Tag Archives: migration

Climate-Induced Community Relocations: Creating an Adaptive Governance Framework Based in Human Rights Doctrine (R. Bronen)

Author(s)

Robin Bronen

Keywords

climigration, migration, climate change, displacement, climate refugees, southern hemisphere, global warming, ecology, humanitarian crisis, indigenous communities, Arctic, disaster relief

Abstract

The specter of millions of people fleeing their homes because of climate change has sparked an international debate about creating human rights protections for climate refugees. Though scholars and journalists have focused on the southern hemisphere, this crisis is occurring with unprecedented rapidity in the Arctic. In Alaska, temperatures have increased at twice the rate of the global average. Arctic sea ice is decreasing and permafrost is thawing. These ecological phenomena are creating a humanitarian crisis for the 200 indigenous communities that have inhabited the Arctic for millennia. Dozens of these communities are threatened because of climate-accelerated erosion, flooding, and extreme weather events. The traditional responses of hazard prevention and disaster relief are no longer protecting communities despite millions of dollars spent on erosion control and flood relief. Community relocation is the only feasible solution to permanently protect the inhabitants of these communities. This article describes the steps that federal, state, and tribal governments have taken to relocate Newtok, one of at least twelve indigenous communities in Alaska that need to relocate due to climate change. The policy and practical challenges to relocate the community are enormous and clearly demonstrate that new governance institutions need to be designed to specifically respond to climate-induced relocation. This Article ultimately proposes the creation of Guiding Principles of Climigration outlining key human rights principles that can guide an adaptive governance framework. This framework, in turn, will allow government agencies to transition their humanitarian response from protection in place to community relocation.

Citation

(2011) New York University Review of Law and Social Change 35 (2)  357

Paper

Climate-Induced Community Relocations: Creating an Adaptive Governance Framework Based in Human Rights Doctrine

 

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Iraq: Water, Water Nowhere (M. Chulov)

Author

Martin Chulov

Keywords

Drought, Iraq , dry river beds, salt flats, water, dams, river diversion, war, water management, migration

Abstract

The Guardian’s Baghdad correspondent, Martin Chulov, brings to life Iraq’s latest plague: drought. In southern Iraq, once the lavishly, fabled Garden of Eden, Chulov walks the dry river beds and salt flats that were the cradle of civilization. Iraq’s water troubles are manifold: dams and diversions by upstream neighbors choke supply; severe shortages leave many tributaries of the mighty Tigris and EuphratesRivers at a mere trickle; and years of war and turmoil have weakened the ability of the nation’s leaders to effectively manage water resources. Millions of Iraqis have already been forced to leave their homes and fields in search of opportunities elsewhere. Unless the government can develop the nation’s oil resources and shore up new industries, an even harsher future awaits those who have already withstood so much.

Citation

(2009/2010) 26 World Policy Journal 33-40

Paper

Iraq : Water, Water Nowhere

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Environmental change and out-migration: evidence from Nepal (D.S. Massey, et al)

Author(s)

Douglas S. Massey, William G. Axinn and Dirgha J. Ghimire

Keywords

Environment, Population, Migration, Land cover, Agricultural productivity

Abstract

Scholars and activists have hypothesized a connection between environmental change and out-migration. In this paper, we test this hypothesis using data from Nepal. We operationalize environmental change in terms of declining land cover, rising times required to gather organic inputs, increasing population density, and perceived declines in agricultural productivity. In general, environmental change is more strongly related to short- than long-distance moves. Holding constant the effects of other social and economic variables, we find that local moves are predicted by perceived declines in productivity, declining land cover, and increasing time required to gather firewood. Long-distance moves are predicted by perceived declines in productivity, but the effect is weaker than in the model of short-distance mobility. We also show that effects of environmental change vary by gender and ethnicity, with women being more affected by changes in the time required to gather fodder and men by changes in the time to gather firewood, and high-caste Hindus generally being less affect than others by environmental change.

Citation

(2010) 32(2/3) Population and Environment 109-136

Paper

Environmental change and out-migration: evidence from Nepal

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Climate Change Displacement to Refuge (E. Burleson)

Author

Elizabeth Burleson

Keywords

Migration, climate change law, human rights, refugees

Abstract

Migration is one of the oldest coping strategies for dealing with environmental change. International climate negotiations have focused on such complex issues as mitigation, adaptation, environmentally sound technology transfer, and financial mechanisms. Calling for the humanitarian impacts of climatechange to be addressed, eighteen aid organizations have formed the Inter-Agency Standing Committee to advocate for the coordination of human rights and climatechange law and policy. The Norwegian Refugee Council notes that “[m]ore than 20 million people have been displaced by climate-related sudden-onset natural disasters in 2008 alone.”Member states to the U.N. Convention on ClimateChange (UNFCCC) have committed to draft an agreement to address post-Kyoto Protocol commitments under the UNFCCC and an array of climate-related concerns. Beyond mitigation, adaptation, technology, and funding, other crosscutting climate issues continue to challenge the international community. The demographics, economies, and geographic features of given countries impact their priorities in the ongoing negotiations. Irrespective of the likely impacts of climatechange, everyone has a vested interest in maintaining international peace and security. Migration is a factor that the U.N. Security Council regularly uses to determine whether a situation constitutes a threat to international peace and security. Regardless of the means by which agreement is reached, adaptation to climate change should be implemented as soon as possible.
This Essay analyzes the interaction between international human rights law and climate change law. Part II discusses climate-induced migration, human rights law, and refugee status. Part III considers the role of the Security Council in climate-induced insecurity. Part IV concludes that maintaining international peace and security requires timely codification of climate measures that address ecomigration.

Citation

(2010) 25 Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation 19

Paper

Climate Change Displacement to Refuge

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Migration and Environmental Hazards (L.M. Hunter)

Author

Lori M. Hunter (University of Colorado)

Keywords

Environmental hazards, internal migration, international migration, migration, natural hazards, technological hazards, residential mobility

Abstract

Losses due to natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes) and technological hazards (e.g., nuclear waste facilities, chemical spills) are both on the rise. One response to hazard-related losses is migration, with this paper offering a review of research examining the association between migration and environmental hazards. Using examples from both developed and developing regional contexts, the overview demonstrates that the association between migration and environmental hazards varies by setting, hazard types, and household characteristics. In many cases, however, results demonstrate that environmental factors play a role in shaping migration decisions, particularly among those most vulnerable. Research also suggests that risk perception acts as a mediating factor. Classic migration theory is reviewed to offer a foundation for examination of these associations.

Citation

(2005) 26 Population & Environment 273-302

Paper

Migration and Environmental Hazards

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