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  1. 1

    Are environmental refugees refused?

    Boon EK; Le Tra T

    Studies of Tribes and Tribals. 2007 Dec; 5(2):85-95.

    The term "environmental refugees" describes a new kind of mass human casualty caused by negative ecological impacts during the last decades. It has been estimated that 25 million environmental refugees are on the move worldwide due to environmental problems, 50 million are left homeless by cyclones, floods and earthquakes, 90 millions are displaced by infrastructural projects. These figures are expected to increase sharply in the next few decades due to the impacts of global warming and the consequence of sea level rise by 2050. Yet, the unfortunate environmental victims are refused refugee status and are not granted assistance and protection by the international community. Why is the number of environmental victims on the increase? Why are they left unassisted? Who should be responsible for what they have been suffered from? What should be done to limit the hardship being suffered by environmentally displaced people? This paper will attempt to answer these questions. (author's)
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  2. 2

    Population growth and policies in mega-cities: Mexico City.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1991. vi, 34 p. (Population Policy Paper No. 32; ST/ESA/SER.R/105)

    This review of elements affecting the population policy of Mexico City, the largest city in the world, is part of a series on formulation, implementation and evaluation of population policies of mega-cities as they follow the World Population Plan of Action of the UN World Population Conference, 1984. The main sections of the report are demographic factors and projections, economy, strategies of decentralization, issues and sectors, and resources and management. Mexico city is expected to have 27 million in 2000. Growth by migration accounts for doubling every 20 years, as natural increase declines. While Mexico City's economy has in recent decades grown because of industrial development, in the future increasing proportions of people will work in the informal sector. Air pollution, the worst documented in the world, due to photochemical smog, and traffic congestion are the city's most serious issues. These are being addressed by a contemplated retro-fit of automobiles with pollution control devices, state bus lines and a metro system. Decentralization has been approached by the National Urban Plan of 1978 and the National Development Plan of 1983-1988 among other efforts, but lack of a central authority, and the failure of the government to respond to the 1985 earthquake by relocating housing cost doubt of the likelihood of results. Counteracting systems such as subsidies for water, food electricity and diesel fuel for urban residents, and inadequate tax incentives for companies moving elsewhere are also in effect. Land speculation combined with illegal settlement of communal lands have hampered planning, but the earthquake cleared extensive areas for parks and low income apartments. Water supply is another major problem, with per capita usage equal to U.S. levels because of losses from the aging system. Health care and other services are allotted mainly on income lines because of political factors. Resources and regulation are in a pitched battle between the Federal District (the City) and Mexico State which soon will make up the majority of the population, but receives poorer services at greater expense relative to the City.
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  3. 3

    [Migrations in Africa: comments on the article by Professor Adepoju] Les migrations en Afrique: commentaires de l'article du Prof. Adepoju.

    Paraiso MJ

    [Unpublished] 1986. Presented at the All-Africa Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, Harare, Zimbabwe, May 12-16, 1986. 10 p.

    This paper contains comments on the paper delivered by A. Adepoju to the 1986 PanAfrican Conference of Parlementarians on Population and Development in Harare, Zimbabwe. Scarcely 20 years ago, economists saw migration as a sign of economic progress in which rural populations were slowly transferred to the urban industrial centers where thousands of jobs awaited them. It is now known that the speed and intensity of migration pose serious economic, social, and political problems for African countries. No country has an optimal spatial distribution of population. Natural resources, soil quality, and poles of economic growth are unevenly distributed. Migration is principally a process of adjusting settlement patterns to resources and economic conditions. What is now astounding in Africa is the huge gap between the quality of life in rural and urban areas. The rural exodus of the past 2 decades in most African countries has been due not so much to drought or other natural disasters as to insufficiency of resources in the countryside. A policy to distribute resources between rural and urban zones would constitute a true policy of population distribution. During the decade from 1980-90, the pace of urbanization in Africa is expected to decline. Current projections do not anticipate continuing economic crisis or natural disasters. Creation of urban jobs to combat unemployment in the cities has had the effect of intensifying the rural exodus, transforming the problem of urban unemployment into a permanent structural problem. Rural resettlement programs and sedentarization programs for nomads are limited solutions to problems of spatial distribution which frequently lack true political support for the extended periods necessary to ensure their success. Their greatest challenge is to provide the means of retaining the children of the original settlers so that new migratory flows do not arise from them. Policies to encourage the growth of medium sized cities in order to reduce migration to the capital are even harder to implement than rural resettlement programs, and appear to hold limited promise in Africa. Given the low degree of industrialization in Africa, few countries are capable of creating new urban growth poles offering sufficiently diversified employment to divert migrants from the capital. The observation over the past several decades in Africa has been that the larger the city, the more migrants it attracts. International migration within Africa has probably lessened in intensity since the 1970s due to economic problems in the countryside. Free circulation of population is however required if Africa is to be an economic community. The "brain drain" is a source of worry to many governments despite the shortterm benefits derived from remittances. Overall, few African governments have coherent migration policies. Only by giving migration policy priority in development plans can African countries hope to influence the distribution of their populations.
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