The 18th Session of the Conference of the Parties is nearing its end in Doha. Among the topics receiving attention is how to integrate migration considerations into adaptation strategies and programs. The International Organization for Migration hosted a side event on December 03 exploring the significance of migration in the context of adaptation to climate change.
If a frog is placed in a boiling caldron, it will immediately jump out to safety. If the same frog is placed in water, which is slowly heated to boiling, the frog will tranquilly remain and eventually die from overheating.
This biological anecdote is frequently utilized as a metaphor for our political state of affairs over global climate change. As the planet slowly heats and succumbs to gradual change we unwittingly accustomize without sensing the dangers that await us. The lessons from this phenomenon also encompass the state of our cities and the transport sector.
Manila has the distinction of being one of seven cities globally judged to be at extreme risk from the combined impacts of climate change and climate-related disasters – and only Dhaka in Bangladesh is estimated to be at higher overall risk.
I am not an environment or climate change expert, but I am an environmentalist out of conviction. When I was 14 years old I wrote a letter to the German Minister of Environment asking for faster policy action to reduce green house gas emissions.
Climate change these days is the new development buzzword, and rising sea levels and drought incidences highlight the increasing urgency for action. Yet for some reason, there is disconnect between the high level commitment to action and the carrying out of projects that effect change.
The human and economic toll from natural disasters since global leaders met at the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 has been staggering. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction estimates that natural disasters caused 1.3 million deaths and $2 trillion in economic damage worldwide since then.
Thankfully, the eventual impact of Cyclone Mahasen on South Asia was softer than feared before it struck land this past week. However, the storm still left dozens dead and caused the precautionary evacuation or subsequent displacement of one million persons living in coastal areas around the Bay of Bengal.
Picture this: rapid urbanization and massive infrastructure development and people trapped in outdated polluting transportation, escalating environmental degradation and deforestation, rising potable water shortages and food security concerns, extreme climate change occurrences and growing disaster risks.
The effects of global climate change are multifaceted. Pacific nations are highly vulnerable to the impacts, including intensified storm surges, cyclones, and rising sea levels.
Preparation reduces the damage caused by typhoons, earthquakes and other hazards, but sometimes the power of nature overwhelms all.