Asia faces climate-induced migration ‘crisis’: report

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, February 6, 2011 16:43 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

SINGAPORE — Asia must prepare for millions of people to flee their homes to safer havens within countries and across borders as weather patterns become more extreme, the Asian Development Bank warns.

A draft of an ADB report obtained by AFP over the weekend and confirmed by bank officials cautioned that failure to make preparations now for vast movements of people could lead to “humanitarian crises” in the coming decades.

Governments are currently focused on mitigating climate change blamed for the weather changes, but the report said they should start laying down policies and mechanisms to deal with the projected population shifts.

“What is clear is that Asia and the Pacific will be amongst the global regions most affected by the impacts of climate change,” said the report entitled “Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific”.

“Such impacts include significant temperature increases, changing rainfall patterns, greater monsoon variability, sea-level rise, floods and more intense tropical cyclones,” it said.

The report, expected to be released in the next few weeks, comes as flooding overwhelms parts of Asia-Pacific, most recently in Australia, where a powerful cyclone worsened the impact of weeks of record inundations.

“Asia and the Pacific is particularly vulnerable because of its high degree of exposure to environmental risks and high population density. As a result, it could experience population displacements of unprecedented scale in the next decades,” said the report, primarily targeted at regional policymakers.

Research carried out for the United Nations showed that 2010 was one of the worst years on record worldwide for natural disasters.

Asians accounted for 89 percent of the 207 million people affected by disasters globally last year, according to the Belgium-based Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).

Summer floods and landslides in China caused an estimated $18 billion dollars in damage, while floods in Pakistan cost $9.5 billion dollars, CRED’s annual study showed. Not to mention the catastrophic human cost.

“Governments are not prepared and that is why ADB is conducting this project,” said Bart Edes, director of the Manila-based lending institution’s poverty reduction, gender and social development division.

“There is no international cooperation mechanism established to manage climate-induced migration. Protection and assistance schemes to help manage that flow is opaque, poorly coordinated and scattered,” he told AFP.

“Policymakers need to take action now,” he stressed, noting that negotiating treaties and efforts to raise funds takes time.

Last year’s natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific, including millions of people displaced in Sri Lanka and the Philippines, “give us a flavor of what to expect in the future”, said Edes.

“Migration in general is not being properly addressed and the situation is going be made worse,” added Edes, referring to the additional impact of climate change on migration patterns, fueled by economic needs and armed conflicts.

“Now we have another driver of migration.”

The draft ADB report said the people forced to leave due to the extreme weather changes “have come to incarnate the human face of climate change” and while many of them will return home, many will be displaced permanently.

Those expected to suffer the most will be the poor as they lack the means to easily pack up and leave for safer havens, the report said.

“The issue of climate-induced migration will grow in magnitude and will take different forms,” the report added, urging national governments and the global community to “urgently address this issue in a proactive manner.”

“Failure to do so could result in humanitarian crises with great social and economic costs,” it warned.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
  • Anonymous

    For every thing there is a season and a time and a purpose under heaven. -Ecclesiastes


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    This is why we don’t have to worry about China buying us – just like we didn’t have to worry about Japan buying us just a couple decades ago.

    Korea might have been able to buy us, but they are down wind of China.

    My wife is Korean and they are getting tons of dust blowing over their country from China. Soon, China will be one big hazardous dump site. It’s what happens when you have capitalism with a totalitarian government. You get the worst of both worlds.

  • Guest

    They must not have been following the right-wing’s testimonial-based-not-on-science-but-politics that there is NO CLIMATE CHANGE! Stay put! You are IMAGINING THINGS! Sheesh…!

  • Anonymous

    The fleeing hundreds of millions can come to the USA. We don’t really bother to guard our borders, so it that won’t be a problem. And if anyone objects, just quote the Statue of Liberty poem and that’ll shut ‘em up.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    LOL, yes…impose the Global Carbon Tax on us all now so that we can pay the Banksters even more of our money. I am sure that the people in power will fix everything if we just hand them more money.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    You can start donating our taxes/money to the UN now and I am sure they will fix it all for you and make you feel better.

  • Anonymous

    So where are they going to go? Reality is starting to bite as there is really no where for them to go no matter what systems, processes and stupid polices are put in place. I guess writing a few policies and having some cross governmental agencies will make it seem like someone has done something.

    Its not a migration crisis – it’s a POPULATION CRISIS. The bigger the world’s population the less flexibility (less food, less land, etc) we have in dealing with an emerging crisis. Population growth is the elephant in the room that no one wants to address. Trying to fit an extra 3billion people on the planet is not feasible and nature will take care of the problem for us.

  • Anonymous

    The scientist from Brown Tobacco say that climate change is real. They say we are doomed so we may as well light up and enjoy!

  • Taleisin

    I am sure we will still be discussing the validity of global warming when millions are on our doorsteps seeking refuge from it.

  • Anonymous

    What a total load of crap.

    There is NO indication here that these people want to relocate permanently.

    Truth is, the elite want the valuable coastline for their own purposes, whether industrial or luxury for the rich. Or simply to prevent the middle class from making a living, except as a slave. Like New Orleans. I’m surprised they don’t do it by gunpoint. But perhaps that is coming. Like New Orleans.

    Next, after forcing these people away from their homes, instead of making them safer, they will start crying overpopulation.

    Its a big, diseased, chess game for the globalists.

  • realnewz

    The UN addresses population control/reduction quite effectly,
    and has been doing so since its founding.
    And where they fail the military steps in.
    You think the population is high now?
    Imagine what the world would be without abortions, sterilization and war.
    I know a nazi nightmare.

    btw, the scarcity of food and water is a myth. That is capitalism 101 in supply and demand to minimize the appearance of productivity to maintain inflated prices to control food/people.

    I have no problem with mother nature cleansing itself but I do have a problem with power hungry people ethnicly cleansing the world.