STRUCTURE OF THE PAPER. INTRODUCTIONLIMITATIONSOBJECTIVESDEFINING THE CONCEPTSREVIEW OF THE LITERATURESTABILISATION PROCESSCONCLUSIONS. INTRODUCTION. Environmental migration did not receive the same attention as other forms of migration. Globally, scholars started to reflect more on the subject after New Orleans in the USA was hit by Hurricane Katrina. Even here the language used to describe the victims was more confusing as both the US government and civil society were in denial of usi9459
1. POLITICAL STABILITY AND THE IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MIGRATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
22 October 2008
3. INTRODUCTION Environmental migration did not receive the same attention as other forms of migration.
Globally, scholars started to reflect more on the subject after New Orleans in the USA was hit by Hurricane Katrina.
Even here the language used to describe the victims was more confusing as both the US government and civil society were in denial of using either the word migrant or refugees. They could rather use the word evacuees.
4. INTRODUCTION Hence, scholars on the subject are divided on two categories: the maximalist view and the minimalist view
The question being whether the maximalists claim that environmental change is the direct cause of migration could be accepted?
If accepted, it will be a major boost to the cause for environmental migration.
5. LIMITATION OF THE PAPER BASED ON THEREVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
COULD NOT ARRIVE AT PROVEN CONCLUSIONS YET
6. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
TO GENERATE DEBATE AND PURSUE FURTHER READING ON THE SUBJECT IN AN EFFORT TO BUILD A CASE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MIGRATION AND POLITICAL STABILITY IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
7. WHY ENVIRONMENTAL MIGRATION? Oscar Alvarez Gila had noted that:
Recent research and discoveries on climate change and global warming and its spreading in mass media.
Migration as a rational consequence of the worse effects of climate and other environmental changes
Accumulated scientific evidence and increasing theoretical debates on the issue.
8. WHY ENVIRONMENTAL MIGRATION? Markandya, 2007
“There will be floods, devastated regions, and the inhabitants of a lot of territories from all around the world will be compelled to migrate in order to find a safe future. Just question of surviving” - Floods in Mozambique and the 2001 floods in Limpopo
9. WHY ENVIRONMENTAL MIGRATION? Bogardi, 2005
“… there are well-founded fears that the number of people fleeing untenable environmental conditions may grow exponentially as the world experiences the effects of climatic change and other phenomena” – the case of Hurricane Katrina and Tuvalu Island.
10. DIFFINING THE CONCEPTS In order to clear any confusion, the use of the concepts environmental migration/ refugees and both environmental and political stabilities will be defined in this section of the paper.
11. DIFFINING THE CONCEPTS ENVIRONMENTAL MIGRATION/ REFUGEE
Concise Oxford Dictionary describe the word migration to mean the movement of people from one place to the other, while describing the word emigrate to mean moving from one country to the other. In simple terms emigration involves crossing an international border, whereas migration does not necessarily to include the crossing of any border.
12. DIFFINING THE CONCEPTS The same dictionary describe the word refugee :
To mean person taking refuge, especially in foreign country from religious or political persecution or from war or earthquake.
It is the classification of people fleeing from the aftermath to the earthquake that made a convincing case for the environmental refugee or migration.
It must however be noted that migration to a larger degree accommodates the voluntary movement, whereas the word refugee to a larger degree accommodates forced removals.
13. DIFFINING THE CONCEPTS As Rebert (2006, p.26),had indicated, both the UNHCR and the Geneva Conventions does not recognize nor protect the environmental refugees, leaving millions of people unprotected from the natural disasters without any hope of receiving aid on the same scale as the other classification of the war or political refugees.
It is here, that it must be noted that from the political ecology perspectives, it will be difficult to exclude the political involvement in the whole debate as the politics will always be around.
14. DIFFINING THE CONCEPTS This is further justified by the question raised by Rebert(2006, p.25), on who should take the responsibility for environmental refugees?
As indicated (Ibid., p.24) in the same paper, “it is the human response to a situation that can turn it into a disaster”. A clear justification for what Smith, N.(2005)(cited, in Rebert (2006) argued that “there is no such a thing as a Natural Disaster”, but it is the “human response to a situation than can turn it into a disaster”.
From this explanation it becomes clear that the political ecology perspective on the environmental migration could clarify the subject better and making a linkage case between environmental migration and political stability.
15. DEFINING THE CONCEPT Even though there are other scholars who claims that environmental refugee as a term or concept has been used before El-Hinnawi (1985), Rebert, 2006 argued that there is no doubt that El-Hinnawi and Norman Myers were the first to popularize the concept and “propels” it, into the “mainstream”.
16. DEFINING THE CONCEPT With Myers (1993, p.752) further defining the term environmental refugees to mean “…people who can no longer gain a secure livelihood in their erstwhile homelands because of drought, soil erosion, desertification, and other environmental problems”
Even though the term environmental refugees had been used widely in the literature, the term will be used to mean environmental migration as Rebert, 2006, p.4 had suggested.
17. POLITICAL STABILITY The concept political stability refers:
to measures and perceptions that people and in particular international democracy monitoring groups and watch dogs that provide a reliable and resourceful opinion on the political freedom and the absence of violence in a particular country. That might also refer to the freedom of speech, expression and the ability to change government peacefully without the citizens been barracked with violence and in particular state violence or political violence.
18. Voice and Accountability
Political Stability and absence of violence
Rule of Law, and
Control of corruption.
19. HOW ENVIRO/MIGRATION AFFECT POLITICAL STABILITY Migration can have many positive effects by increasing population concentration, thereby facilitating service delivery, increasing the market for goods and creating an active citizenry.
Contributing to the economic growth of a country as those who migrate are basically skillful.
20. LITERATURE REVIEW
The literature review in this paper will look at environmental migration patterns in southern Africa and its impact on political stability.
Since the backbone of this research paper will be on its capacity to outline the understanding and the differentiation of environmental migration from other factors of migrations, its socio-political impact within southern Africa and finally its policy imperatives as a point of concern to the affected communities and government policy makers alike.
That when decisions on migrations are taken, the decision – makers need to understand that environmental migration is another form of migration and must be treated as such. This will enable the affected displaced people to qualify for protection and aids benefits like any other affected groups of forced migration.
21. LITERATURE REVIEW
Currently as stated somewhere else in this paper; the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Geneva Conventions and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) did not recognize the environmental migration as it did to other forms of migration; denying environmental refugees any legal rights, protection and qualification to aid and any form of assistance that could be provided to the locals.
These approach and the status quo in Southern Africa and South Africa in particular is due to the legacy of colonialism and apartheid alike.
22. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF ENVIRONMENTAL MIGRATION/ REFUGEES
RECENT STUDIES ON ENVIRONMENTAL MIGRATION
As indicated, of the 25 million refugees in 1995, approximately 5 million were in the Sahel in Western Africa, where 10 million people had fled from recent droughts but only half had returned to their home.
Myers bases the predictions on estimates including rises in sea-level, national population growth estimates, urbanization estimates, and poverty projections.
23. NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT (NEPAD) AND MIGRATION
Cross, C. and E. Omoluabi (in Cross, Gelderblom, Roux and Mafukidze, 2006, p.1); provided a useful insight into African Union and NEPAD’s initiative in developing Africa and liberalizing the movement or influx of people across the borders.
This two bodies as Cross et al (2006, p.1) had indicated are committed to the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, and through these to lifting the region’s population to a high standard of prosperity and democratic development. Cross et al (2006, p.1) emphasis that in order to achieve this there is a need to achieve stability, and a matching high standard of planning data needs to flow to the governments or the region.
Accordingly, Poverty Monitoring units are being established in Africa in compliance with the international thrust toward development of poverty reduction strategy papers, though this process is far from complete.
24. NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT (NEPAD) AND MIGRATION
In this light, a critical area is data and policy which has not yet been fully addressed in dealing with poverty is that of population migration on the African Continent.
Migration is one of the most direct outcomes of poverty and social disturbance, and the continent of Africa is a major theatre of migration activity – probably no other social or demographic process has as much potential to disrupt and destabilize this continent.
25. MIGRATION PATTERNS Many people in Southern Africa, preferred South Africa.
Unlike the Zimbabwean, Batswana respect the territorial independence of South Africa.
Very few people from Botswana would like to settle in South Africa.
26. POLITICAL ECOLOGY PERSPECTIVE
According to Rebert (2006, p.3), a political ecology perspective can help bridge the scientific, political, and legal divides with its unique perspective on the ways different forms of marginalization compound. It is further indicated that a political ecology perspective focuses on the ultimate causes of a problem rather than “proximate causes” adds a discourse analysis, and puts an explicitly political analysis back into ecology. It is within this perspective that the political stability of a country or a region is to be looked into as the environmental migration had a high level of sacrificing the political stability, as already discussed under the factors causing the political instability above. Rebert (2006, p.3), explain political ecology is rooted in the traditions of political economy and ecology. Citing both “Blaike and Brookfield (1987, p.17) and Robbins (2004, p.6); Rebert further noted that political ecology combines the concerns of ecology as broadly defined and political economy”.
27. Political ecology provides a radical approach to the confluence of environmental and political interaction. A political ecology perspective further disputes the notion that the apolitical environment can be the sole causal factor in any migration.
A political ecology approach seeks to understand the following questions:
What is the ultimate cause of “environmental refugee” – type migration?
What are the interests involved in an environmental refugee discourse?
Whose interests does it serve?
The perspectives structural, power, discourse, spatial, and ecological analyses that lead to a more nuanced and precise understanding of migration. First and foremost, political ecology challenges the apolitical nature of any research. The approach maintains that the choices of questions asked and or left un-asked are political.
28. Citing Hugo (1996), Rebert (2006, p.14) identifies five broad categories, which include:
Naturally induced disasters
Technologically induced disasters,
Economically induced disasters,
Politically induced disasters and
Socially induced disasters.
29. However, separating some disasters as political and others as natural or technological is problematic. Inspite of the language used in differentiating the refugees or migrants as either environmental or naturally induced disasters, the bottom line remains that someone should take responsibility for environmental refugees, ecomigrants, or climate refugees?
30. IMPACT OF MIGRATION Environmental degradation will increase pressures on the environment and may serve in the future as major root causes for migration
Climate Change has been identified as direct drivers in the ecosystems and hence likely to force migration.
31. IMPACT OF MIGRATION Enormous exodus of people and sacrificing the political stability of both the home and the host countries;
Home country experiencing loss of skillful people and
loss of productivity as the most skillful are the first to migrate.
Further, the security of the country is at stake as more people are moving away and exposing security challenge for both countries.
This will finally increase the population in the host country or region, while the home country or region will experience the reduction in the number of the population.
32. Effective systems in place
Provide relevant information and Data
Focus on Poverty Eradication Programmes
Revisal of land degradation through concrete policies
Decisiveness in policy implementation
33. Acceptance of Environmental migration
Not discriminating against other forms of migration
A great need to communicate more efficiently on the matter, and remove doubt about refugees taking or stealing other people’s livelihoods.
Strengthening institutions and policies at both national and local level.
Carr, E.R. (2005) Placing the environment in migration: environment, economy, and power in Ghana’s Central Region. Environment and Planning A 2005, Volume 37, pp. 925-945.
Cross, C.; Gelderblom, D.; Roux, N. and J. Mafukize (2006) Views on migration in Sub-Saharan Africa: Proceedings of an African Migration Alliance Workshop. Cape Town, HSRC Press.
Rebert, T.S. (2006) The Rising Flood? Environmental Refugees in a Political Ecology Perspective. 15 December.
Renaud, F., Bogardi, J.J., Dun, O. and K. Warner. Environmental Degradation and Migration
35. CONCLUSION THANK YOU FOR LISTENING