Author/s:

Leighton, M.
Shen, X.
Warner, K.

Publisher:

Institute for Environment and Human Security

Year of Publication:

2010

Climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions is now, at some level, a fact. IPCC and other sci-scientific bodies have modeled a number of future scenarios estimating changes in weather pat-terns, ocean currents, and (more recently) econ-systems. Average atmospheric temperatures are increasing and with this increase scientists expect (and in some cases may already be observing) more rapid melting of the earth’s ice sheets, sea level rise, and greater seasonal variability in rain-fall. They are documenting more frequent storms and intense flooding in some areas, and severe and prolonged droughts in others, predicting further water scarcity, diminished food production, and unemployment. With the increase in natural disasters, vulnerable communities (those with weak support systems, governance,and capacity to respond) are most at risk. Many may be displaced or increase their reliance on migration as a coping strategy for survival. The rise in humanitarian crises presents enormous challenges for poorer countries and the international organizations called on for assistance. These challenges are exacerbated by the lack of consistent policies, standards, and practices in disaster planning related to human displacement and migration. As the findings of the Academy and case studies presented in this volume reveal, human mobility is not always adverse to community development but in some circumstances may help build resilience. Better understanding the opportunities and impacts of migration, and how to protect those displaced by disaster, can help governments to improve their climate adaptation strategies. So, too can improving cooperation among neighboring states with shared natural resources and among countries of migration origin and destination. To do this effectively, governments will need to rethink existing disaster planning, migration policy, and institutional frameworks.

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