Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 11:48:41 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The next migrant wave

By
04th-Jan-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Stephen Groff  :
Imagine that you are a farmer. Your crops are withering as weather patterns become more volatile, your well water is too salty to drink, and rice is too expensive to buy at the market. So, you leave home in search of a better life.
Millions of people in vulnerable communities around the world do not have to imagine such a scenario. They are living it now, as an increasingly unpredictable climate takes its toll; and their numbers are likely to soar as the effects of climate change intensify.
But the world is even less prepared for these future climate migrants than Europe is for the current wave of people fleeing from the Middle East and North Africa.
Most climate migrants will relocate within their own borders, but others will have no choice but to seek refuge abroad.
If sea levels rise by more than one meter, entire populations of Pacific-atoll and reef-island countries might have to relocate.
If it is well planned and managed, migration can help people adapt to such threats. But if it is not, it can lead to humanitarian crises. Overall, today's policies are inadequate. Source and destination countries urgently need to make it easier and safer for people to move, or to remain where they are if they cannot afford or choose not to leave.
Climate change will be one of many factors fueling future migration waves. Although it will become increasingly difficult to distinguish between people fleeing from environmental factors and those who have left for other reasons, we know that climate will play a larger role in migration, as slow-onset threats such as erosion and acute hazards such as cyclones threaten more people's livelihoods.
Most of the people at risk live in Asia, which is uniquely exposed to the effects of climate change. Nine of the ten countries with the most people living in low-lying areas (who are therefore threatened by flooding, storm surges, salinity, and erosion) are in Asia, owing to mass migration to megacities in recent decades.
A recent study forecasts that Asia's low-elevation population could double by 2060, to 983 million, from its level in 2000, thus accounting for 70% of the world's total.
Elsewhere in the region, water stress from reduced rainfall, salinity, glacial retreat, and desertification will hit water stocks, threaten livelihoods, and drive up food and water prices.
These drastic scenarios might not materialize if the world succeeds in mitigating climate change. But no country should be complacent.
Asian countries, especially, should prepare for worst-case scenarios, and implement far-sighted national policies, such as Kiribati's "migration with dignity" program, which provides education and vocational training to citizens of the low-lying Pacific island state to improve their chances of finding decent work abroad.
Preparations for any future scenario in Asia will require more complete data to judge the potential impact and timing of climate-related events, and to assess their effect on migration patterns. Country-specific data would allow individual governments to hone their policies.
This includes more thorough national censuses, which too often disregard marginalized communities like slum-dwellers. Censuses should be conducted inclusively, fed into national databases to monitor progress and identify vulnerable populations, and shared across the region.
Governments should educate their citizens about the effects of climate change, in order to prepare those who want to stay or cannot afford to leave. Migrant source countries should have national disaster risk assessments (so that they can plan for potential losses), comprehensive hazard maps, and disaster early-warning systems to reassure their citizens.
And new houses, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, such as water systems, should be built to withstand extreme weather.
At the same time, governments should provide access to portable benefits for those people who do leave, so that they can support themselves abroad.
And destination countries should consider providing emergency employment for displaced workers, using Australia and New Zealand's seasonal worker programs as a model.
Destination countries could also establish urban work and training centers for incoming migrants, many of whom will lack the skills required to land city jobs; and they should recognize the qualifications of those who do have expertise, and help them to find work.
It will be essential for destination countries to invest in sustainable infrastructure and basic services for new arrivals.
Some cities are hesitant to provide services, because they fear it will attract new migrants. But this attitude only forces migrants into slums, which creates even bigger problems.
A better approach is to steer migrants from vulnerable rural areas to nearby medium-size cities equipped with the necessary services to absorb them; this, in turn, will prevent megacities from growing unsustainably.
A comprehensive approach along these lines would help to make migration part of the solution to climate change, not just another of its harmful effects. Many countries will need funding to implement such plans, and, encouragingly, the 2015 Paris climate agreement established a taskforce to address climate-related displacement.
One of its main goals should be to ensure that funding mechanisms for climate-change adaptation encompass migration issues.
For now, we need a more energetic global discussion on this pressing issue. Whether climate-induced migration brings relief or chaos will depend on the policies and investments we agree to today. We should act now to give vulnerable communities a say in their future.

(Stephen Groff is the Asian Development Bank's vice-president for East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific).
Courtesy: Project Syndicate

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Our inactive diplomacy is deplorable : We shall need armed support


IT'S almost a month since Myanmar has started to push Rohingya Muslims illegally into Bangladesh; creating a burden for an economically weaker country like ours. Our government waiting eagerly for the international power houses to act quickly and solve the problem for us. But all our so-called proven friends like ...

Entertainment »

Antora Azim`s web series Basic Ali


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Few years ago, Antora Azim started her acting career through Adnan Al Rajib’s a play titled Middle Class Sentiment. Under his direction Antora also performed as a model in a TV commercial of Banglalink. Later she took break from media for her study. She again started shooting ...

Entertainment »

Bhoomi item song by Sunny Leone faces Censor scissors - fans to face disappointment


The Censor Board always has a last laugh because of the immense powers vested with it. And with power comes responsibility. The Central Board of Film Certification is a statutory censorship and classification body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. Bhoomi has been at the receiving ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, among others, at a discussion on `Bangladesh`s Position in Rohingya Crises` organised by Bangladesh Youth Forum at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday.


International »

Trump expresses his hopes for peaceful settlement to ME crisis


AFP, United Nations :US President Donald Trump again expressed his hopes for a peaceful settlement to the Middle East crisis Monday as he met Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Netanyahu was the first leader to have a one-on-one with Trump at the US president's first United Nations General Assembly, an annual ...

International »

Hong Kong leader demands end of independence talk


Reuters, Hong Kong  :Hong Kong's leader urged an immediate end to independence debates in the Chinese-ruled global financial hub on Tuesday, warning that the issue was harming the city's relationship with Beijing's Communist Party leaders.Insisting that the government did not want to intervene on university campuses, Chief Executive Carrie Lam ...

Sports »

Canada`s Brayden Schnur (right) and India`s Yuki Bhambri shake hands after the match during Davis Cup singles tennis tournament action in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday.


Editorial »

Rice crisis must be resolved — police action not enough


THE government on day before yesterday directed the law enforcement agencies and Deputy Commissioners (DC) to arrest illegal rice hoarders in the country. The directive comes in the wake of introducing open market sales (OMS) of coarse rice at Tk. 30 per kg, double the previous year's price, across the ...

City »

Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh brought out a procession in the city protesting persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar was intercepted by police at Shantinagar intersection on Monday.


Entertainment »

Waluscha De Sousa sets the ramp on fire in an Anj Kreations lehenga


A fashion favourite & Bollywood actress Waluscha De Sousa who made her debut in Shah Rukh Khan starrer Fan was seen walking the ramp at a preview show for an upcoming exhibition named Joya. This exhibition organised by the Moranis of Cineyug held a preview of top 8 designers participating ...

International »

US may stay in Paris climate accord : Tillerson


Reuters, Washington :The United States could remain in the Paris climate accord under the right conditions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday, signaling a shift in tone from the Trump administration, which angered allies with its decision to pull out of the agreement.President Donald Trump is willing to ...

Editorial »

N. Korea`s mad rush for nuclear status


NORTH Korea said it was seeking military "equilibrium" with the United States as leader Kim Jong-Un vowed to complete Pyongyang's nuclear programme. North Korea successfully fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan on Friday, responding to a new round of UN sanctions over its sixth nuclear test with its ...

Sports »

Saida Akter Mou (right) of Bangladesh Ansar & VDP and Rifad Ahmed Sabbir of BKSP pose with their trophies of the girls' singles and boys' singles of the South Bangla Agriculture & Commerce Bank 4th National Junior Table Tennis Championship at the Shaheed Tajuddin Wooden Floor Gymnasium on Sunday.


Entertainment »

Kriti Sanon marks Nat`l Engineers Day


It is a known fact that Kriti Sanon who is today known to be one of the top young actresses in the industry has a background of being an Engineer. The Bareilly Ki Barfi actress came to Mumbai a few years back from Delhi where she was studying engineering with a ...

City »

Jatiyatabadi Projanma `71, organized a discussion titled `Election-time Government: Role of Election Commission and future of democracy at the Jatiya Press Club on Sunday. Among others, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi took part in the discussion.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news