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  RAED's side event during Rio+20

The Role of Climate Induced Displacement on Socio Economic Development

(submitted by RAED)


The first side event for RAED was on June 17th 2012 titled The Role of Climate Induced Displacement on Socio Economic Development that was attended by more than seventy participants from all over the world.

The event was designed to discuss the impact of disasters and particularly climate change on displacement of communities in MENA countries through four presentations from different dimensions and points of view to figure out the relationship between international efforts and regional and national efforts.

Side Event Procedures;
It is now twenty years after RIO where the UNFCCC was adopted by the world leaders. Since then, the IPCCC has warned from the adverse impact of climate change. Millions of people will be affected by shoreline erosion, flooding, drought, agricultural disruption forcing them to flee their home lands. Natural disaster has caused the displacement of over 36 and 42 million people in 2008 & 2010 respectively where climate change is assumed as a factor.
 Basic Facts
·         The region faces the worst water scarcity in the world—up to 100 million people could be under water stress by 2050, e.g. Sanaa may be the first city to run out of water.
·         The Arab countries are expected to see increased temperatures of at least 2° Celsius in 15-20 years; and an increase of +4° C by 2100
·         The region is facing increased risk of floods, droughts, and landslides. Moreover, increases in temperature will exacerbate these climate-related hazards.
·         Because of its reliance on rain fed agriculture – the region’s agricultural output could decrease 20-40% by 2080 with decreased rainfall.
·         Water and vector-borne diseases are increasing due to increases in temperature.
·         Displacement and migration are becoming increasingly important issues due to the changing climate

Accordingly, climate induced displacement could be foreseen as a "human security" issue that requires international action as well as conceptualizing the needs of displaced people. There is a Major role to be played by civil society to support governments in facing climate displacement in the most vulnerable countries such as the Arab ones.  


The Arab region's minimal contribution to climate change through its limited greenhouse gas emissions, at less than 5% of the global figure, is dwarfed by the region's immense vulnerabilities to climate change noteably due to water scarcity and recurrent drought.  This is also coupled with challenges such as overpopulation growth, ecosystem degradation, weak governance structure, social injustice and most essential natural hazards. In that regard, the world leaders are gathered 20 years after RIO to renew their political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development

The objective of the side event was to develop a common understanding on climate displacement and its impact on socio economic development in the Arab countries.
1-              Advocating for a regional  effective response to climate displacement
2-              Identification of mechanisms to overcome policy, institutional, financial challenges to  climate displacement
3-            Establish an ongoing dialogue between governmental and non-governmental organizations to discuss required measures to face climate displacement.
The Side Event composed of four presentations:
1.       Evolution of the climate induced displacement and its relation to socio economic development.
2.       Climate Displacement in the Arab world: This highlighted the impact of climate change on the Arab countries showing its effect on natural disaster. The presentation showed challenges facing the Arab world to deal with climate displacement.
3.       Egypt and Climate Displacement: The presentation showed the Types of Climate Migrants, Overview of Migration in Egypt, Climate Change impact on Egypt, Climate Change Induced Migration, The case of Sinai, Features of climate change in Sinai (community perspective), Economic impact of climate change (plant, animal production, fishing), Challenges of Climate induced Displacement and the Recommended Interventions
4.       Opportunities for cooperation: It highlighted the best practices and lessons learnt from other countries to identify the required mechanisms to face the climate displacement in the Arab world highlighting the roles of various stakeholders. The presentation covered Forms of Climate Induced Displacement, Socio & Economic Risks of Displacement, Refugees and Displaced Populations (1964- 2008), Experiences from other countries, Humanitarian vs Development perspectives, Where to go and How to get there?

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