Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mobility key to climate change adaptation, say experts

IRIN: Specialists studying the likelihood of population movements due to climate change effects offer widely divergent predictions. But most agree policymakers must understand that migration is a vital coping mechanism for at-risk populations and must do more to help destination hubs prepare.

“Migration and mobility are always seen as exceptions but they are the norm. Mobility helps people get out of poverty,” said Cecelia Tacoli, senior researcher with London-based NGO the International Institute for Environment and Development. “If people affected by climate change lack access to resources or need to diversify their income sources, this lack should be [addressed] rather than be seen as a problem.” Tacoli will publish a study, 'Crisis or adaptation? Migration and climate change in a context of high mobility’, in October.

Norman Myers, renowned environmentalist and fellow with Oxford University’s 21st Century School, who has just completed a study for the Swedish International Development Agency, said “hundreds of millions” of people could be driven from their homes by environmental crises and degradation by 2040.

NGO Christian Aid in 2007 estimated that up to 250 million people could be displaced by 2050 as a result of climate change effects. And in 2001 a World Bank study by Susmita Dasgupta predicted that sea level rises could force hundreds of millions of people to move within this century….

Elephant walking by Eadward Muybridge, sometime between 1884 and 1887

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