Desertification and climate refugees (Algeria 2006)

Desertification Will Create Climate Refugees


Read at IGLO – International Action on Global Warming

“In a conference in Algeria December 17-19 2006, international delegates discussed issues surrounding desertification and policy. One of the most critical problems affecting those who live in dry areas, particularly in North Africa, is forced migration due to droughts caused by global warming. Scientists estimate that more than 135 million environmental refugees will be uprooted from their homes and livelihoods by the lack of fresh water. Increasingly frequent and severe climate extremes will cause entire communities to relocate in search of water.

The conference was part of the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, organized by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in 2006 as a way to raise global awareness of the issues facing more than 1 billion people living in dry regions and to raise funds for land degradation projects to occur in 2007-2010. Criticized from its inception by many scientists and environmental advocates, the year boosted the credibility of the UNCCD, which pledged to better publicize its work and link it with climate change and national security issues.”

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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