Scientific, technological and socio-political answers to the effects of climate change on migration, health, conflict and gender inequality in Africa and the Mediterranean


Climate change, health, mass migration, conflict and gender inequality are five strongly interrelated crises which demand understanding, awareness and a broad, global approach to the design and implementation of solutions.

Awareness leads to concern, concern leads to engagement, engagement leads to consensus and consensus leads to the continuity of potentially effective strategies. But awareness must be based on knowledge, engagement must be the route to solutions and consensus must be founded on an understanding of society’s scientific and technological capacity to support what has often been considered as simply a socio-political debate.

Technology centres and research institutions in Europe and Africa are beginning to recognise that through their scientific and technical investigations they have a social responsibility to work in close collaboration and cooperation with society as a whole, to join forces and unite the Quintuple Helix composed of the world of research together with the public sector, the private sector, the arts and the citizen.

Building on the success of the first edition of CASSANDRA celebrated in 2021, this bi-annual conference intends to introduce the world of the scientist to that of the policy maker, the world of the academic to that of the minorities, the problems and possibilities of research to those who suffer the dramatic consequences of a pathway which begins with climate change and which leads to health issues, migration, conflict and a worsening of gender inequality. This is the true aim of CASSANDRA and this, its second edition to be held in 2023



Researchers in Climate Change, Migration, Health, Conflict and/or Gender, Policy Makers at a Supranational, National, Regional and Municipal level, Multinational, National and SME representatives of the Private Sector located in Africa and the Mediterranean Region, Non-Governmental Organisations and Interest groups with a strong connection to the issues of Climate Change, Health, Migration and/or Gender, Citizen Awareness groups from different parts of Africa and the Mediterranean, National and International Press Representatives from the Mediterranean Region and Africa.


Each aspect of the conference entitled CASSANDRA 2023 will be presented
within the context of seven pillars for sustainable development:

  • Data to Action is a process whereby raw data is collected and analysed to inform decision-making and actionable tasks by communities at a local, sub-national, national and supranational level. The process involves identifying patterns or trends, making decisions and subsequently acting based on the proven results of monitoring and investigation. Data to action can be applied to all environmentally based organisational issues or problems.
  • The Source to Sea (S2S) approach to water quality is an integrated, collaborative approach to water resource management focused on the entire water cycle, from source (e.g., hills and mountains) to sea (e.g., the ocean). It puts emphasis on the interconnectedness of the ocean, lakes, rivers and the atmosphere, and makes a focused effort to protect and conserve aquatic ecosystems over their entire length. It involves a continuous monitoring of both upstream eutrophication and downstream pollution, to ensure water quality over the whole water body. Making an important consideration for the impacts of climate change, the S2S approach seeks to adopt a wide range of conservation measures, from better agricultural practices and pollution control to aquatic protection and restoration.
  • The Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem-Health Nexus (WEFE+H) is an interdisciplinary approach to managing, restoring and sustaining the environment, by recognising the interconnectedness between water, energy, and food systems as well as their interaction with ecosystems and the issue of human health. This approach considers how the use of natural resources and production of energy (such as hydropower and biomass) affects water, land, and other ecosystem services. In addition, the concept of the nexus emphasises how water and energy enable food production and how changes in food production can impact energy and water resources. The nexus approach can help policy makers and stakeholders to manage the environment and its resources more effectively. It offers the decision-maker the opportunity to consider interactions between different sectors and how those interactions may result in constraints or opportunities for sustainable development, whilst enabling the identification of potential trade-offs between different sectors and means to optimise resource use.
  • Citizen engagement is the involvement of citizens in civic processes, such as decision-making, policymaking and community issue resolution. It involves citizens participating in democratic processes, such as voting, petitioning, and advocacy to influence the outcome of an issue. It also includes more direct participatory activities such as neighbourhood meetings, engagement with local government, and collaborative media projects resulting in the necessary advance, supported by a strong Capacity Development Programme of long-term citizen science.
  • Citizen science is a term used to describe scientific research projects or activities which are conducted, in whole or in part, by volunteers who are not professional scientists. Citizen science projects often involve collecting and submitting data for use in research conducted by professional scientists. This type of research has grown significantly in recent years and is now used by researchers in many different fields of science, including biology, astronomy, geology and ecology. There must be a strong emphasis on the subsequent co-creation and co-implementation of local policies by society as whole, represented by the Quintuple Helix.
  • Science-Art-Sustainability Diplomacy. Science diplomacy is the use of science and technology to help build bridges between countries and regions and to enhance international cooperation. It is a diplomatic tool to address a variety of issues, such as global health, climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity, and energy security. It can benefit all countries in a variety of ways and can lead to the fostering of mutual economic growth, support in foreign development, the strengthening of educational ties, and the promotion of scientific research and collaboration.
  • An efficient Emergency Response Capacity. Emergency Response Capacity (ERC) refers to the capabilities, resources, and methods of a community, organisation, or individual to respond to a crisis or emergency. This involves having the appropriate personnel, resources, and training in place to meet the needs of the situation. It also involves developing a system for communicating appropriate information in a timely manner to those affected. ERC should prioritise the safety of those involved and attempt to minimise the impact of any given crisis.



To demonstrate the latest technological and scientific advances which can provide solutions and progress regarding the issues of Climate Change and Health, Migration, Conflict and Gender Inequality, both separately and as a whole, contributing to proactive planning and policy co-creation that will be essential to mitigate the potential impacts resulting from climate change. The scientific and technological answers exist. Now Science must assume its role as an independent non-political leader in the resolution of social crises.


To establish the interrelation between the issues of Climate Change, Migration, Health, and Conflict, the political and social consequences of these issues and the subsequent defence of human rights. The potential interplay between these issues, increasingly viewed by policy makers as a security factor, has been widely discussed since the 1980s. The subsequent effects regarding the increase in gender inequality have more recently come to light. However, there exists considerable uncertainty regarding the role that climate variability and change play among the many drivers of migration and conflict. This conference seeks to explore these questions. The process should consider three links: climate change leading to migration, migration leading to conflict, climate change, migration and conflict leading to the worsening of human health and gender inequality.


The climate-health-migration-conflict pathway has received increased focus from policy makers and the media. A popular view has emerged in these circles that climate change will lead to a dramatic increase in the movement of people away from impacted areas and will result in increased conflict with populations in areas receiving migrants. Despite (and perhaps in response to) the fact that this issue is viewed as relatively linear and even deterministic in the media, experts have been increasingly cautious when discussing the climate-migration-conflict pathway. In fact, there remains no real consensus about whether this pathway exists and whether it can be considered causal or not. This conference seeks to fill this critical knowledge gap.


During the conference many questions must be posed. What are the local climate risks? What is the potential for resource scarcity? What is the status of local stabilising or destabilising factors? To find solutions to such questions, it is imperative to eliminate scientific, political and economic siloes which constitute a major obstacle to the implementation of practicable measures designed to reduce future risks.


To encourage a global approach to the identified challenges employing Technology, Art and Policy aimed at achieving the seven pillars of sustainable development whilst promoting inter-sectoral collaboration, recognition, engagement, empathy and dialogue. This is known as Science-Art-Sustainability Diplomacy.


To establish states, sub-national regions, local communities and individuals from Africa and the Mediterranean as leading players in the development and application of science and technology addressing the relationship between Climate Change and Health, Migration, Conflict and Gender Inequality.


A publication reflecting the considerations of the conference will be edited and disseminated on open-source platforms.