Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Environmental refugees and global warming

Date:
March 22, 2010
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
Climate change and environmental degradation are likely to trigger increased migration in Sub-Saharan Africa with potentially devastating effects on the hundreds of millions of especially poor people, according to a new article.

Climate change and environmental degradation are likely to trigger increased migration in Sub-Saharan Africa with potentially devastating effects on the hundreds of millions of especially poor people, according to a paper in the International Journal of Global Warming.

Environmental changes are especially pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), explain Ulrike Grote of the Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, at the Leibniz University of Hannover, and Koko Warner of the United Nations University Institute of Environmental and Human Change in Bonn, Germany. Today, degradation is a serious problem for 32 countries in Africa, and a third of a billion people already face water scarcity.

Grote and Warner have analysed the latest data on environmental factors to determine what changes are most likely to trigger migration in SSA. They point to evidence from different branches of research, environmental sciences, migration research as well as development economics. They focus specifically on the effects on four countries: Ghana, Mozambique, Niger, and Senegal covering different regions in SSA. They are characterised by very different natural resource endowments, population and country sizes, political situations and environmental influences, thus providing very different pictures of migration.

In 2005, 34 of the 50 least developed countries were located in Africa, the researchers explain, in 2004, 41% of the population in SSA lived in extreme poverty. Almost a third of the population had to live with insufficient food from the years 2001 to 2003, while violent conflict between 1993 and 2002 prevailed in 27 out of 53 African states. Two thirds of Africa is covered by desert or dry land.

"Against this background, it is not surprising that Africa accounts for 12% of the world's population, hosts around 28% of the world's refugees and almost 50% of the world's internally displaced persons," the researchers say.

Other researchers have suggested that people begin to move "whenever land degradation is coupled with political pressure, armed conflict, ethnic tension, growing poverty, deteriorating services and infrastructure." Socio-economic and political factors accelerate the chain of processes leading to migration and conflict, environmental factors exacerbate the problems, leading to large-scale migration.

The team explains that in the four countries studies, environmental changes like soil degradation and erosion are especially prevalent in rural areas where poverty is pronounced. In Ghana, these slowly occurring environmental changes, coupled with severe and frequent droughts have been partly responsible for internal migration from the north to the south. Similarly, in Mozambique, droughts triggered internal migration from rural areas in the south to coastal and urban centres. In Niger, these environmental changes related to the expansion of the Sahel desert have resulted not only in internal but also border-crossing regional migration flows. Also, in Senegal, internal and international migration resulted from the environmental changes with respect to the peanut basin where job and farming opportunities decreased with increasing environmental degradation.

"While a strong link between environmental changes and migration is clearly visible, it needs to be considered that these environmental factors are mostly also paired with socio-economic factors like poverty and demographic changes like population growth or conflicts and institutional factors, among others," the team concludes.

While strategies and policies have been adopted in these four countries to either improve the environmental situation or to reduce widespread poverty, there is too little information available to determine how successfully or not they have been implemented.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Environmental refugees and global warming." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317000027.htm>.
Inderscience. (2010, March 22). Environmental refugees and global warming. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317000027.htm
Inderscience. "Environmental refugees and global warming." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317000027.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888

New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) Federal researchers have released new images of the City of Chester, a steamship that sank in San Francisco Bay in 1888. Researchers recently found the shipwreck while mapping shipping routes. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Risk of Asteroid Hitting Earth Higher Than Thought, Study Shows

Risk of Asteroid Hitting Earth Higher Than Thought, Study Shows

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 23, 2014) A group of space explorers say the chance of a city-obliterating asteroid striking Earth is higher than scientists previously believed. Deborah Gembara reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins