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Why climate migration does not have to be a crisis | Opinion – analysis


In the first two months of the New Year and a new decade, India, a climate hotspot, welcomed two world leaders who believe that global warming is a hoax: the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. Despite its firm refusal on the phenomenon, there is more than enough scientific evidence and an anecdotal confirmation that demonstrates that the climate crisis that is developing is becoming an urgent economic, social and existential threat to people around the world.

The manifestations of the crisis, such as extreme weather events and rising sea levels, among others, are forcing people to leave their homes and homes, and move to less vulnerable places. According to the World Migration Report 2020At the end of 2018, there were a total of 28 million new internal displacements in 148 countries and territories. “Sixty-one percent [17.2 million] of these new displacements were caused by disasters, and 39% [10.8 million] they were caused by conflict and violence, “says the report.” Many more people have been displaced by disasters in a given year, compared to those newly displaced by conflict and violence, and more countries are affected by disaster displacement. ” he added.

A 2018 World Bank report (Surge), which focuses on sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America, which represent 55% of the population of the developing world, discovered that the climate crisis will push tens of millions of people to migrate within their countries by 2050. Migration is a common phenomenon. survival strategy; coping, income diversification, risk management and adaptation for people facing economic stress and adverse weather conditions.

To be sure, there are only a few cases where you can say that the climate crisis is the only factor that causes migration, says the 2019 Brookings Report (The climate crisis, migration and refugees) But the phenomenon is now increasingly recognized as a contributing factor and exacerbates migration.

In India, immigration of any kind is not always favorably seen by many state governments, and political parties consider it a useful tool to foster tension between locals and migrants. But, that movement of people, who are forced to leave their homes due to a climatic catastrophe or other factors, does not always have to end up as a crisis, if the immigration states adopt an anticipated long-term approach. to plan and factor migrants in their development strategies.

Take, for example, what Kerala has been doing for migrant workers in general. It is the only state in India that treats the welfare of migrants as the “duty of the State” and has implemented specific schemes for them. The Kerala Migrant Workers Welfare Plan offers financial support for the medical treatment of migrants and subsidies for the education of their children in the state. The plan also has provisions to compensate workers in case of injury or disability, compensation to survivors for the death of a worker and subsidies for the repatriation of the body.

Then, there is a medical insurance program with no cash and paperless benefits of ~ 15,000 per person per year, using biometric cards at any of the connected hospitals. The Apna Ghar project aims to provide accommodation in a good quality hostel with basic facilities at affordable prices for migrants. The state government has also initiated a field of legal awareness, the first of its kind in India. It is a comprehensive program that legally empowers migrant workers by raising awareness among them of the various government schemes available to them.

One of the key issues facing migrants of any kind is the identity problem because many mislead government documents while traveling through the state or natural disasters. In Rajasthan, this problem has been addressed with the government by recognizing an identity card issued by Aajeevika Bureau, an agency that works to ensure safe and dignified lives for communities that depend on migration and work, since 2008. The forms of the office capture important demographic, labor and migration data. -related information. The information is verified and the card is signed by the elected chiefs of panchayats. This registration and a photo ID create a valid database of migrants.

With the number of extreme weather events increasing rapidly and the climate crisis that ravages the agricultural sector and depletes the water tables, India will surely see an increase in the number of people moving from one state to another. “The climate crisis is not subject to artificial borders, while migration is; apparently not less when the borders are internal rather than international … “says Binod Khadria, a migration scholar and former professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University.” … however, the two are intertwined and demand concerted efforts among the states, “he adds.

While there are no official figures on climate migrants, who are mostly poor and impoverished and who did not create the climate problem in the first place, it is time for the Indian State to establish a framework that gives them ample opportunities to restart their lives. .

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The opinions expressed are personal.

Hindustan Times