Climate change already driving migration: IOM
Saturday 12 December 2009
Climate change is already forcing people to migrate, with most moving within their countries or to a neighbouring country, a report by the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday.
While the report did not give any estimates on numbers of climate change migrants, it warned that poor countries will need international support to help them cope with the growing trend.
The study "finds that large-scale human movement from climate change and environmental degradation is not only inevitable but is already happening."
"However, much of it is internal or cross border migration, belying some fears that millions of poor people will go to rich countries as a result of climate change," added the report entitled "Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence."
In Ethiopia, Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal, there has been "fairly common" movements of populations in response to drought, said the report.
The report also zeroed in on Senegal's Tambacounda region, where drought-related migration began as a local form of internal migration, but later moved to other neighbouring African states.
While the number of people affected by natural disasters has more than doubled in recent years, there has been no corresponding rise in long-distance international migration from disaster-affected regions during these periods, it said.
But with more people and regions expected to be affected by global warming in coming years, the report warned that international support would be needed to help poorer countries cope with the movements.
It also noted that there was a "worrying lack of policies" in richer destination countries to deal with environmental migration.
"While acknowledging that the impact of climate change on migration is predominantly internal movement, international migration is nevertheless likely to be increasingly important in the future and will necessitate policy and programme responses that are currently lacking," it added.
The UN refugee agency has estimated that some 24 million people worldwide have fled their homes due to environmental factors.
The IOM report noted that wide-ranging estimates of climate migrants - from the lower figure given by the office of the UN High Commissioner of Refugees to another of 1.0 billion people by 2050, also highlights the "dearth of serious data research" on the issue.
Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
The Eastern Cougar will be officially listed as extinct — almost 80 years after last sighting
Earth enters sixth extinction phase with many species – including our own – labelled 'the walking dead'
- 1 Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
- 2 Lisa Randolph-Gant: Queen Elsa cake maker says she will carry on baking and will not let people 'break her spirit'
- 3 Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
- 4 Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
- 5 Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she is not a feminist: 'It's not just about women now'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...