Governments and aid agencies should encourage people to stay put rather than promoting migration, according to Optimum Population Trust, a British group that campaigns for a sustainable population.
Deserts expand as people leave … The Daily Telegraph (31 May 2006, p.25) reported the think tank had told a British parliamentary inquiry on population that parts of the planet damaged by climate change, soil erosion and water shortages merely deteriorated further once their inhabitants fled.
… while net global consumption rises: Migrants also typically increased their ecological footprint – the damage each person inflicts on the environment – by moving from low-consuming to high-consuming countries.
A moving planet: The number of migrants worldwide surged from 175 million to 185-192 million between 2000 and 2005, with 30 million forced from their homes by a variety environmental factors including floods, famine and over-population.
Priority shift needed: "The priority must surely be to prevent or cure environmental damage, and help people to remain in their homes and communities, not abandon damaged areas of the planet," the group said in a report. "Currently, however, excess immigration into countries which are already densely populated can cause substantial environmental damage and economic costs, the effects of which may not be seen until the pressures on land and natural resources become intense."
Britain keeps squeezing them in: Britain, for example, was more densely populated than China. England is the world’s fourth most crowded country behind Bangladesh, South Korea and The Netherlands with migration accounting for more than 80 per cent of population growth.
The Daily Telegraph, 31/5/2006, p. 25
Source: Erisk Net