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Thread: Enviromental Degradation

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Enviromental Degradation

    Millions 'will flee degradation'

    One of the biggest sources of refugees is land degradation and desertification

    Janos Bogardi
    There will be as many as 50 million environmental refugees in the world in five years' time.
    That is the conclusion of experts at the United Nations University, who say that a new definition of "environmental refugee" is urgently needed.

    They believe that already environmental degradation forces as many people away from their homes as political and social unrest.

    The UNU issued its statement to mark UN Day for Disaster Reduction.

    "There are many different environmental issues involved and there can be interactions between them," said Janos Bogardi, director of the United Nations University's Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn, Germany.

    "In poorer rural areas especially, one of the biggest sources of refugees is land degradation and desertification, which may be caused by unsustainable land use interacting with climate change, amplified by population growth," he told the BBC News website.

    "A second issue is flooding, caused I would say by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere super-imposed with probably some natural fluctuations."

    Worse than wars

    The projected figure of 50 million is derived from a number of previous reports, including the 1999 World Disasters Report from the International Red Cross.

    This calculated that natural disasters in the previous year had created more refugees than wars or other armed conflicts.

    It said that falling soil fertility, drought, flooding and deforestation drove 25 million people from their homes, with many of these environmental refugees joining already fragile urban squatter communities.


    Environmental refugees need better protection, says the UNU
    The UNU believes that environmental refugees need better protection than they have now, and in order for that to happen, there needs to be an accepted definition of their situation.

    The 1951 Convention relating to the State of Refugees defines refugees as people having a "...well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion..."

    "We need to define what we mean by political, economic and environmental refugees," said the UNU's Rector Hans van Ginkel.

    "If we define the problem better, we can prepare for the level of need to be catered for," he told the BBC News website.

    Another issue is that historically, people are considered refugees only when they go to another country, whereas as Hurricane Katrina has graphically shown, those displaced by environmental damage often remain within their native country.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Buttmunch...you're starting to depress me. It's always bad news from you!

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Sorry! I did post 'dumb criminal of the week' in random.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Instead of coming up with cute little official names or classifications, wasting millions of dollars and years of time, maybe the UN should take it upon itself to go to these areas and help stop the desertification, teach PROPER land use and soil anchoring techniques.

    Talk, talk talk talk... shut up and DO SOMETHING. Hell, if the people in the space shuttle get all depressed when they go into orbit because they can see our planet rotting in full view, you know something needs to be done.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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