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maxwell

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The Role of Environmental Degradation in Population Displacement
Apr 25, 2002

The UNHCR in the 1993 State of the World's Refugees, identified four root causes of refugee flows. These were: political instability; economic tensions; ethnic conflict; and environmental degradation. The claim that environmental degradation was a root cause of refugee flows was a direct response to a growing number of articles positing a link between environmental degradation and population movement, and a recognition that the numbers of displaced persons internationally was much larger than indicated by the statistics on refugee flows.

According to many writers, the number of people who have been displaced by environmental degradation is immense. Jacobson (1988) notes that, "environmental refugees have become the single largest class of displaced persons in the world." Homer-Dixon (1991) further notes that environmental degradation is likely to produce "waves of environmental refugees that spill across borders with destabilizing effects" on domestic order and international relations. Speaking of displaced persons unaccounted for in official refugee figures, the Executive Director of UNEP at the time, Mustafa Tolba (1985), stated that "these people are the millions fleeing the droughts of northern Africa, the victims of Bhopal and the thousands made homeless by the Mexico earthquake. They are environmental refugees."

Estimates of the number of environmental refugees start at 10 million (compared to 17 million official refugees); more than half of these are believed to be in Sub-Saharan Africa (Jacobson, 1988; Trolldalen, et. al., 1992; Westing, 1992). Because governments generally take little official account of this unconventional category, Myers (1992) estimates that the numbers may be as high as 25 million. It is also claimed that the numbers are increasing rapidly. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1990) noted that the greatest effect of climate change may be on human migration as millions of people will be displaced due to shoreline erosion, coastal flooding and agricultural disruption. Following from this, Myers (1992) projected environmental refugees in a greenhouse-affected world (in yr. 2050) at 150 million persons. Westing (1992) further documented displaced persons throughout the world in 1990 (using UN data), including officially recognized refugees (16.7 million), unrecognized, cross-border "refugees" (3.5 million), and unrecognized, internal "refugees" (21.3 million). He sums these into a category of "total national refugees" with 41.5 million persons. In 1986, the total was only 26.4 million, and he speculates that the growth is due to the addition of "environmental refugees."

The consideration for people who may have been displaced by environmental degradation has reached far beyond a humanitarian concern for a disenfranchised population; in some quarters, it is being considered a "threat to security." Betterton (1992, as cited in Honebrink, 1993) noted that the U.S. military may be needed "to guard the border with Mexico, as it is expected that problems may result from environmental refugees fleeing the Third World." Indeed, the anti-immigration literature in the United States and Europe often claims that immigration is a cause of environmental degradation, thereby bringing the links full circle (see, for example, Beck, 1996; Williamson, 1996; and the literature distributed by FAIR, the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform). Quotes like the ones below are becoming increasingly prevalent in the popular literature.

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Farhad

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Re: The Role of Environmental Degradation in Population Displacement
Mar 22, 2014

Maxwell is expressing an important matter before our eyes. I understand AGENDA 21 suggests tools for solutions.
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Farhad


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yetnayet

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Re: The Role of Environmental Degradation in Population Displacement
Nov 16, 2014

Land Grab
Land Grab is a new phenomena created by over population and food insecurity. In many part of the developing countries, traditional and subsistence farmers are being forcibly removed from their ancestors land to make way for multi-national corporations in the name of development and job creation. These multi-national corporations are not only displacing farmers and destroy the traditional way of life but also are using intensive farming techniques such as diverting small rivers for irrigation purpose and use of excessive fertilizer which destroys the local ecology. These multi-national corporations, with the aim of boosting production to maximize their profit are behaving irresponsibly towards the environment and the local population.


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Claudette Edwards Kerr

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Re: The Role of Environmental Degradation in Population Displacement
Nov 24, 2014

According to(Naser,2012)human migration as a result of environmental change is not a new phenomenon. People move from place to place for many reasons.A range of factors motivate decisions to migrate which includes economics,religion, nationality,war,ethnic hatred and political turmoil.However, the environment has always been a unique triggering factor for forced displacement throughout history.Mass movement of people mainly occur due to natural environmental degradation or catastrophe including hurricanes or storms that cause major flooding or owing to scarcity of land resources.As a result of global climate change the extent of environmental migration have substantially been changed due to environmental degradation. Air pollution as a result of industrialization has contributed significantly to global warming and climate changes.
Naser, Mostafa Mahud,2012. Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration:A Complex Nexus

Este aporte fue editado en: 2014-11-24 at 05:08 PM by: Claudette Edwards Kerr

Este aporte fue editado en: 2014-11-24 at 05:27 PM by: Claudette Edwards Kerr


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