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Environmentally-Induced Population Displacements and Environmental Impacts Resulting from Mass Migrations, International Symposium, Geneva, 21-24 April 1996.
Geneva, Switzerland, International Organization for Migration, 1996. 128 p.This report provides a summary of proceedings and papers presented at the 1996 UN Conference on the Interactions between Mass Migrations and Environmental Impacts. The conference was organized and funded by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, and the Refugee Policy Group. The conference aimed to determine how to break the mutually reinforcing cycle of environmental damage and mass migration. The discussions focused on the development of policy guidelines that would minimize detrimental impacts and designation of responsible entities for initiating and coordinating action. There was a consensus on a Statement of Principles for preventing and mitigating environmentally induced population displacement and for addressing the negative environmental consequences of mass migration. The Statement of Principles focused on descriptions of the problems and a framework for action for environmentally induced population displacements, environmental impacts of mass migrations, and breaking the cycle. The Summary of Proceedings included the warning in the closure statement that environmental degradation was an international and not a local problem that was linked to political strife, conflict over natural resources, and international political arrangements. The 13 background papers are summarized. Background papers focused on issues such as satellite monitoring and aerial photography, assorted case studies, failures in settlement planning and shelter management, remote sensing and geographic information systems technology, and approaches that mitigate the environmental impact of refugees. Environmental changes are charted for natural causes and man-made causes by time frame of the impact, scale and intensity of impact, predictability, reversibility, and main organizations involved. These two charts help match policy options to the problem.
WW ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND SECURITY PROJECT REPORT. 1996 Spring; (2):18-27.Despite a 30-year decline in the rate of population growth, population momentum remains responsible for the largest annual increase in population ever seen, and future population growth will be influenced by how well couples can realize their family size goals, the extent to which preferred family size exceeds replacement-level fertility, and the age women begin childbearing in combination with birth spacing practices. Many, but not all, scientists and foreign policy experts are concerned about the impact of this growth on the environment and on natural resource allocation. Additional concerns are raised about the impact on economic development and sustainable development. In 1994, national academies of science from 58 countries issued an appeal for development of an integrated policy on world population and sustainable development. The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) heeded that appeal and adopted a Program of Action (POA) in which more than 180 countries agreed to take certain actions to stabilize population growth and achieve sustainable development. Challenges to implementing the ICPD POA include 1) getting people to pay attention to global and national population issues, 2) overcoming the blocking tactics of some groups who did not agree with all of the POA's elements, 3) obtaining the necessary funding, and 4) overcoming the challenges to governments and the private sector posed by the necessity to create new partnerships between the two. Fortunately, the range of choices in the POA will allow each country to select the appropriate mix to overcome these constraints.