Tackling Global Warming: Climate Change Driving Migration to Urban Areas, Says Speakers

Dec 14th, 2014 | By | Category: Global Warming, Migration

806512-globalwarming-1418499303-872-640x480The Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) countries have poor healthcare and educational conditions and high population growth, poverty and urbanisation rates. Rural-urban migration is becoming one of the most obvious factors induced by climate change, which is profoundly changing the society as whole in Pakistan.

These views were expressed by speakers at a session on “Impact of climate change on human capital and security”, organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

Dr Fahad Saeed, from SDPI said that productivity was declining in South and Central Asia. He said that the poor in these regions were more dependent on natural capital with fewer resources, adding that they had limited ability to cope with and adapt to climate change.

Dr Saeed said that under normal circumstances migration from rural to urban areas would take place because a village was unable to provide livelihood to the people and the living conditions might be intolerable.

He said that 10 million people, or eight per cent of the country’s population consisted of internal or international migrants.

In 1947, around 17 per cent of the population lived in urban areas, which had risen to 32.5 per cent by 1998.

Dr Saeed maintained that heat stress increased long-term human migration in rural Pakistan.

He said that greenhouse gases (GHG) were substantially increasing which was leading to global warming.

Dr Saeed said that the warming that had been observed over the last 50 years was primarily attributable to human activities.

Himalayan Adaptation and Water Resilience Network (ICIMOD) Nepal Consortium Coordinator Anjal Prakash speaking via video link said that the decisions to migrate had many causes. He said that environmental drivers were just one of five categories of drivers alongside economic, political, demographic and social.

Prakash said that whether migration happened because of failure to adapt or was it an adaptation strategy to environmental stresses and shocks was an ongoing debate.

He said the debate was not settled but the fact was people were migrating both short and long distances.

Regional Environment Centre for Central Asia (CAREC)’s Benjamin Mohr spoke on human capital, security and climate change in Tajikistan.

Ayesha Qaisrani from SDPI said that human development was a process of increasing people’s choices.

She said that human security concentrated on empowering people with at least minimum set of capabilities to enable them to live a decent life.

She said that temperature was rising, oceans were heating, sea level was rising, snow cover was declining and glaciers were melting.

PRISE is a research consortium funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the UK’s Department for International Development.

PRISE conducts research on inclusive, climate resilient development in African and Asian semi-arid lands in six core countries: Burkina Faso, Kenya, Pakistan, Senegal, Tajikistan and Tanzania).

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