Faster than a melting glacier?

Defining the phenomenon as climate migration


Our Correspondent October 12, 2015
PHOTO: FILE

GILGIT:


The Global Climate Risk Index 2014 ranks Pakistan third after Haiti and the Philippines in the list of top ten countries most affected by climatic phenomena. It states the country lost at least 650 people in floods and monsoon activity in 2012. The 2014 index, developed by GermanWatch, looks at the impact of weather-related events based on data available from 1993 to 2012.


Without even taking a look down south in Karachi where close to 1,200 people died in an unprecedented heatwave, 2015 is already breaking records in climate related devastation. In Chitral, approximately 300,000 people were displaced after glacial lake outburst floods.

Karakoram International University Assistant Professor Muhammad Zafar has called such displacement “climate-induced migration”. He says he coined the term because the migration “has been forced on inhabitants by climate change.”

“This form of climate-induced migration and displacement is likely to become one of the most challenging problems in the future,” says Zafar. “Over the next decade, many people in South Asia and Southeast Asia will be forced to leave their homes because of climate change.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2015.

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