Issuu on Google+

Environmental Refugees total number refugees currently

environmental refugees

total number of refugees global

2050

Popula tion Food consu mption Water consu mption Energ y cons umptio Green n house g as

Curren t

Energ y Use

+ Dep

letion

| 2050

30% in crease 70% in crease 50% in crease 80% in crease 50% in crease

projected number of environmental refugees by 2050

Estima tes

The term “Environmental Refugee” is largely unknown to the vast majority of the world. Yet we are already seeing the beginnings of a long and arduous relationship with those that have been stripped of their homes at the hands of climate change. Despite estimates that put numbers of environmental refugees around 200 million by 2050, those displaced by natural disasters don’t even qualify under refugee law. They have no legal status, but instead are considered ‘migrants’, voluntarily leaving their country, regardless of the inhabitable nature of their former home. This status leaves them without aid from international organizations or countries that would otherwise grant them temporary visas. Inaction on the world’s part to help the burgeoning numbers of these “migrants” would be condemning them to the worst fate. Environmental refugees are going to be one of the biggest problems the world will need to confront in future centuries. Rising sea levels are one of the more pressing causes, but desertification, water shortages, famine, ice cap melt, etc. are also going to increase in severity over the years. Millions will be displaced by these threats; shrinking coastlines, rising costs from storm damage, vast swaths of land that are no longer arable, and rising biodiversity losses. If we compare the conflicts and costs associated with the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s, when only 2.5 million were displaced, imagining a number like 200 million is almost impossible. The world will need to come to a common stance on how best to deal with this situation, and in the near future. We are already seeing the worst scenarios of climate change in a Hollywood-esque apocalypse reality that is the multitude of island nations at risk from rising sea levels. The ocean will literally swallow the islands whole, and yet only tentative evacuation plans have been made between these countries and their larger neighboring countries. It is an issue that should be aggressively pursued at UN summits and at other environmental meetings. However it is such a non-issue that former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed has held a cabinet meeting underwater in an attempt to bring attention to and actualize the threat of sea level rise. There are several island nations that are already lobbying for international support and monetary aid to purchase land elsewhere as insurance for future generations. This is something the world at large is still mostly ignorant of, and yet thousands are struggling with this issue in everyday life.

Index: Countries by Cause

environmental conflict economic water shortage physical water shortage drought grassland loss desertification Permanent famine sea level rise Progressive ice cap melt flooding Temporary storm damage water degradation air degradation land degradation deforestation biodiversity loss

al

lob

G

s o r E

nt e r ur

C

io

no

u

o es

fR

s e c r

ity

ers d v i d an ts Bio ble l ores t f a Ar ture fores l Ma pica d n Tro ssla a Gr

|

0

5 20 50

20

s e t a

m

ti s E

s los s % los 10 s % 25 los % oss l 13 s % los 20 % 15

750.000+

500.000+

250.000+

100.000+

75.000+

50.000+

rre

Co

as

25.000+

10.000+

Average elevation above sea level

5.000+

Pitcairn Islands

Fiji

25

Palau Guam

10

8

Bangladesh

Solomon Islands

Vanuatu French Polynesia

5

Samoa

2

Nauru

Tonga

Torres Straits

Seychelles

Maldives Marshall Islands

Kiribati

Tuvalu

Micronesia

1

Cook Islands

Micro: Maldives - Disappearing Islands

Current 2025 2050 2100

Hannah Germiat

LARC 2140 | 1.31.13

The Maldives are looking into buying higher ground in Australia or India in the case that its 350,000 citizens must leave their homeland due to the rising sea levels.

ta

M

nt To t

elt

+

Se

a

Co al lp as Ice op ta C 20 u l f ap l a 1 lo 20 1 tio od 50 po n ris po p. k o p. n on co co ast as t

50

15

e

Cu

Index: Islands + Sea Level 1mil+

Ic

Ri

se

|2

05

20

0

50

Es

tim

at

es

40 20 % 0% los in s 44 cr ea % 80 se % tot to al p ta l p opu op la ul tio at n io n



Environmental Refugees