Global warming could displace 130 million in South Asia
31/03/2008 17:56

NEW DELHI, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - About 130 million people living in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan could be forced into mass migration over the next 90 years due to global warming, a Greenpeace report warned Monday.

The report entitled: Blue Alert - Climate Migrants in South Asia: Estimates and Solutions written by Professor Chella Rajan, a climate expert and professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras said the South Asian region could face severe consequences if climate change continued unchecked.

The climate expert said that if global temperatures increased by a further 4-5 degrees Celsius (39-41 Fahrenheit) rising sea levels would lead to mass migration, affecting up to 130 million people from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In addition, the region would be affected by volatile monsoons and drought as water supplies were reduced.

Rajan warned "We cannot wait for the inevitable to happen and hope to adapt to it," adding that India needed to be proactive developing international strategies to counteract climate change.

The report said that rising sea levels would be devastating for over 70 million Bangladeshis living along coastal regions, destroying their homes, communities and way of life.

Mohon Kumar, an executive director from Bangladesh's environmental and agricultural research center, said commenting on the report: "This is a reality in my lifetime. I don't want to see the day I lose my home to the sea."

Vinuta Gopal from Greenpeace said: "Prevention is better than cure. We have the tools to fight this problem what we need is the political will."

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries from global warming with 150 million people living at sea level. Environmentalists say a rise of just 20-centimeters could prove disastrous to more than 10 million people living in the impoverished country.

Greenpeace predicts that global average sea levels are set to rise between 9-88cms (3.5-35 inches) in the 21st century.


Original article: RIA Novosti
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