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U.N. warns of 'environmental refugees'
ap on Yahoo ^ | 10/11/05 | Erica Bulman - ap

Posted on 10/11/2005 7:04:47 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

GENEVA - Declining soil fertility, drought, deforestation and other gradual environmental problems could force up to 50 million people from their homes in coming years, U.N. experts predicted Tuesday.

Rising sea levels, expanding deserts and catastrophic weather-induced flooding have already contributed to large permanent migrations and could eventually displace hundreds of millions of people, said the United Nations University's Institute for Environment and Human Security in Bonn, Germany.

"There are well-founded fears that the number of people fleeing untenable environmental conditions may grow exponentially as the world experiences the effects of climate change and other phenomena," said Janos Bogardi, the director of the institute.

The U.N. refugee agency estimates the current number of refugees worldwide at 19.2 million. But UNU says the number of people forced to move because of environmental deterioration already equals and may someday dwarf that number.

Amid such predictions, the institute is urging the international community to "define, recognize and extend support" for such refugees.

Victims of sudden and highly publicized catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina or the 2004 tsunami in Asia benefit from the generosity of the private and public sectors as well as humanitarian relief, UNU said. But millions of others around the world, uprooted by more gradual environmental change receive comparatively little support and are not recognized as "refugees" with the associated benefits, it said.

Among the examples cited by the institute was the Gobi desert in China, which it said expands more than 4,000 square miles per year, threatening many villages. In Turkey 62,000 square miles of farmlands are affected by soil erosion.

Louisiana now loses roughly 25 square miles of land to the sea every year, according to Anthony Oliver-Smith, an anthropology professor at the University of Florida. In Alaska, 213 communities are threatened by tides that creep roughly 10 feet farther inland each year.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: environmental; refugees; unitednations; warns

1 posted on 10/11/2005 7:04:56 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

I wonder if they include anyone from Zimbabwe - oh that's right, Mugabe has already bribed the proper officials, that's not a problem.


2 posted on 10/11/2005 7:11:10 PM PDT by Brett66 (Where government advances and it advances relentlessly freedom is imperiled -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: NormsRevenge
Maybe if they learn to manage their land they wouldn't have problems. This does sound like more UN chicken little bs to me.
3 posted on 10/11/2005 7:13:34 PM PDT by satchmodog9 (Free choice is not what it seems)
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To: NormsRevenge

A UN that looked blandly on at Rwanda and Darfur tells us this?


4 posted on 10/11/2005 7:15:41 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: NormsRevenge
Among the examples cited by the institute was the Gobi desert in China, which it said expands more than 4,000 square miles per year, threatening many villages. In Turkey 62,000 square miles of farmlands are affected by soil erosion.

Soil conservation methods which have been used in this country for 70 years can go a long way toward alleviating this problem, without delving into the practices of the enviral wacko left. Louisiana now loses roughly 25 square miles of land to the sea every year, according to Anthony Oliver-Smith, an anthropology professor at the University of Florida. In Alaska, 213 communities are threatened by tides that creep roughly 10 feet farther inland each year.

The Netherlands and Belgium have been fighting this battle for centuries, and not without more than a little success. Left to nature, a large part of these countries would have become part of the North Sea long before anyone ever hypothesized about "global warming".

5 posted on 10/11/2005 7:21:02 PM PDT by Morgan's Raider
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To: NormsRevenge

We are domed, wymen and aborted chilren hit hardest. We need Klintoon to save the UN and the interns!


6 posted on 10/11/2005 7:51:48 PM PDT by Leo Carpathian (FReeeePeee!)
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