“Policy decisions made today will determine whether migration becomes a matter of choice amongst a range of adaptation options, or merely a matter of survival due to a collective failure by the international community to provide better alternatives.” – In Search of Shelter.

The Asia-Pacific region has been identified as a “disaster alley” for the first huge wave of climate refugees from low-lying Pacific islands, many of which will soon be uninhabitable due to rising seas, extreme weather, and droughts.

“… while there have begun to be efforts to reduce risks of disasters, I’m concerned that we’re not acting as quickly as we should to protect our societies from those risks, which is going to mean more migration,” Sherri Goodman, US expert on the national security impacts of climate change, told The Guardian earlier this month.

“We do need to rethink the governance for refugees better to reflect the types of refugees we face today. Current governance structures are just inadequate for the modern era.”

As the impacts of climate change escalate, 150 million people are in danger of becoming environmental refugees by 2050, in what will become the largest global migration in the history of mankind. People in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are being impacted first and most severely. A 2010 Gallup Poll – The Many Faces of Global Migration — found that 500,000 respondents expect to be displaced by extreme environmental stressors within the next five years.

“Climate change is a threat multiplier,”writes New York Times reporter Jessica Benko. “It contributes to economic and political instability and also worsens the effects. It propels sudden-onset disasters like floods and storms and slow-onset disasters like drought and desertification; those disasters contribute to failed crops, famine and overcrowded urban centers; those crises inflame political unrest and worsen the impacts of war, which leads to even more displacement.”

Climate Change Allows Terrorists To Thrive http://www.dw.com/en/climate-change-allows-terrorists-to-thrive/a-38507673

Benko’s article How a Warming Planet Drives Human Migration highlights five regions which are already experiencing impacts which are only expected to worsen with time: The Amazon Basin, Chad, China, Syria, and The Philippines.

In Bangladesh, recognized globally as one of the most climate vulnerable nations, some 25 million people could be forced to relocate due to sea level rise by 2050.

“The ocean is torturing us,” said Pushpo Rani Das, 28, a mother of three who has had to move her home four times to escape storm surges. “We can’t stop it. Water enters my house in every high tide, especially in the rainy season.”

“Another extreme weather event, combined with sea-level rise and storm surge, could send upwards up 10 million people or more along that low-lying coastline in Bangladesh fleeing towards higher ground, which is towards India, which is building a massive wall to keep Bangladeshis out, says Goodman.

“I think that could create consequences for which we’re currently unprepared. India shows no signs of wanting or being able to absorb those numbers of refugees. And then where do they flee? These are mostly people who can’t afford to get on a cruise ship and leave. And if they can’t flee by land into India does that mean they, there’s either a massive loss of life or head off in rickety boats, where they might lose their lives at sea.”

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