The effects of climate change are among the drivers of migration

Photo credit: Irish Examiner

We need to address deep-rooted causes of African migration

by Michael Werz and Max Hoffman

They say the effects of climate change, such as drought, flooding and the undermining of agriculture, are among the drivers of migration and policymakers need to face up to that.

The migrant crisis in the Mediterranean is symptomatic of deep dislocation in the Sahel region and sub-Saharan Africa — dislocation exacerbated by climate change.

Climate change is affecting such basic environmental conditions as rainfall patterns and temperatures and is contributing to more frequent natural disasters like floods and droughts.

Over the long term, these changing conditions can undermine the rural livelihoods of farming, herding and fishing. The resulting rural dislocation is a factor in people’s decisions to migrate.

Migratory decisions are complex, of course, and nobody would argue that climate change is the only factor driving them. But climate change cannot be ignored. The second-order effects of climate change — undermined agriculture and competition for water and food resources — can contribute to instability and to higher numbers of migrants.

Read the full article: Irish Examiner

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