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Environmental Refugees: How Many, How Bad?
(Released June 2006)

  by Ethan Goffman  


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  1. Environmental Refugees? Classifying Human Migrations Caused by Environmental Change

    Diane C. Bates.

    Population and Environment, Vol. 23, No. 5, May 2002, pp. 465-477.

    What distinguishes environmental refugees from other refugees - or other migrants? Are all environmental refugees alike? This essay develops a classification to begin to answer these questions & facilitate future policies & research on environmental refugees. Environmental refugees may have considerable control over the decision to migrate, but this varies by the type of environmental disruption. The origin, intention, & duration of environmental disruptions shape the type of refugee. Refugees from disasters & expropriations have limited control over whether environmental changes will produce migration. Gradual degradation allows "environmental emigrants" to determine how they will respond to environmental change. 2 Figures, 47 References. Adapted from the source document.

  2. Environmental Refugees

    Norman Myers.

    Population and Environment, Vol. 19, No. 2, Nov 1997, pp. 167-182.

    Discusses the rapidly increasing numbers of environmental refugees in sub-Saharan Africa, India, the People's Republic of China, Mexico, & Central America, projecting growth through 2025, identifying major causes, & suggesting international policy solutions. Statistics drawn from studies by UN agencies, government & intergovernmental bodies, the World Bank, & nongovernmental refugee organizations show that desertification, deforestation, soil erosion, & drought have combined to create at least 25 million environmental refugees & predict large increases for the future. Global warming, urbanization, population explosions, & extreme climate shifts are also examined in terms of impacting displacement. Proposed policy responses include the promotion of sustainable development, financial aid to developing countries, & ecological management campaigns. D. Bajo.

  3. Ultimate security: The environmental basis of political stability

    Norman Myers.

    Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1993

    Presents case studies to illustrates the theme that the environment has become a fundamental factor in security issues in many regions already and that, in the future, it will increasingly lie at the heart of security concerns of nations around the world. Includes case studies focusing on different regions--the Middle East, Ethiopia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Philippines, the Indian subcontinent, El Salvador, and Mexico--and case studies focusing on different global issues--population, ozone-layer depletion and global warming, mass extinction of species, environmental refugees, and synergisms among environmental problems. Considers trade-offs between environmental security and military security. Discusses what policy strategy should be chosen in addressing the new challenges posed by environmental threats and considers the expanded leadership role that is available to the United States. Myers is an author and a consultant. Index.

  4. Environmental refugees

    Véronique (ed ). Lassailly-Jacob and Michael (ed ). Zmolek.

    Refuge, Vol. 12, June 1992, pp. 1-39.

    Need for international policy concerning those fleeing environmental disasters. Bangladesh, Africa, Malaysia, Thailand, Commonwealth of Independent States, China, and Iraqi Kurdistan as case studies.

  5. Environmental refugees: a yardstick of habitability

    Jodi L. Jacobson.

    Worldwatch Inst, 1988

    People fleeing environmental decline. Impact of consumption patterns and industrial policies that ignore environmental limits in industrialized countries; environmental degradation in the Third World resulting from population growth, poverty, and ill-conceived development policies.