Friday, February 11, 2011

Malaysia's urbanites at nature's mercy

Lee Yen Mun: About 8.6 million Malaysians living in urban areas will be exposed to climate hazards within the next nine years, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study showed. The study projected that the number of people to be affected by the unpredictable global weather change is also expected to increase with time, up to an astounding 11.9 million by 2050. If the projection is accurate, Malaysia may see an 182.6% spike over 50 years (2000- 2050) in the number of its population placed at nature’s mercy.

Apart from coastal flooding, the report did not identify other environmental hazards that are expected to hit the country’s urban spots. “It is important to note that the impact of climate change on these population will be influenced not just by its nature and severity, but also by the ability of those population to bring resources to adapt to that change,” the ADB said in the report entitled Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific.

The study to be released next month is aimed at enhancing regional preparedness for migration driven by changing weather patterns. If the bad weather persists, Malaysia may also see an influx of migrants from its Asian counterparts dubbed by the report as “climate change hotspots”, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and southern Pakistan. These five countries are currently the primary providers of most low-skilled workers to Malaysia….

Miri City in Malayisa, shot by Mirilan, who has released it into the public domain

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