PC 414: Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation.
Module 10: Climate change migration and relocation in the Pacific Islands. CLO 4: Develop a working knowledge of a systematic framework for adaptation policy and projects. Learning Outcomes: • Definitions • Rationale for understanding climate change migration • Provide examples of climate change migration and relocations in the Pacific Islands • Identify the implications of climate change migration in the Pacific Islands. Key Readings: • Campbell, J. R. (2014). Climate-change migration in the Pacific. The Contemporary Pacific 26 (1): 1 -28. • UNESCAP. (2014). Climate Change and Migration Issues in the Pacific. Accessed from: http: //www. unescap. org/sites/default/files/Climate. Change-and-Migration-Issues-in-the-Pacific. pdf. • Campbell, J. (2010). Climate change and population movement in Pacific Island Countries: pp. 29 -50. Accessed from: igps. victoria. ac. nz/publications/files/f 25928 e 2182. pdf • Barnett, J and Webber, M. (2010). Accommodating migration to promote adaptation to climate change. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series. University of Melbourne, Melbourne. • UNESCAP. 2014. Climate Change and Migration Issues in the Pacific. Accessible Online: https: //www. youtube. com/results? search_query=climate+change+relocation+in+the+Pacific+Islands+ • UN. 2014. Climate change migration issues in the Pacific Islands. UNESCAP, UNDP, and EU. Accessed from: www. ilo. org/dyn/migpractice/docs/261/Pacific. pdf
Definitions: Migration: the process of moving within or across borders, temporarily, seasonally, or permanently. It is commonly associated with an element of choice, and is often considered to be voluntary in nature, or sometimes forced (Stapleton et. al, 2017). Planned Relocation: is an organized form of movement of people, which is instigated, supervised and carried out by the state. It is usually undertaken transparently with the informed consent of the community concerned, and with adequate provisions for reestablishing lives and livelihoods in the new destination (Mc. Adam and Ferris, 2015; Warner et al. , 2015). This movement is often likely to be permanent, rather than seasonal, but can also occur where people or groups of people are moved from places of temporary residence. Planned relocation is undertaken to protect people from risks and impacts related to disasters and environmental change, such as effects of climate change. However, such movements are also influenced by other non-climatic factors, including land use change or natural resource extraction Displacement: refers to situations where people are forced from their homes as direct result of slow or quick onset events. For example in the case of a severe flood, sea-level rise, drought, or political unrest forcing people from their homes (Stapleton et. al, 2017 and IOM, 2009).
Rationale for Understanding Climate Change Migration • Climate change will have significant impacts on the environment, ecosystems, and populations across the globe. Surface temperatures are projected to rise significantly over the 21 st century and will likely result in frequent and longer occurrence of heat waves, extreme frequency and intensity of rainfall, and the continuous warming of the ocean, and the rise of global sea-level (Adger et. al, 2014). • Many of these events have already materialized across the globe and Pacific Islands are among the most affected by these threats (Mimura et. al, 2007 and Hulme, 2009). Rising temperatures and global mean sea-level rise would likely result in the permanent displacement of many populations and coastal communities as their homes become uninhabitable. • Watch the video to understand the link between climate change and migration. • It is therefore crucial to understand the impacts of climate change and the causes of human migration and displacement, the different processes involved, and the benefits and challenges associated with these movements to ensure proper planning and coordination in the long term, especially in the Pacific Islands context. Figure 1: Global average surface temperature change (a) and global mean sea level rise 10 (b) from 2006 to 2100 as determined by multi-model simulations. All changes are relative to 1986– 2005. Time series of projections and a measure of uncertainty (shading) are shown for scenarios RCP 2. 6 (blue) and RCP 8. 5 (red). The mean and associated uncertainties averaged over 2081– 2100 are given for all RCP scenarios as colored vertical bars at the right hand side of each panel. The number of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP 5) models used to calculate the multimodel mean is indicated.
Drivers of Climate Change Migration • • • Environmental Drivers. Eg: natural hazards, food and water shortages Social Drivers. Eg: Education, family Political Drivers. Eg: Discrimination and persecution Economic Drivers. Eg. Economic crisis Demographic Drivers. Eg: Overpopulation (See Diagram below for how these drivers influence decisions to migrate or to stay) Figure 2: Shows the different drivers of migration across the globe and how they influence the decision of people whether to migrate or stay.
Climate Change impacts that influence migration and relocation of Pacific people. Climate drivers: Include slow-onset climate processes and changes. For example; • Sea level rise (coastal erosion, storm surges). • Drought. • Heavy rainfall. • Monsoon storms. • Tropical cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons. • Ocean acidification. • Changing weather patterns Non-climate drivers: Include slow onset processes and events that are not influenced by climate change but are often exacerbated by climate change processes and events, which then force people to migrant. For example; • Overpopulation • Economic crisis • Political unrest. • Natural disasters caused by anthropogenic activities such as pollution, volcanic eruption, logging, protected areas, and mining.
Implications of climate change migration in the Pacific Islands are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts due to their physical features, small economies, and remoteness. Migration comprises of both opportunities and challenges for the people moving, for the host population, and for those who remained behind. In the context where a few family members migrate while others remain, it can lead to both increased responsibilities for those migrating and vulnerability for those who remained behind. Movements of individuals and groups of people as a result of climate change involve a complex process. It involves more than just the physical movement of people affected from their present homes to new locations, but it also implicates other challenges. Opportunities: • Safe location • Remittances • Decrease of vulnerability • Food and Water Security • Better livelihoods • Reduce pressure on resources and land for remaining population Challenges • Costly process • Poverty & conflict • Joblessness & landlessness • Marginalization • Loss of ancestral land, culture values, and identity • Limited access to land resources • No political will • Increase vulnerability and food and water insecurity
Examples of climate change relocation and migration in the Pacific Carteret Islands (Bougainville): sea level rise and salinization land. Taro Island (Solomon Islands): Sea level rise, salt water Vunidogoloa (Fiji): Sea level rise, coastal erosion, storm surges.
Examples of natural disasters relocation and displacement There are many communities across the Pacific Islands that have been relocated as a result of non-climatic events, such as natural disasters. • Titiana Village (Solomon Islands): 2007 tsunami. Tukuraki village (Fiji): 2012 landslide. • Ambae island (Vanuatu): 2018 Volcano Eruption Fiji Islands: 2016 Tropical Cyclone
Conclusion: • Climate change relocation and migration is inevitable. • According to IPCC 5 th Assessment report: It is projected that sea level rise will lead to permanent displacements of many coastal communities. An estimation of 12 million people will likely be displaced by 2030. Migration is therefore used as an adaptation strategy to help reduce risks in highly vulnerable places. • Although, it is seen as the last resort for Pacific Islands like Tuvalu and Kiribati, it is already taking place in many countries across the region. • Pacific Islands should be preparing for this inevitable process so that the potential challenges likely to be encountered can be minimized.