Jump to content
Green Blog

Climate change displacement has begun

And so the evacuation has begun. Just a few weeks ago the first five families from the Carteret Islands, a small coral atoll far off the coast from Papua New Guinea with a population of around 2600 people, abandon their homes. This is the first evacuation of an entire people due to man-made climate change.

"As the Ecologist's blogger Dan Box witnessed, the first five families have moved to Bougainville to prepare the ground for full evacuation. There are compounding factors – the removal of mangrove forests and some local volcanic activity – but the main problem appears to be rising sea levels. The highest point of the islands is 170cm above the sea. Over the past few years they have been repeatedly inundated by spring tides, wiping out the islanders' vegetable and fruit gardens, destroying their subsistence and making their lives impossible."

It is worth noting that these families are not the first climate refugees in the world. People have abandoned their homes due to natural climate changes before. One example of that can be the abandoned olive presses from the Roman Empire which can be found in North Africa - where once trees and olives flourished there is now just deserts.

These five families might not sound as much, but they are just the first of billions of future climate refugees. The European Union has been told to prepare itself for millions of climate change refugees. And Nicholas Stern, the British economist and academic who is probably most known for the Stern Review, has warned that climate change will create billions of refugees and extended world wars.

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

Hello and thank you for this article. So-called environmentally induced migration is multi-level problem. According to Essam El-Hinnawi definition form 1985 environmental refugees as those people who have been forced to leave their traditional habitat, temporarily or permanently, because of a marked environmental disruption (natural or triggered by people) that jeopardised their existence and/or seriously affected the quality of their life. The fundamental distinction between `environmental migrants` and `environmental refugees` is a standpoint of contemporsry studies in EDPs. According to Bogumil Terminski it seems reasonable to distinguish the general category of environmental migrants from the more specific (subordinate to it) category of environmentally displaced people. According to Norman Myers environmental refugees are “people who can no longer gain a secure livelihood in their homelands because of drought, soil erosion, desertification, deforestation and other environmental problems, together with associated problems of population pressures and profound povertyâ€.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audience is coming from. To find out more, please read our Privacy Policy. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.