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Internal Displacement Caused by Disasters

  • 05 Jun 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the ‘State of India's Environment 2020 in Figures’ report was published by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

  • It states that India had around 50 lakh internal displacements caused by disasters and extreme weather conditions like floods, cyclones and drought in 2019.

Key Points

  • Major Findings related to Internal Displacement:
    • According to it, the internal displacements in India were the highest in the world in 2019.
      • Internal Displacement refers to the forced movement of people within the country they live in, due to conflict, violence, development projects, natural disasters and climate change.
      • It refers to the number of movements, not people, as individuals can be displaced several times.
    • Natural Disasters: Displacements due to the flooding caused by the south-west monsoon and followed by Cyclone Fani, Vayu, Bulbul and drought conditions.
    • Forced Migration: It has also caused many migrants to move for work from one state to another.
    • Impact of Covid-19: Due to the impact of lockdown which was imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, many workers migrated to their homes because of lack of employment and food.
    • 2011 Census Data on Migrant Populations:
      • There were over 45 crore migrants in the country at the time, with the vast majority migrating within their own state.
      • In 2011, over 1.7 crore new migrants had moved for employment purposes, mostly from rural to urban areas.
  • Other Findings:
    • The report outlines the status of sustainable development, livestocks, forests, water, waste, air, land, wildlife and other natural resources, environmental crimes and global economic risk.
    • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
      • India faces major challenges in achieving all of the 17 SDGs, especially SDG1 (No Poverty) and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).
    • Forest Cover and Water Resources:
      • Forest cover has shrunk in 38% of districts, while five out of 21 river basins are now in a state of absolute water scarcity.
      • Only Punjab managed to get an average national ranking in the management of water resources.
    • Status of Tigers:
      • It notes that there were 747 tigers more in 2018 than in 2014.
      • However, the net area meant for tiger conservation shrunk by 179 square kilometres.
    • Environmental Crime:
      • The report found that in 2018, total 35,196 environmental crimes were recorded in the country.
      • Majority of those cases are pending for police verification and in various courts.
    • Global Risk:
      • The global risk is determined as an uncertain event or condition that can cause significant negative impact on several countries or industries in the next ten years.
      • The top 4 global risks in terms of likelihood are all found to be environment related as extreme weather, climate action failures, natural disaster and biodiversity loss.
      • Under the top 4 risks in terms of impact, three were found to be environment related as climate action failure, biodiversity loss, extreme weather.
      • In terms of the severity of impact over the next 10 years the top risk is failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Way Forward

  • The report is an eye opener in terms of issues related to environment and biodiversity, development, poverty and internal migration and will help to understand their impacts.
  • It would further facilitate better decision making in mitigating the related problems.
  • There is an urgent need to take efforts towards conservation of environment, disposition of cases related to environmental crimes, providing livelihood to the migrants and achieving SDGs.
  • For the same, the centre and all the states must collaborate to prevent any loss to the environment and humans as well.

Source: TH

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