UNU researchers say the greatest number of people will be affected by climate change through more frequent drought and spreading desertification, by rising sea levels that inundate coastal communities, through the expanded range of diseases like malaria and dengue fever, and by the disappearance of glaciers, which will stunt the usual supply of water in areas such as the Indian subcontinent, where more than 2 billion people will reside by 2050.
Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith of the University of Florida and UNU's Institute for the Environment and Human Security, who researches the link between the environment and migration, says the impact of climate change on Indigenous Peoples will be particularly severe because most practice subsistence lifestyles and share a deep connection with ancestral lands.
Says Prof. Oliver-Smith: "Climate change will make things significantly worse for people with difficult lives already due to discrimination, poor nutrition and health conditions. Most Indigenous Peoples today live oppressed existences as minority groups within states. Climate change for them layers another potentially crushing pressure on top of many others."
Human rights regime proposed to protect victims of forced "climigration"
Alaskan human rights lawyer and Summit participant Robin Bronen is part of a growing group of experts calling for an international legal regime to protect the rights of people uprooted by the creeping effects of climate change.
She coined the term "climigration" to describe forced, permanent migration of communities due to severe climate change impacts on infrastructure such as health clinics and schools, and on livelihoods and well-being.
"Communities forced to relocate must participate throughout the process, includi
|Contact: Terry Collins|
United Nations University