The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) has just come out with their second report on global estimates of people displaced by natural disasters. There were 38.3 million people displaced by climate related disasters in 2010, up from 15.2 million the previous year. Asia has been particularly hard hit in recent years with the major floods in China and Pakistan displacing over 26 million people, but no region of the globe has escaped these growing pressures.
The Geneva-based IDMC was established by the Norwegian Refugee Council in 1998. Since 2009, the IDMC has monitored the displacement due to natural-hazard induced disasters. The first global estimate of the scale of displacement caused by extreme natural hazard events was produced in 2009 by IDMC and the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), covering events in 2008.
“Greater knowledge is needed of the dynamics of displacement related to complex natural disasters, such as the repeated and cascading series of floods which tend to displace high numbers of people in some regions each year. In addition, the challenges of identifying and monitoring displacement due to slow-onset disasters, in particular drought, needs to be tackled and brought into the picture, as displacement due to slow-onset natural hazards is less well understood. Increased understanding of the scale and impact of disaster-induced displacement is an essential step to inform coherent and consistent policy and action.”
Environmental refugees pose a strong threat to stability and security, with growing numbers of displaced people potentially leading to resource conflicts