Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, July 24, 2017 10:40:20 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The next migrant wave

By
04th-Jan-2017       Readers ( 105 )   0 Comments
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all (0) »

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

0 Comments. Share your thoughts also.
Write a comment
Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

International »

Divided UK, inconclusive election could put brakes on Brexit


AP, London :Lucy Harris thinks Britain's decision to leave the European Union is a dream come true. Nick Hopkinson thinks it's a nightmare.The two Britons - a "leave" supporter and a "remainer" - represent the great divide in a country that stepped into the unknown just over a year ago, ...

Editorial »

Dhaka needs more space to ease traffic congestion


ACCORDING to a report published by a renowned foreign specialist and a researcher on modern Dhaka - it was revealed that one of the main reasons for increased congestion experienced in the roads and communications system in Dhaka is because of its messy expansion on all the four corners. The ...

City »

Students of the city`s Motijheel Ideal School and College showing victory (V) sign on its campus on Sunday for their brilliant results in the HSC examination.


Football »

Neymar dazzles as Barcelona down Juventus


AFP, United States : Neymar gave Barcelona fans a dazzling reminder of what they could be about to lose on Saturday, scoring twice as the Spanish giants defeated Juventus 2-1 in a pre-season friendly.The 25-year-old Brazilian superstar is at the centre of frenzied speculation linking him to a gargantuan, world record ...

Football »

De Gea 'guaranteed' to stay at United: Mourinho


AFP, Santa Clara :Jose Mourinho has given a "guarantee" that David De Gea will stay at Manchester United this season, despite the long-running saga over a potential move to Real Madrid.Transfer speculation over De Gea returning to hometown club Real has stretched on for the last two years, ever since ...

Entertainment »

Nabila Islam busy with Eid works


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Promising actress Nabila Islam went to Malaysia on July 8 to take part in shooting of three Eid plays and an ongoing TV serial. After taking part in shooting there for 14 days at a time she has returned to Bangladesh on Sunday.There she took part in ...

Entertainment »

Lipstick Under My Burkha creating new success economics: Anubhav Sinha


Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha has lauded director Alankrita Shrivastavas new film Lipstick Under My Burkha, stating that the movie will create a new success economics in Bollywood. Lipstick Under My Burkha, which struggled for certification from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) earlier this year over its sexual scenes and ...

Editorial »

Police are for fighting crimes and not for guarding official buildings


ANOTHER rape victim succumbed to her injuries after being rescued from a city hotel on Wednesday following two other rape incidents at another hotel in the capital's posh localities. Concurrently, five people were arrested in two separate cases for killing two girls after rape in Dhaka's Kadamtali. The incident of ...

Football »

Dempsey at home 1 goal from record, US team in Gold Cup semi


AP, Arlington :Clint Dempsey is back in his home state of Texas, one goal away from a national scoring record for the United States team that is one win from playing in another CONCACAF Gold Cup final.The Americans play a semifinal game Saturday night against Costa Rica in a stadium ...

International »

May to stay as PM until at least 2020, close ally predicts


Reuters, London :British transport minister Chris Grayling, one of Prime Minister Theresa May's closest cabinet colleagues, has predicted she will remain in the job until at least 2020 and could even fight another national election.Following reports of cabinet infighting, Grayling said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, published on ...

Sports »

Bolt on right path to world 100m defence


AFP, Monaco :Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt insists he is on the right path as he targets the defence of his 100m crown at next month's world championships in London. In his swansong season, the 30-year-old has struggled to light up the track. In his outings over the blue riband ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina exchanging pleasantries with Hajj pilgrims at the inauguration of Hajj activities at Ashkona Hajj Camp in the city on Saturday.


Entertainment »

When Mimi was nowhere to be found


Tolly Bffs, Nusrat and Mimi, were recently in California attending an awards ceremony. When we got in touch with Mimi to ask how her trip was, the actress shared with us an anecdote that we can’t get over! It so happened that Mimi and Nusrat were out and about one ...

Editorial »

People affected by flood and river erosion need immediate help


RIVER erosion in many parts of the country is making countless people homeless across the country as floodwater started receding. Media reports said monsoon rains caused havoc to flood affected districts like Sirajganj, Chapainawabganj, Kurigram and Lalmonirhat and river bank erosion now follows to add further miseries to the people ...

Entertainment »

Lopa renders song with Asif Akbar for first time


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :From many days there was a good relationship between popular singer Asif Akbar and singer and news presenter Lopa Hossain. When Lopa took part in music reality show Close up 1 from that time Asif liked her music. But they never got the scope to work together. ...

 
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