Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Uruguay's climate vulnerabilities

International Organization for Migration: With migration and population displacement caused by climate change high on the Uruguayan Government's agenda, IOM, UNESCO, the UN's Inter-Agency Group UNETE, Uruguay's National Emergency Preparedness System and the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Zoning and the Environment are today hosting a conference to find ways to mitigate climate induced population displacement.

As a country with an extensive coast line and dependent on its natural resources, Uruguay is already feeling the effects of climate change and population displacement. According to Uruguay's National Emergency Preparedness System, between 1997 and 2005 a total of 47,181 persons of a total population of 3.3 million were displaced due to drought, floods and other natural disasters.

Official records indicate that since 2004 rainfall has increased causing more flooding, while periods of drought have become longer.

This week, Uruguay's Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fishing reported that adapting to climate change and biodiversity constitute great challenges for Uruguay, and added that the country should brace for a rise in minimum temperatures and an increase in rainfall.

More than 60 participants from international organizations, government officials, civil society and researchers will discuss climate change and natural disasters, population displacement, population at risk, and sustainable development, exchange best practices, and draft a work plan that will allow for capacity building and, institutional strengthening at the national level in order to be better prepared for natural disasters….

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