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Desertification: UN experts prescribe global policy overhaul to avoid looming mass migrations

administering the mix of international agreements operating today prevent important synchronization needed to achieve broad social and environmental goals: food security and famine relief, conflict and migration prevention, better health and poverty reduction, desertification and climate change avoidance and biodiversity protection and enhancement.

The authors urge governments to better define and understand environmental migration its economic and ecological consequences, and to create a global framework to legally recognize and assist environmental refugees.

The expected climatic change scenarios as projected by the recently published report of the IPCC give an additional dark shade to an already gloomy picture. However it is difficult to properly quantify the number of environmental migrants and the migration routes as long as the concept itself remains debated even from a scientific point of view, the analysis says.

UNU advances a classification scheme based on three subgroups of migrants driven predominantly by environmental reasons:

  • Environmentally motivated migrants
  • Environmentally forced migrants
  • Environmental refugees

Finally, the analysis says governments need to measure progress in human-development terms and develop a common set of environmental indicators and data collection methods to enhance consistency for tracking and comparison purposes.


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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
United Nations University
27-Jun-2007


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