Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Climate migrant remittances could help adaptation

Laurie Goering in AlertNet: Migration linked with climate change is more likely to involve a steady step-up in existing patterns of movement around the world than the sudden surges of desperate refugees many governments fear, climate and migration experts say.

Many argue, in fact, that migration – if prepared for and managed – could prove one of the most effective means of adapting to climate change and building resilience to its impacts, particularly if migrants send remittances home.

“When we think of climate migration, we think of areas emptying, of what happens if 10,000 people leave,” said Dan Smith, the head of International Alert, a London-based peace-building organisation. But much current - and probably future - migration focuses instead on people saying, “We’re a family. I’ll go, you stay. I’ll send some money home so you can survive.”

“It’s a different kind of migration from that odd picture we’ve constructed for ourselves,” Smith told a recent discussion at the Royal Commonwealth Club on the security challenges of climate change and migration.

Already there are 200 million people living in a country other than the one they were born in, and another 750 million people living in their native country but outside their region of birth – a total of about a billion migrants worldwide, said Richard Black, a professor of human geography at Sussex University and contributor to the UK government’s 2011 Foresight project, which explored the potential impact of climate change on migration, among other issues....

Old suitcases, shot by Mattes, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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