organization. The intention of the series is to share more information with the world about CDPI and the people that keep it moving. Stay tuned for more features!

Name: Azin Emami


Role: Research Volunteer


Where are you from originally and where do you live now? I have traveled and moved around a lot but I grew up in Toronto and live in the Willowdale neighborhood, where I spent most of my childhood.


What is your day job? I am a research assistant at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Climate Change department. Currently, I am working on a white paper and scoping study related to forests for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and I am learning more about Nature-based Solutions in humanitarian contexts.


What do you do at CDPI? I work on research and have written a few blogs, including the series on economic precarity and displacement that we're about to release a new episode on soon!


What got you interested in climate displacement? My PhD dissertation focused on migration as an adaptation strategy to climate change and the nexus between climate displacement and labour migration. While I problematized the myth of invasion by 'environmental refugees,' I argued that in the absence of adequate recognition and protection, environmentally displaced populations can end up in precarious labour markets. The underlying aim of my research is two-fold: to make a theoretical contribution to the field of forced migration studies by further explaining the significance of non-recognition for the environmentally displaced; and to consider the practical implications of non-recognition by establishing connections between environmental displacement and irregular migration, as well as the formation of regional clusters of precarious labour and other forms of exploitation. I am interested in continuing research in this area after my PhD and wanted to learn more about climate displacement in Canada. I was and am also interested in learning how cities can better accommodate the needs of climate-displaced populations.


How did you come to volunteer with CDPI? I initially got in touch with CDPI during my PhD. I knew I was interested in working with the team either as a PhD student or after graduation. Upon completing my program, I had more conversations with the CDPI leadership team and told them about my PhD research. We had a shared interest in displacement and precarity and so I joined as a volunteer.

What does a good Saturday look like for you? A good Saturday for me involves being out in nature, relaxing and reading a good book.


Written by Managing Director, George Benson.

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