Climate Refugees and the San Blas Islands

There’s no escaping the current migrant “crisis” in Europe at the moment. Stories of the migrants’ trials and experiences top the continent’s evening news broadcasts and newspaper headlines, and dominate discussions in legislative halls across the EU.

But it’s only the beginning. And whether we admit or not, there really won’t be any clear end in sight. Before we know it, these mass migrations, like many in the past, will become the new normal. It’s best we start accepting it and getting used to it now.

The current crisis reminded me of this post about Panama’s sinking San Blas Islands, where today’s Pic du Jour was taken. While refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are mainly fleeing war and violence, you can expect climate refugees, from places like the San Blas, to join them very soon.

From the post:

‘Climate refugee’ began to appear in the lexicon about two decades ago, a term describing those forced to flee the impacts of climate change. Those living in low-lying areas are particularly vulnerable as the polar icecaps continue to melt and sea levels rise.

In Bangladesh, one of the most extreme examples, scientists say that rising sea levels will cover 17 percent of the land and displace about 18 million people by 2050.

The Pacific islands of Tuvalu and Kiribati are expected to disappear by 2100, creating entire stateless populations.  The New York Times reported in March that Kiribati has already purchased 6,000 acres on Fiji “to protect its food security as the sea encroaches on its arable land – and possibly, in the future, to relocate its residents.” Fiji itself is already relocating residents from outlying islands to higher ground. The Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean face a similar scenario.

If you missed it, check out the post. It includes a few dozens photos from the exceptionally beautiful islands and some travel notes. And plan your visit soon. They’ll likely be gone within the next thirty years.

 

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  1. Jean Reinhardt says

    Great post on a problem that belongs to each and every one of us on this planet we share.

  2. pixieannie says

    That’s a terrifying number…. I don’t think that many people worry about what the future may hold for the inhabitants of these beautiful islands. Personally, I think that once one county opens its doors and starts allowing more than a handful of immigrants in at a time, others will follow suit. However, there’s also a danger that some will think, ‘not in my back yard’ but they need and deserve a home. If the tables were turned, I wonder how many people would feel in that situation? Desperate and grief stricken.

  3. Donna Marie says

    HI Bob i have nominated for the blogging sunshine award.

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