Environment and Migration

In 2015, the earth reached the highest temperature ever recorded (NCDC, 2015).  The excessive rate of climate change, which far exceeds most scientific forecasts, has had important and often dire consequences for individuals and communities who struggle to respond to natural disasters, depleted natural resources, and food security challenges. Increasingly, individuals have opted to relocate as a survival strategy for adapting to changing environments. It is estimated that since 2009, one person every second has been displaced by a natural disaster. This has led to an average of 22.5 million people becoming displaced by climate or weather related events since 2008 (IDMC 2015). The droughts in Somalia in 2011, floods in Pakistan between 2010 and 2012, and the earthquake in Nepal in 2015, are only some examples of the natural disasters and slow onsets of climate related crisis that devastate a large number of people; leaving them without shelter, clean water, and basic supplies. The international community is increasingly wary of the potential for climate to cause large scale population displacements and migration in coming decades. As the issue of climate change continues to develop, innovate and in-depth research is required to maintain an international focus on the scientific, political, and policy dimensions of environmentally-related migration and its future challenges.


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