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  • Thursday, October 13, 2005

    50m Environmental Refugees by End of Decade

    From the Guardian via Common Dreams :

    Rising sea levels, desertification and shrinking freshwater supplies will create up to 50 million environmental refugees by the end of the decade, experts warn today. Janos Bogardi, director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University in Bonn, said creeping environmental deterioration already displaced up to 10 million people a year, and the situation would get worse.

    "There are well-founded fears that the number of people fleeing untenable environmental conditions may grow exponentially as the world experiences the effects of climate change," Dr Bogardi said. "This new category of refugee needs to find a place in international agreements. We need to better anticipate support requirements, similar to those of people fleeing other unviable situations."

    The Red Cross says environmental disasters already displace more people than war. Such people are currently not recognised under international agreements as refugees, Dr Bogardi said, so are denied access to assistance received by victims of violence or political persecution.

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