Climate Change and Mass Migration

by Ethan Lewis

An African Independent writer from the Washington Post investigated the large scale issue of mass human migration stemmed from climate change. The writer met with ANM Muniruzaman, a Bangladesh Politician, who recently attended an international migration policy meeting and said “The international system is in a state of denial.” He then continued to say “If we want an orderly management of the coming crisis, we need to sit down now.” Displacement of humans due to climate change is already ongoing with natural disasters like droughts, floods, and storms. Saying exactly how many people will have to migrate in the future is difficult, but statistics from previous years can help form an estimate. Roughly 203 million people were displaced between 2008 and 2015 due to natural disasters.

The rate of this migration is increasing and the repercussions will revolve around various countries efforts to plan in the future and take action in the present day. The African Independent continues the article with examples of migration that has happened. Desertification in Africa is causing major agriculture issues in tribes and cities causing thousands to find work elsewhere. Similarly, the Island nation of Kiribati which is at risk of being enveloped by rising sea levels will eventually have to migrate 100,000 citizens. The writer also addresses the vulnerability of South Asia because out of the 203 million people internationally displaced, 36% came from South Asia.

The African Independent also points out that a pattern is arising worldwide. Countries are addressing climate change but fail to bring any attention to migration policies and plans. Large numbers of migrants in countries could raise unemployment levels and crime rates around the world. Also, as islands disappear under rising seas, conflicts between countries could arise as they race to claim maritime territory. Unless migration is addressed, the world not only has a large humanitarian problem, but a security problem as well.


African Independent (2017, Jan 27)

Climate Change Mass Migration Threat:




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