Climate Refugees Less Heard off but a Serious Issue

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Climate Refugees Less Heard off but a Serious Issue
  • Environmental emergency migrants: people who flee temporarily due to an environmental disaster or sudden environmental event. (Examples: someone forced to leave due to a hurricane, tsunami, earthquake, etc.)
  • Environmental forced migrants: people who have to leave due to deteriorating environmental conditions. (Example: someone forced to leave due to a slow deterioration of their environment such as coastal deterioration, etc.)
  • Environmental motivated migrants also known as environmentally induced economic migrants: people who choose to leave to avoid possible future problems. (Example: someone who leaves due to declining crop productivity caused by desertification)


  • More than 140 million people in Africa, Latin America and South Asia – displace by 2050
  • Reasons? ?
  • Globally, the numbers of people forced to leave home because of water shortages, crop failures, sea-level rise, storm surges and other climate threats are likely to be much higher
  • If global warming limited – this figure can drop to 40 million
  • Migration – Rural to Urban (land degradation, desertification) ; political unrest, coastal flooding
  • The term ‘climate migrants’ is used to refer to people displaced due to climate change impacts such as sea level rise, floods and droughts.
  • According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, an estimated 24 million people are being displaced annually by natural disasters since 2008
  • Migration from Sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa and then to Europe

What Should be Done? ?

  • Resilient Infrastructure
  • Prepare Ground for Reality
  • Create Jobs
  • Boost Health Services
  • more than 85 million people could leave home by 2050 in sub-Saharan Africa, 40 million in South Asia, and 17 million in Latin America
  • Resilience in agriculture
  • Make cities less vulnerable
  • Rehabilitation efforts in terms of natural disasters
  • Establishment of Climate Change Displacement Coordination Facility to relocate migrants and rehabilitate them in safer region
  • Creating an independent treaty framework addressing the challenges of climate change-induced migration comprehensively
  • Disaster preparedness: Disaster preparedness and response plans, Improved flood defenses, Urban planning to relocate families, More efficient water storage and irrigation schemes, Access to improved seeds and fertilizers.

Affected Regions

  • Dhaka In Bangladesh And Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania – Storms
  • Addis Ababa In Ethiopia – Unpredictable Rain
  • more than 85 million people could leave home by 2050 in sub-Saharan Africa, 40 million in South Asia, and 17 million in Latin America.


Over the last couple of months, a large section of Northeast India has been severely ravaged by flash floods with over 100,000 affected in Assam alone

On August 29,2017, the day that Mumbai received 331.4 mm rainfall, the highest in a decade, the migrant labor population living in squatter communities was one of the worst affected

Similarly, in the state of Uttarakhand, flooding and incessant rain has brought about mass migration of the rural communities. According to 2011 census figures, of 16,793 villages in the state 1,053 have no inhabitants and 405 villages have less than 10 residents.

Between 2008 - 2016, over 200 million people have been displaced worldwide as a result of natural disasters and in India, close to 1.5 million people are classified as internally displaced (1.3 million in 2017) every year.

Lot of migration from Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the world՚s most natural disaster prone countries — a fourth of its land is just five feet above sea level while two-thirds is less than 15 feet above sea level. It is estimated that a mammoth 50 - 120 million migrants may end up becoming climate refugees of Bangladesh in India.

On the diplomatic stage, international law does not recognize climate refugees under the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 protocol, making them ineligible for any protection under national or international legal frameworks.

While India might be home to refugees from Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, it is one of the few countries in the world that has refused to sign and ratify the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 protocol.