Before they became climate immigrants, Whale bay For more than a century, she has lived on Cardoso Island, a secluded, wildlife-rich community about 170 miles southwest of São Paulo.As KesalasDescendants of native Brazilians, blacks, and Europeans living along the coast, many of the local people’s traditions are based on their relationship with the surrounding ocean, marshes, and mangroves. But in the 1990s, when the locals noticed that the ocean was getting closer to their home, the situation changed. By 2015, the fine sand separating the community from the sea was only 72 feet. Less than two years later, the gap narrowed to 39 feet.
The government gave the community two options: relocate to the nearest city-where they risk losing many traditions-or move to an unfamiliar community on the same island. Many members of the community feel that these two situations are inappropriate, and they say that their identity is too closely linked to the environment.
“I take my broken heart,” resident Débora Mendonça said in an interview with a refugee-focused publication Mandatory immigration review“It is here that we created ourselves.”
According to the latest UN report, climate migration is already a hot topic, and the world is getting hotter and hotter. But “successful” retreat from rising seas, worsening wildfires and floods or more severe droughts does not just mean relocating people from point A to point B. Ideally, this transition also includes a certain level of cultural competence and data collection-something experts say, governments in South America and other regions should consider it as soon as possible.
“We know that climate change will increase disasters, and we know that these disasters will merge with pre-existing vulnerabilities [like poverty] And create a breeding ground for immigrants,” said Brazilian lawyer Erika Pires Ramos, co-founder of the South American Environmental Migration Network (Resama). During the 2017 climate relocation, she worked with Enseada da Baleia community cooperates. The village does not want to move to an area chosen by the government, but wants to choose a place for itself that they think is culturally and environmentally suitable.
Although the residents of Enseada da Baleia eventually relocated to a new, more inland location on the same island and paid for the relocation themselves, Pires Ramos believes that their plight shows how climate migration is neglected in most parts of Latin America : If countries don’t know who the climate migrants are, Pires Ramos said that migrants are—what they need, where they come from, or why they leave—they will not be able to help them or stop new immigrants from the same region. “Now, climate migration is invisible in our region.”
According to a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last week, the northeastern corner of South America and most of Central America are expected to become hotter and drier in the coming decades. However, the report only insists on the physical sciences of climate change; the IPCC expects to analyze the impact of these changes next year.
“You can’t say anything clear about what will happen to immigrants in the region [latest] Predict,” explained Susanna Adamo, A research scientist at Columbia University’s International Earth Science Information Network Center.She said that immigration is a complex process that responds to many factors, including how the government will mitigate these physical changes, or how much drought will affect things like agriculture and energy production (about half of Latin America’s energy comes from Hydropower).
But advocates like Pires Ramos say there is enough evidence to make people worry. Research in the past It has been shown that extreme heat and drought are more closely related to migration than other changes in climate and weather patterns (such as increased rainfall) (depending on the circumstances, this may be a positive thing). And a landmark 2018 World Bank Report It was found that by 2050, due to water shortages, reduced crop yields, and rising sea levels, Latin America will have 9.4-17 million people migrated.
Central and South America are no strangers to human activities, saying Pablo Esribano, An immigration, environment and climate change expert in the Americas and the Caribbean, working in the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Domestic immigrants—when people are resettled within the same country—have a good record across the region. In the past decade, nearly 11 million South Americans have been resettled or temporarily moved domestically due to natural disasters. But Esribano said that when it comes to Latin American immigrants caused by low-grade fever emergencies such as drought, these data are almost non-existent.
For example, Mexico is the only country in the region that plans to include a question in its national census that asks whether someone has left their home for climate-related reasons. The Latin American Observatory on Human Movement, Climate Change and Disasters included a report Find Recent analysis. Similarly, there is No climate-related migration status In most Latin American countries. Although a few countries such as Argentina and Brazil have some kind of “disaster emergency visa”, these authorizations are temporary and do not contain many detailed information about the reasons for the relocation.
According to data from the Observatory on Human Movement, Climate Change and Disasters in Latin America, countries generally fail Collect follow-up actions to immigrants within a few days of the climate-related emergency. The lack of data makes it impossible to know where the displaced groups will eventually go-this information helps resource management and policy design.
Collecting better data and predicting an increase in resettlement related to extreme weather can help countries respond more effectively to the needs of climate migrants. This transformation has already taken place in some Latin American countries.For example, in Peru, a multi-agency team is developing a plan to prevent and manage climate migration. Its tasks include National Climate Change Act. Uruguay, a small coastal country between Brazil and Argentina, already has National Resettlement Plan; Chilean officials have established an immigration and disaster risk management committee whose mission is to use preventive methods to respond to environmental emergencies including climate change.
Although the IPCC’s sixth assessment of climate impact, adaptation, and vulnerability will not be released until last year, Pires Ramos said that she believes that countries should not wait too long to understand the gap between climate change and climate migration. Connect. “Human activity will be accompanied by the predicted temperature rise observed by the IPCC,” she said. “And we can’t always think and plan to take action in October 2030 and 2040. The report is clear: we need to think now and act now. As the climate shifts – well, we need to act before yesterday.”