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Climate change and international migration

Source(s):  German Marshall Fund of the United States, the (GMF)

This paper begins with a brief discussion of the potential impact of climate change on migration patterns. It continues with an examination of existing capacities to address these forms of movement and gaps in the response capacities, and concludes with recommendations for addressing climate change induced migration. It defines precisely what "environmental disaster" and "climate change induced environmental disaster" are, analyses different cases of policies managing environmental migration, and points out that these are generally post-disaster and ad hoc in their implementation and that no major destination country has a pro-active policy designed to resettle persons adversely affected by environmental hazards.

Even if it does not address it directly, the paper recalls that prevention of the underlying causes of environmentally induced migration and developing mechanisms to adapt to climate change and variability is the most critical need in managing the issues covered in this paper. It calls: (i) for the applicability of guidelines promulgated to protect those who are displaced from natural disasters to be examined systematically in countries fearing the worst consequences of climate change, (ii) for technical assistance and training to the ministries that may be responsible for resettlement, (iii) for affected populations to be involved in the planning, and (iv) for all steps to be taken to ensure appropriate preparations and implementation, before people are required to relocate.

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  • Climate change and international migration
  • Publication date 2010
  • Number of pages 9 p.

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