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The Impact of Climate Change on the Migration Problem

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Institute of Mediterranean Studies have organised a conference to analyse the development and consequences of Climate Change in North Africa
evento-cambio-climatico-naumann

ATALAYAR  -   Conference organised by the Friederich Naumann Foundation

El cambio climático es uno de los desafíos más importantes, si no el más importante, al que se enfrenta la comunidad internacional en los últimos años. El futuro del planeta y su habitabilidad depende en gran medida de la actuación de los gobiernos, y lo primero que hay que tener claro es que estas medidas no pueden esperar, hay que tomarlas de inmediato. Si esto no se hace, los expertos dicen que podríamos entrar en una situación de no retorno en un futuro muy próximo.
 
Sin embargo, la complejidad del problema requiere un análisis holístico del cambio climático y la disparidad en el grado en que puede afectar a diferentes partes del mundo. Una de las regiones que puede verse más afectada es el norte de África y el Sahel debido al sector agrícola dependiente del clima y la precaria situación de muchos de los países de esta región.For this reason, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, together with the Institute of Mediterranean Studies (IEMed), has organised a conference to analyse the development and consequences of climate change in the region.

evento-naumann-cambio-climatico
ATALAYAR - Conference organised by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation

The talk, moderated by Xavier Aragall, director of the Euromed survey programme at IEMed, entitled "Climate change as a cause of flight today: understanding factors, developing opportunities in the Sahel Zone, West Africa and the Maghreb" was attended by several leading experts such as Matías Ibáñez, head of IEMed's Sustainable Development and Regional Integration Programme; Amal El Ouassif, specialist in International Relations at the Policy Center for the New South in Morocco; and Anna Ferro, director of Migration and Development CeSPI- Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale in Italy.
 
One of the fundamental aspects on which the meeting on Climate Change focused was the impact that it could have on the problem of migration and the effects that it could have on it. Emphasis was placed on the absence of migration in the SDG (sustainable development goals) no. 13, and how important it would be to make a direct mention of it because it can pose direct risks to the population in terms of health, water or energy. In addition, it can also affect security, access to resources, and lead to political tension, as well as problems of development and implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

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ATALAYAR - Conference organised by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation

"30 million people could be forced to leave North Africa as a result of climate change and become forced migrants," said Matías Ibáñez. The head of IEMed's Sustainable Development and Regional Integration Programme calls these people "Climate Change Refugees" - he himself admits that it is a name that is far from the real situation, but it does give the problem that these people are suffering the importance it requires. When the reason for their migration is studied, Climate Change is never pointed out directly, which makes the problem even worse because the real number of people affected by it is not counted.

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ATALAYAR - Conference organised by the Friederich Naumann Foundation

Anna Ferro pointed out another of the most important problems, which is the difference that exists between countries in the importance given to Climate Change. Some do not give the issue the level of importance it deserves and leave aside initiatives that could alleviate some of the effects that are seriously affecting the economies of the Sahel. One of these is the case of the drought affecting this region, which is one of the most important challenges, especially considering that the agricultural sector is fundamental to the economy of many of these countries.
 
This is precisely one of the challenges to which Amal El Ouassif also referred. He points out that around 80% of people currently living in rural areas are seeking to move to urbanised areas because of the difficulties they face.La gran mayoría de la migración provocada por el cambio climático será dentro de las fronteras de los propios estados, como también señaló Matías Ibáñez. Esto, unido a que gran parte de la población no le da a la crisis climática la importancia que requiere, agrava aún más los efectos de uno de los problemas más importantes que enfrenta el mundo en este momento.