geopolitical issues

Click here to load reader

Post on 02-Jan-2016




0 download

Embed Size (px)


Geopolitical issues. Part III. Population displacements and migration. Session 5. Introduction. Throughout history, men have always migrated for environmental reasons But that ’ s also a reason largely ignored by researchers and policy makers. Despite growing concerns - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Geopolitical issuesPart III

  • Population displacements and migrationSession 5

  • IntroductionThroughout history, men have always migrated for environmental reasons

    But thats also a reason largely ignored by researchers and policy makers.

    Despite growing concerns

    Linkage between environment and migration still controversial

  • Historical examples

  • The emergence of the conceptFirst mentioned in the 1970sFirst UNEP report in 1985Growing interest in the mid-2000s:Realisation of the impacts of climate changeMajor natural disastersTsunami 2004Katrina 2005Pakistan earthquake 2005

    > Confusion between displacements linked to climate change and other environmental degradation.

  • A complex relationshipMigration itself is a very complex processInvolves a wide array of factors, individual decision

    Environmental factors are linked with economic, social and political factorsWhen is environmental pressure the primary factor?

    Environmental disruption can be a cause and a consequence of migration Resource scarcity, green conflicts,...

    Migration can also help to reduce the presure on resources

  • Which impacts of climate change can lead to displacements?

  • 1. Sea-level riseCoastal regions will be first and most affectedSource: NASAA sea-level rise of 1cm puts 1 million people at risk of displacement

  • 2. Droughts and land degradationImpacts on migration difficult to forecast

    Migration flows tend to decrease at the peak of droughts

    Thats because households affect their resources to primary needs.

  • 3. Extreme meteorological events

  • Characteristics of the migrantsPositive relationship between environmental degradation and migration.

    Different factors intermingle, but environmental factors are of growing importance.Definitional issue

    These factors increase the constraints to migrationRise in forced migration

    Migration flows are often internal, and happening on short distancesAffected countries bear all the burden of migration.

    The most vulnerable are often unable to migrate.Migration is expensive

  • Issue of the definitionDifficultMostly internal migrationMingles with other factorsControversialAlarmists vs scepticsA broad definition invites large numbersDifferent agendasWide variety of terms (often misnomers)ImportantPolicy-wiseAllows to forecast numbers

  • A disconnection from the realities of migration

    Migrants are seen as expiatory, resourceless victims of climate change.Many of them dont consider themselves as victims, or dont want to be considered as such.Migrants are resourceful agents they are not the most vulnerableMigration is perceived as an adaptation failureIn many cases, it can be an adaptation strategyWe assume a direct, causal relationship between climate change and migration.We expect that these displacements will be forced and international.We assume that the nature and extent of the migration flows will depend upon the impacts of climate change.Environmental determinismClimate-induced migration often perceived as a threat to security.In many cases, it can actually improve human security.

  • London Futures, exhibition at the Museum of London

  • Example 1Tuvalu

  • Key facts about TuvaluSuccessfully marketed itself as a country at risk of being washed away by sea-level rise, sending out the first climate change refugees

    Archipelago of nine islands, five of them are coral atolls.

    Around 9,500 inhabitants; 4,500 live on the main atoll, Funafuti.

    26 km2, one of the worlds highest population density (373, but 1,610 in Funafuti)

    Highest point at 4 m above sea-level

  • Tuvalus economyOnly resources are stamps, .tv internet domain and fishing licences

    Wholly artificial economy, entirely dependant upon international aid (trust fund, remittances, etc.)

    Very few jobs and high unemployment rate

  • Climate changeMajor concern amongst inhabitants, fear of a brutal tsunami or hurricaneExtreme vulnerability to sea-level rise

  • Effects of climate change difficult to assess

    Lack of scientific data about sea-level rise, no measurements

    People rely on anecdotal evidence, oral environmental history

    King tides every year, in February-March

  • King tides

  • Other environmental issuesOverpopulationWaste disposalBorrow pitsLack of drinkable waterSoil salinity

  • MigrationImportant internal migration, from outer islands to Funafuti

    About 3,000 Tuvaluans living in Auckland

    Forced or voluntary migration? Issue of timescale

    The whole region is highly prone to migration, part of Polynesian lifestyle

    New Zealand is the only possible destination:Pacific Access CategorySeasonal labour scheme

  • ResettlementConsidered many times in Tuvalus historyIn 1890s, suggested as a solution to overpopulation problemPopulation of Funafuti relocated on an outer island by Americans during WWIIPurchase of the island of Kioa in 1951Repeated plea by the government, in relation to climate changeHowever, works by John Campbell (Waikato U.) show difficulties in community relocation

  • Expatriates in AucklandAbout 3,000 Tuvaluans living in West AucklandNZ Government supporting some aspects of cultural lifeSome weight in national and local politicsPull factor of migration

  • Governments dilemmasAdapt or flee? Role of the state is crucialThe government is actually encouraging emigration - We want to give people a choice before it is too lateBut also needs to keep attracting international aid

    Preparing resettlement would clash with populations views

  • Do people move because of climate change?Wide range of factors:Family and social networks in New ZealandJob opportunities, better wagesOnly the wealthier can afford to migrate... And concerns about sea-level rise

    Key factor: uncertainty about the future, that acts as a trigger.

  • Uncertainty and futurityPeople do not migrate for themselves, but for their children - some of them born in New Zealand

    Concerns about the future of Tuvalu seem more important than actual degradations of the environment

    Issue of uncertainty and futurity

    Migration as a risk-reduction strategy for the family

  • Example 2Katrina

  • Basic factsOne of the worst disasters in US history:

    About 2,000 fatalities75 % of homes in New Orleans destroyed1,200,000 people evacuated on the Gulf CoastUS$ 85 billion damageDisaster mainly due to the levee breachesOne quarter of New Orleans population without carHelp didnt arrive before Setember 3rd, four days after the disaster

  • EvacuationMandatory evacuation ordered by Mayor Nagin on August 28.Overall quite successful: 85 % evacuatedAbout 60,000 were stranded in the cityBecause they had no carBecause they were ill, old, or disabledBecause they had petsBecause they didnt know where to goBecause they were unwilling to leave

  • Evacuation patternsExtremely diversifiedSome people traveled very far away, others stayed relatively close.Some traveled on their own, others were evacuated.Some stayed with friends/relatives, others stayed in hotels/rented propertiesSome could choose where they were going, others notAnd some did not move at all.

    > The perception of the evacuation was also very diverse.

  • Three conclusions> Despite the collective dimension of the tragedy, the evacuation process was an individual process.

    > Forced or voluntary migration? Peoples perceptions are very different.

    > The most vulnerable were far less off

  • Most vulnerable were far less offMany were stranded in the city.Those evacuated had no choice of their destinationThis affected their ability to cope while awayTend to blame Government and FEMA more severely.Issue of adaptability

    > Katrina was also, and maybe most of all, a social disaster.

  • ReturnAlso very diverse patterns: some returned quickly, others after some time, others not at all.Only about half of the population has returned to the city:37 % live in Louisiana34 % live in Texas (mostly Houston)9 % live in Georgia (mostly Atlanta)20 % live in another state

    Only 11 % plan to return52 % are certain they will not returnMigration rather than displacement

  • Exemple 3 - Fukushima

  • (22 Apr 30 Sep 2011) (30 Sep 2011 - present)Restricted AreaRestricted AreaEvacuation-Prepared AreaDeliberate Evacuation AreaDeliberate Evacuation AreaSpecific Spots Recommended for EvacuationSpecific Spots Recommended for EvacuationEvacuation zones

  • Trauma and tensions


  • Policy responses: Different directionsEnvironmental policiesRapid evolution since the 1990sPeople displaced by natural disasters and/or climate change increasingly taken into accountNew actors and structures: IASC, CCEMA, rise of adaptation in climate talksNew instruments:Hyogo FrameworkOperational Guidelines on Human Rights and Natural DisastersAdaptation Funds

    > Climate negotiations often considered as the central policy forum with regard to environmental migration

  • Migration and asylum policiesHave not really taken into account environmental factors so farVery little progress in the governance of migration, no new instrumentsException: temporary protection status

    Two points to consider:Traditional theories of migration are environmentally-blindMigration scholars have a lesser impact on policy design than environmental scholars

  • Legal mattersPeople displaced by climate change are not refugees, according to the 1951 Geneva Convention:

    No political

View more