[Durban, 6 December 2011] Speakers in a public dialogue said that climate change catastrophe not only pose a mortal danger but also lead to the destruction of the means of livelihood which threaten millions of people in the global south to become refugees. Recent studies show that around 30 million people from the coastal areas of Bangladesh, 300 thousand from the Maldives, 10 million from Vietnam, 10 million from Mediterranean Egypt, and 600 thousand from Guyana will be displaced due to loss of land as a result of climate change effects.
The public dialogue organized by the International Campaign on Climate Refugees’ Rights (ICCR) was held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal today while the civil society groups urged the global leaders to form legal framework for the displaced victims–climate refugee.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, convenor of the Campaign said “a legal safeguard protocol should be in place to ensure the political, social, cultural and economic rights of the climate refugees by the international community presently meeting under the Conference of Parties (COP-17) here in Durban, South Africa”.
HemanthaWithanage from Friends of the Earth International, Sri Lanka, a member of the network urged that “global civil society groups should come forward to build a wider constituency to claim the justice and rights of the climate induced refugees”.
Dr. AhsanUddin Ahmed, one of the authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from Bangladesh demanded to review the Geneva Convention 1951 and urged the development of a new institutional framework that guarantees rights of climate refugees providing complete respect and dignity.
Tetet Lauren from the IBON Foundation, Philippines said that financing must be allocated for the climate refugee as part of reparations outside regular assistance while the refugees deserve the right to be fully placed to live with a dignified life.
Wahoo Kaara from International Migrants Alliance stressed that the developed countries must consider not to produce any climate refugees. She demanded to ensure climate justice for all and to take immediate steps formulating new human rights protocol to assert and realize the rights of climate victims such as refugees.
Soumya Dutta from Beyond Copenhagen Campaign, India urged to build broader coalition and strengthen the constituency among the various groups to demand for climate justice for all.
The International Campaign on Climate Refugees’ Rights (ICCR) is a global independent association aiming at asserting and realizing the rights and ensuring justice to the climate induced displaced victims—climate refugees. Civil society groups from Asia, Africa and Latin/Central America consisting of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Senegal, Uganda, EL Salvador etc, are the members of this campaign while currently the secretariat is based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
For further details, contact:
Ahmed Swapan, Convenor, ICCR