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A Growing Migratory Pressure

Up to 3.7 million Syrian citizens have taken refuge in neighbouring countries. And this is the tragic consequence of just one armed conflict which is today sweeping the planet. However, these refugees are likely fewer than the so-called "climate refugees". According to the Norwegian Refugee Council 22 million people had to flee their homes in 2013 as a result of natural disasters.This is three times more than the forced population displacement due to armed conflicts during that same period. And the figures related to these climate refugees are certainly underestimated. It must be noted that approximately 10% of the world's population lives at less than 10 meters above current sea level. In these circumstances an estimate of 200 million climate refugees by 2050 appears to be realistic. Yet, environmental factors have long had a decisive impact on global migration flows. However, the scale of such flows is expected to rise as a result of accelerated climate change and deteriorating living conditions. Land degradation, drought, tornadoes or rising sea levels are becoming more and more common and spread over much larger geographical areas. Urban areas in particular, especially in developing countries, will have to address a difficult issue which is to host a growing population that is already the most vulnerable to observed climate change. But finally, no matter what their origin, climate change or armed conflicts, migratory pressures around the world will further intensify in the coming decades.

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