By Megan Rowling
BARCELONA, Dec 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) The growing impacts of climate change have already pushed more than 18 million people to migrate within South Asian countries, but that could triple in three decades if global warming continues on its current path , warned the researchers on Friday.
Nearly 63 million people could be forced to flee their homes by 2050 in the region as rising seas and rivers engulf villages and drought-stricken land no longer supports crops, ActionAid International and the Climate Action Network South Asia said in areport.
The projection does not include those who will be forced to flee unexpected disasters such as floods and cyclones and so it is likely to be an underestimation, noted Harjeet Singh, head of global climate at ActionAid.
He said the situation could become “catastrophic”.
Many will head from rural areas to cities and towns in their home countries, in search of work, he said.
“Policy makers in North Global and South Global are not yet waking up to this reality,” Singh told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “They do not understand the scale of the problem, and how we are going to deal with it [it]”
He called on nations rich in global warming to redouble their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and provide more funding for South Asian countries to develop and adapt cleanly. conditions on a warming planet.
If governments meet a globally agreed goal of limiting warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, the number of people pushed to move to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal could be expected to nearly halve by 2050, it said. in the report.
It is based on research published in 2018 by the World Bank, which said that uncontrolled climate change could causemore than 140 million peopleto move within the borders of their countries by 2050 in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America.
The new report, which used an updated version of the same methodology, raises the original 2050 projection for South Asian migration by about half, adding new data on sea level rise as well as the effects of sea’s losses. ecosystem and droughts.
The new report also follows the expected migration on a more subtle scale.
The projections have financial implications for countries such as India and Bangladesh, where poorer people often do not have the means to move away from their original homes to safer places without state support.
In Pakistan’s dry Tharparkar district, Rajo, 37, and her husband, both workers, have relocated to three different locations in their area in the past three years to escape the famine caused by severe drought.
The report called on South Asian governments to do more to prepare for the worsening displacement associated with climate change and stressed the importance of action now to limit the number of people who will be forced to migrate in the future.
Recommended strengthening social protection systems to provide money and jobs for those affected by climate extremes and improving essential services for migrant workers in cities now doubly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many jobless.
Measures that can help prevent “anxiety migration” include promoting agricultural methods that keep lands in good condition, managing water more efficiently, improving market access, or testing new crops and ways to make money, the report noted.
(Report by Megan Rowling @meganrowling; edited by Laurie Goering. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people around the world struggling to live free or fair. Visit http: // news .trust.org / klima)
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