Photo source: © Greenpeace / Peter Caton
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) reported that countries in the Asia-Pacific region will need to develop policies to deal with massive population shifts as a result of climate change impacts such as sea-level rise and variable monsoons. The region is highly exposed to environmental risks, having by far the highest population density of any continent living in low-elevation coastal zones, while it is also home to the largest number of people living in poverty…
More than 30 million people were displaced last year by environmental and weather-related disasters across Asia, experts have warned, and the problem is only likely to grow worse as climate change exacerbates such problems. Tens of millions more people are likely to be similarly displaced in the future by the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, floods, and governments must start to prepare for the problems this will create, the Asian Development Bank warned.
The report titled “Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific” says Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Pakistan face the greatest risk, but Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China and South Korea are also especially vulnerable.
Bart Edes, director of ADB’s Poverty Reduction, Gender, and Social Development Division, said. “You combine (severe climate change) with great populations in vulnerable circumstances, fast growing cities that are in low-lying areas, high population density and you have a recipe for even more displacement.”
“Globally, eight to 10 countries with the largest number of people living in low-elevation coastal zones are in the Asia-Pacific region,” the report says. The Asian Development Bank warns that migration driven by environmental factors is emerging as a serious concern. “It’s not just a threat. It’s something we’ve already seen…”
ADB Workshop, September 13th, 2011
Asia and the Pacific will be amongst the global regions most affected by the impacts of climate change. Countries of the region are particularly vulnerable because of a high degree of exposure to environmental risks and large population.