CSIR to study impact of environmental refugees in Southern Africa

One of the researchers Inga Jacobs-Mata says more people are displaced because of environmental reasons than politics, war and discrimination.

CSIR says more people are displaced because of environmental reasons than politics, war or discrimination. Picture: www.csir.co.za.

CAPE TOWN - The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) researchers will be investigating the impact of environmental refugees in the Southern African region.

The mixed-method project is scheduled to start in April.

One of the researchers Inga Jacobs-Mata says more people are displaced because of environmental reasons than politics, war and discrimination.

She says this type of migration is not only due to emergencies like a flash-floods.

“I’m also talking about voluntarily migration, when people chose to leave because of some kind of environmental phenomenon. The other aspect is on planned relocation; that’s their government’s initiative to relocate big population.”

Jacobs-Mata says while the positive side of migration has become more known, it still needs to translate to policy changes to support them.

“What we’re trying to do is shift that scale with this research. To say what are the support system and networks that these people have access? That could be channelled into investment.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)