Asia and the Pacific will be amongst the global regions most affected by the impacts of climate change. Countries of the region are particularly vulnerable because of a high degree of exposure to environmental risks and large population. In recent years, Asia and the Pacific has undergone massive and rapid socioeconomic transformation.
Migration within countries, especially from rural to urban areas, has become significant. Countries and populations of Asia and the Pacific will be affected by climate change in different ways, leading to various migration scenarios. Cross-border migration is likely to increase. Already, the region is home to the most important source of international migrants worldwide.
In 2010, more than 30 million people in Asia and the Pacific were displaced by environmental disasters, such as storms and floods. Many returned home, but others did not. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, and over time induce significant sea-level rise. At the same time, the region’s population, now around 4 billion, continues to increase. These developments will result in growing numbers of people on the move for reasons that include environmental factors.
In September 2010, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched a technical assistance project to develop policy recommendations to address climate-induced migration in Asia and the Pacific. The project is also considering options to finance actions related to climate-induced migration. This unique project aims to stimulate thinking and action by concerned stakeholders and decision-makers on the local, national, regional, and global levels.
On the afternoon of 13 September 2011, ADB will organize a workshop on climate-induced migration in the Philippines at its Manila headquarters. The workshop will consider findings of research on environmental displacement in the country, as well as the domestic relevance of ADB policy recommendations on climate-induced migration. The workshop seeks to share knowledge, generate discussion and awareness, and promote action to address the forced displacement of individuals by environmental events.
About 40 participants from government, international agencies, NGOs, universities, and research organizations are expected to attend.