Dhaka Evening News

Climate change: 15m Bangladeshis displaced by 2050

By climate change, a total of 15 million people in Bangladesh alone could be displaced by 2050, according to a study on Climate Change.

The study titled “Climate Change Knows No Borders”, was released in Dhaka on Thursday ahead of Global Forum on Migration and Development.

During 2010-11, Asia and the Pacific saw more than 42 million people displaced by extreme weather events.

This study looks at climate change and its impacts on migration in South Asia, and particularly in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5) anticipates that droughts, heat waves, cyclones, rising sea levels, heavy rainfall, landslides and floods strike are likely to be felt in the region more severely in future.

Migration is taking place as a result of crop failure, rising sea levels and flooding all caused by climate change. If these events happen repeatedly, people lose their savings and assets, and may eventually be forced to move to cities or abroad to find work, the study also revealed.

The World Bank estimates that mid-century half of all Bengalis will live in urban centers. Nearly 3.5 million people in Dhaka about 40 percent of those live in slums.

In Bangladesh, the issues are magnified by the density of the population. If those who are causing the greenhouse gas emissions are unable to control carbon emissions the people in the vulnerable areas many of the coastal areas are going to be inundated.

The vulnerable, the uneducated, the lowest of the communities will never be able to migrate to the U.S.A, to Canada, to Australia. There will be pressure on the vulnerable part of Bangladesh. Cities like Dhaka are bursting at the seams, it added.

The hardest hit, experts say, will be the families who would not be able to move they are the ones most vulnerable to traffickers and others who prey upon the poorest of the poor.

The IPCC statistics show the rising sea levels will wipe out more cultivated land in Bangladesh than anywhere in the world. By 2050, rice production is expected to drop 10 percent and wheat production by 30 percent.

Seasonal migration, where rural people move to find work during the agricultural lean season but move back to the village in time, has been taking place for decades.

Research in Bangladesh suggests that this form of migration is becoming more permanent, as a result of climate-induced disasters that damage infrastructure and erode income opportunities and alternative coping mechanisms.

Studies suggest that climate induced displacement and migration are a regular and increasing phenomenon in Bangladesh.

Climate induced displacement is rarely planned, which means that migrants can face difficult conditions. The above Ministry study thus found that forced displacement can have a significant negative impact on education, health, occupation, income, assets, access to social amenities, and incidence of disease.

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