Migration caused by environmental degradation


Migration is occurring in the former Soviet Union due to environmental degradation, and it is likely to worsen. There are many migrants who have been pushed from their homelands by a variety of causes, including loss of forests, inadequate fish stocks, water scarcity, etc. Approximately 2-3 million of the refugees in the FSU could be attributed to environmental problems (excluding migrants from nuclear power plant problems like Chernobyl). 30,000 people are leaving the Aral Sea area annually.

Recurrent droughts have driven large-scale migration in Africa. Large population movements - not just internationally but also within nations - have been a source of tension, instability, environmental degradation, and, at times, violence. There are an estimated 18 million cross-border environmental refugees today and another 20 million people internally displaced, living in temporary, refugee-like conditions. These refugees are not always welcome, and tensions can lead to violence as they did in Senegal when hundreds of migrants were killed in the wake of the 1973 drought, or in India when 1,700 Bengalis were massacred in 1983.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST