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Environmental Refugee


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Environmental Refugee

  1. 1. ENVIRONMENTAL REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS<br />API CEFS 2010 <br />1/14/2011<br />Waseda University<br />Naho Kawashima, Satomi Hyakuya, Hitomi Koike<br />
  2. 2. Introduction: what is “environmental refugee”?<br />Linkage between environment and human settlement<br />Present Action<br />Prospects for future environmental refugees<br />Contents<br />
  3. 3. Introduction: what is environmental refugee?<br />Emergence of “environmental refugees”<br />Estimated number in future<br />Migration as possible adaptation strategy<br />Why “environmental refugees” seen as a minor problem<br />
  4. 4. Emergence of “environmental refugee"<br />The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) addressing the issue in the mid-1980s.<br />El-Hinnawi (1985):<br />“People who have been forced to leave their traditional habitat, temporarily or permanently, because of a marked environmental disruption (natural and/or triggered by people) that jeoparadize their existence and/or seriously affected the quality of their life.”<br />
  5. 5. Emergence of “environmental refugee"<br />Norman Mayers (1995):<br />“Persons who no longer gain a secure livelihood in their traditional homelands because of what are primarily environmental factors of unusual scope.”<br />International Organization For Migration (2007):<br />“Environmental migrants are persons or groups of persons who, for compelling reasons of sudden or progressive changes in the environment that adversly affect their lives or living conditions, are obliged to leave their habicual homes, or choose to do so, either temporarily or permanently, and who move either within their country or abroad.”<br />
  6. 6. The former head of the UNEP, Klaus Toepfer, talking of 22-24 million environmental migrants.<br />Mayers suggesting up to 200 million people will be on the move due to environmental factors by 2050. Also noting that the migration impacts would be felt especially in the African southern Sahara, China, Central America and South Asia.<br />The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) posited as early as 1990 that “the gravest effects of climate change may be those on human migration”.<br />Estimated number in future<br />
  7. 7. Migration as possible adaptation strategy<br />Migration having been an adaptation strategy for interaction of humans with their environment.<br />Transfer of knowledge and skills through migrations contributing to strengthening of livelihoods facing future environmental challenges upon return.<br />Two motivations for migration: government’s inability to react to natural catastrophes: fear that the impacted area may experience more natural disasters in the near future. <br />
  8. 8. UN Convention of 1951 referring to any person having a “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, and nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion” as refugees.. <br />United nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): environmentally vulnerable people usually enjoy the protection of their governments, and therefore cannot be defined as “refugee” in the strict sense of the refugee right.<br />Why “environmental refugees” seen as a minor problem<br />
  9. 9. Linkage between environment and human settlement<br />Impacts and outcomes <br />Climate change as accelerating driver<br />Sudden disasters (storms, floods)<br />Drought and impacts on fresh water and food production<br />The increase in sea level<br />
  10. 10. Natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, tropical storms, ect) tend to cause large-scale movement and result in long term migration. (ex. Harricane Katrina in 2005)<br />Environmental degradation at early and intermediate stages often leading to temporal migration, causing secondary social, economic, and other problems. (ex. Soil erosion in Tambacounda, an area of Senegal)<br />Impacts and outcomes <br />
  11. 11.<br /><br /><br />
  12. 12. When environmental degradation becomes severe or irreversible, resulting migration can become permanent and may require relocation of affected populations.(ex. Droughts in the Sertao region in the northeast of Brazil)<br />Gradual environmental degradation is expected to cause the marjority of environmental migration. (ex. Desertification in Africa)<br />Impacts and outcomes <br />
  13. 13.<br /><br /><br />
  14. 14. When environmental degradation becomes severe or irreversible, resulting migration can become permanent and may require relocation of affected populations.(ex. Droughts in the Sertao region in the northeast of Brazil)<br />Gradual environmental degradation is expected to cause the majority of environmental migration. (ex. Desertification in Africa)<br />Impacts and outcomes <br />
  15. 15. Impacts and outcomes <br />Least developed countries with low adaptive capacity, and countries with particularly susceptible geographies (small island states) are most vulnerable to the effects of environmental degradation and climate change. (ex. Papua New Guinea’s Carteret Islands)<br /><br />
  16. 16.<br /><br /><br />
  17. 17. Climate change as accelerating driver<br />Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC (2007)<br />
  18. 18. Sudden disasters (storms, floods, etc)<br />Number of people reported affected by natural disasters 1975–2006<br />According to the database EM-DAT, more than 900people killed and more than 115million affected by floods on average every year.<br />96% of the affected living in Asia. <br />Climate change resulting in sea level rise, intensive storms, heavy precipitation. <br />EM−DAT: The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database − www.em− − UniversitéCatholique de Louvain, Brussels − Belgium<br />
  19. 19. Sudden disasters (storms, floods, etc)<br />Great Natural Disasters (1950-2006): Number of Events<br />Source: Munich Re (2007). © 2007 Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft Geo Risks Research, NatCatSERVICE (reproduced with permission)<br />
  20. 20. Drought and impacts on freshwater and food production<br />The IPCC predicting a decrease of rain, increasing evaporation, rising sea levels resulting in salinization of coastal groundwater, and glaciers melting away. <br />Water problems could affect 74 to 250 million people in Africa by 2020 and more than a billion people in Asia by the 2050s.<br />Most vulnerable are developing countries where large population live directly from agriculture.<br />
  21. 21. The increase in sea level<br />Changes in Temperature, Sea level and Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover<br />According to one IPCC emission estimate, the sea level could increase by almost half a meter by 2100.<br />Out of 600million people living in low-lying coastal zones, 438 million live in Asia and 246 million in the poorest countries of the world. <br />A sea level rise of two meters would impact an additional 10.8million people and render at least 969 thousand more 969,000 more hectares of agricultual land unproductive.<br />Source: Summary Policy Makers (PDF) File from the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report<br />
  22. 22. 1. Displacement within a state<br />2.Displacement outside the country<br />3. Assisting program by existing organization <br />III. Present Action<br />
  23. 23. <ul><li>Asia: Glacier melt and irrigated agricultural systems</li></ul> … many South Asia cities lack the capacity to absorb significant migration streams<br /><ul><li>The Sahel: Pressure on agricultural livelihoods and creeping onward migration</li></ul>※Sahel = Sub-Saharan Africa<br /> … One migrant from the Difa region in Niger left the Lake Chad region though his job was not directly related to the Lake. When the Lake dried out, people depending on it left for other countries and therefore, his business as a merchant was negatively affected. So he left for Nigeria.<br />Koko Warner, In Search of Shelter-Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement<br />I. Displacement within a state<br />
  24. 24. <ul><li>The Ganges Delta: Temporary migration as a survival strategy</li></ul> …Millions of Bangladeshis are exposed to increased flooding, severe cyclones, and sea level rise impacts. <br />Seasonal employment (father)<br />Whole family<br />1. Overpopulation of the urban area⇒turn into slum<br />2. Human traffic during migration/absence of the father<br />3. Shortage of labour/money…migration requires resources<br />4. The similar environmental risks existing in many locations in Bangladesh<br />I. Displacement within a state<br />
  25. 25. Bangladesh->India, Myanmar<br />…Overpopulation in India<br />…Myanmar’s economy and politic under the military regime falling apart<br />Mexico and Central America: Migration in response to drought and disasters<br />…for those who are better off or who have relatives abroad, migration is an option<br /><br />II.Displacement to outside the country<br />
  26. 26. <ul><li>Tuvalu : Sea level rise and small island developing states
  27. 27. Tuvalu</li></ul>a) from outer islands to Funafuti (intra-state migration)<br />b) from Tuvalu to Fiji and New Zealand<br /> …Labor migration agreementswith New Zealand, but not explicit policies to accept Pacific Islanders<br />II.Displacement to outside the country<br />
  28. 28. <ul><li>One researcher at COP14 noted,</li></ul> “So few of migrants we encountered in our fieldwork worldwide were able to migrate internationally – he vast majority face a situation where they ‘only make it’ to the next livable place. This will increasingly require countries to work together, especially developing countries”.<br /> <br /><ul><li>The current situation leads to the idea that..</li></ul> 1. Necessity of creating partnerships with countries outside the region<br /> 2. Creating a system of accepting environmental refugees depending on how much GHG each countries emits (UN, UNHCR taking leadership) <br />Other methods that should be taken<br />
  29. 29.
  30. 30. <ul><li>Adaptation fund…The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing country Parties to the Kyoto Protocol that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. …The Adaptation Fund is financed from the share of proceeds on the clean development mechanism project activities and other sources of funding. 
  31. 31. Ex) The Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) ,</li></ul> The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF)<br /><br /><br /><br />III. Assisting program by already existing organization<br />
  32. 32. International organizations such as…<br />United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)<br />International Organization for Migration(IOM)<br />United Nations Environment Program(UNEP)<br />United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)<br />III. Assisting program by already existing organization<br />
  33. 33. Research institutes such as…<br />European Commission project “Environmental Change and Forced Migration Scenarios” (EACH-FOR project,  ended in May 2009)<br />Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies<br />Refugee Study Centre of Oxford University<br />Different levels of understanding, the lack of place for these organizations to collaborate<br />III. Assisting program by already existing organization<br /><br />
  34. 34. Necessary approach to the issue<br />A need for international framework<br />Introduction and observation of 2 possible solutions<br /> Application into reality<br />Motivation of the participants for operation<br />Implication for future policies<br />
  35. 35. No clear universal definition of the term<br />No international binding laws and institutions specializing in environmental refugee issue<br />Actions taken by existing institutions are individual and temporal<br />Present attitude toward the issue<br /><br /><br />
  36. 36. Prof. Janos Bogardi, UNU-EHS<br />Science<br />Awareness<br />Legislation<br />Humanitarian Aid<br />Institutions<br />Necessary approach to the issue<br /> <br />
  37. 37. Various reasons for the necessity of establishing an international framework<br />the issue itself shifting from domestic to international<br />refugees increasing globally<br />sharing of information and technology for possible prevention and solution<br />capability of risk communication<br />necessarily decreasing illegal migration<br />A need of international framework<br />
  38. 38. a. Establishing a totally new institution<br />b. Putting new concept of “environmental refugee” to existing organizations or conventions<br /><ul><li>“environment”-based
  39. 39. “human security”-based</li></ul>2 choices for a step forward…<br />
  40. 40. Observation 1 : Establishing new institution for environmental refugees<br />Professional<br />Relatively proactive<br />Time-consuming before operation<br />“shortcomings of available assessments point to the need for a systematic global monitoring program, leading to development of a scientifically credible, consistent baseline of the state of (…) desertification”.<br /> the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA, 2005b:101)<br />Difficulty in establishing liability<br />Insufficient fund<br />Limitation on scale<br />
  41. 41. Vague initial leader in the beginning<br />Accumulating information<br />Experiences from actual cases<br />More possibility to receive fund from other branches<br />Sharing the knowledge among institutions<br />Observation 2: Introduction of the new idea to existing frameworks<br />
  42. 42.
  43. 43. UNFCCC<br />IOM<br />UNEP<br />UNFPA<br />GEF<br />CEDEM<br />UNU-EHS<br />UNHCR<br />EC<br />
  44. 44. Categorization of institutions<br />・UNFCCC<br />・GEF<br />・UNEP<br />・IOM<br />・UNHCR<br />・EACH-FOR project<br />・UNU-EHS<br />
  45. 45. Environment- or Human Security- based?<br /><ul><li>Controversy of the issue</li></ul>-> criteria of “environmental” refugees<br />->ambiguity of the relationship between environment degradation and migration<br /><ul><li>Basic Assumption of Refugee Status</li></ul> “a threat to life or freedom on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group is always persecution. Other serious violations of human rights – for the same reasons –would also constitute persecution.”<br /> United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Handbook on Procedures and<br /> Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967<br /> Protocol relating to the Status of Refugee, paragraph 51.<br /><ul><li>Existing fundamental frameworks for human right issues and migration policies
  46. 46. Further researches for verification</li></li></ul><li>International binding definition of the term “ Environmental refugee”<br />ex) the 1951Refugee Convention<br />Scientific research and proof of the correspondence of environmental degradation and migration<br />Higher recognition<br />Leadership<br />“Human security”-based institution<br />
  47. 47. Necessity to raise recognition and interest world wide<br />Reanalysis of the old cases<br />“The ability-to-pay” principle(UNFCCC)<br />“The polluter pays” principle (UNFCCC)<br />Motivation for participants<br />
  48. 48. Afifi, T & Warner, K, The impact of environmental degradation on migration flows across countries, Working Paper No.5, UNU Institution for Environment and Human Security, Bonn, April 2008, from<br />Kolmannskog, O. V, Future Floods of Refugees: A comment on climate change, conflict, and forced migration, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oslo, April 2008, from<br />Raenaud, F, Bogardi, J.J, Olivia Dun, Warner, K, Control, Adapt or Flee: How to Face Environmental Migration?, InterSecTions, Publications Series of UNU-EHS, No.5, Bonn, May 2007, from,%20Adapt%20or%20Flee%20How%20to%20Face%20Environmental%20Migration%20UNU-EHS.pdf<br />Care, In Search of Shelter report: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement, May 2009, from <br />International Organization for Migrants, MC/INF 288, Discussion Note: Migration and the Environment, 1 November, 2007, from<br />International Organization for Migrants, Disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and environmental migration, 2009, from<br />International Organization for Migrants, IOM Policy Brief: Migration, Climate Change and the Environment, May, 2009, from<br />Reference<br />
  49. 49. Thank you for your attention!<br />