A total of 9.6m people may migrate across the country due to adverse impacts of climate changes in the next forty years, predicts a recent study jointly conducted by Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) of Dhaka University and Sussex Centre for Migration Research (SCMR) of Sussex University.
The finding of the study was revealed on Wednesday at a workshop on New Knowledge on Climate Change and Migration in Bangladesh at a city hotel.
Mahfuz Anam, Editor of The Daily Star, chaired the workshop while RMMRU founding Chair Professor Tasneem Siddiqui presented the key findings.
The study revealed, a total of 5.4m people will migrate due to inland flooding, 2.3m due to storm surge and 1.9m due to river erosion.
The projection is based on historical analysis of upazila-level census data from 2001-2011. It also used predictions of global climate models and the World Bank Studies of 2001 and 2011.
Analysis shows that areas prone to flooding, storm surge and riverbank erosion have significantly lower population growth rates than areas that are not affected by such climate-hazards.
It also observed that the government is yet to develop any comprehensive policy to deal with internal migration and suggested a planned adaptation strategy to take internal migration as a tool.
In his remarks, Mahfuz Anam said climate change and migration is a vital issue in Bangladesh and addressing the issue is a huge challenge.
He also said rivers around the capital are polluted in such a way that even germs cannot survive.
Saying the initiatives and achievements of the environment ministry to save the rivers are insufficient, Mahfuz Anam raised a question: “Who is monitoring what is really delivered at field-level?”
Meanwhile, Tasneem Siddiqui said the government has no policy on internal migration, and stressed the need to formulate a policy.
Additional Secretary of Environment Ministry Aparup Chowdhury was the chief guest at the workshop while Hazrat Ali, acting secretary of Expatriates’ Welfare Ministry, was present as the special guest.