Indo-Pacific Explainer: Climate Change Migration

What is climate change migration?

Climate change migration describes people being forced to flee their homes because of the impacts of climate change. They can flee either within their country and become an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) or to another country and become a climate refugee. Multiple factors influence why a person may decide to migrate, such as social and economic factors, but the physical effects of climate change have proven to be a major one.

Low-lying, developing island nations are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This includes many Indo-Pacific nations, such as the Maldives, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, and Kiribati. Long-term environmental changes, such as rising sea levels, or short-term environmental changes, such as extreme weather events, can cause erosion, contaminate fresh water, create flooding, and permanently damage agricultural land.

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