Published | 30th June 2009 in search of shelter front cover

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In Search of Shelter

Mapping the effects of climate change on human migration and displacement

The impacts of climate change are already causing migration and displacement. Although the exact number of people that will be on the move by mid-century is uncertain, the scope and scale could vastly exceed anything that has occurred before.

People in the least developed countries and island states will be affected first and worst. The consequences for almost all aspects of development and human security could be devastating. There may also be substantial implications for political stability. Most people will seek shelter in their own countries while others cross borders in search of better odds. Some displacement and migration may be prevented through the implementation of adaptation measures. However, poorer countries are underequipped to support widespread adaptation. As a result, societies affected by climate change may find themselves locked into a downward spiral of ecological degradation, towards the bottom of which social safety nets collapse while tensions and violence rise.

This report explores how environmental shocks and stresses, especially those related to climate change, can push people to leave their homes in search of “greener pastures” or just to survive. The report helps policy-makers and development actors make informed decisions by providing knowledge on the linkages between environmental change, displacement and migration.

In Search of Shelter is also available in German.

Contact us for a copy in Vietnamese or to request the high resolution maps used in this report.

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