Postcards from the Frontlines: An interactive digital campaign for climate refugees
In 2012 alone, 31.7m people were forced from their homes due to weather-related events. That's one person every second. Although climate refugees are far greater in number than those fleeing conflict, they are not recognized by any international law. EJF is working to change this.
'Postcards from the Frontlines' aims to inspire over 100,000 climate witnesses and their supporters to send a free digital postcard from their phone or computer calling on the UN to introduce a Special Rapporteur on climate change and human rights.
Supporters are asked to share what home means to them whilst climate witnesses are encouraged to share their experiences on the frontlines of climate change, whether they have lost their loved ones to the heaviest ever monsoon rains in Uttarakhand, their livelihoods to desertification in Somalia, or homes to extreme flooding in Canada and Europe.
By Human Rights Day on 10th December 2013, your postcard, along with thousands of others from all over the world, will be printed and sent free of charge to the UN headquarters in New York, when we will seek a public response from the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
To find out more, visit www.ejfoundation.org/postcards.
Reasons for working in this topic, project or business:
Home is a fundamental pillar in many of our lives a place of safety, of comfort, of familiarity. Home roots us in time and space, it defines where we have come from, who we are now and gives us a sense of security in facing the future.
How would you feel if you lost your home through no fault of your own? This is the reality for millions across the world who are facing no home, no land and no livelihood due to the impacts of climate change.
Root causes of the problems in this field and main barriers:
In 2012 alone, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre estimates that 31.7 million people – or one person every second – were forced from their homes by climate- and weather- related disasters. This is approximately three times the total number of people forced to move because of armed conflict. But as a 2011 UK Government Foresight report emphasises, the focus on whether climate change directly causes migration is misplaced. The more important question is how climate change impacts on existing drivers of migration.
If migration is a game and all the environmental (e.g. soil fertility), economic (e.g. assets), social (e.g. support networks), demographic (e.g. education) and political (e.g. migration policy) drivers of migration are the rules which affect how and when the players move; then climate change is the thing that reconfigures the variables to change how the whole game is played. In some cases, this may well lead to vulnerable people being ‘trapped’ without the resources to move. In others, it will lead to large internal displacements which pose serious operational challenges to under-resourced states. In a few cases - such as those of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like the Maldives, Kiribati and Tuvalu – rising sea levels will eventually necessitate cross-border migration.
What is needed to overcome barriers to implement solutions:
Collective mobilisation is needed for the international community to take action to protect and recognise the rights of those displaced by climate change. With over 100,000 postcards from individuals around the world, EJF are sending a message the UN Secretary General cannot ignore. Join us today by visiting www.ejfoundation.org/postcards.
Specific needs and/or support requests:
Support EJF by sending your own postcard to the UN, then share the link with your family, friends, colleagues and networks, encouraging them to take part and spread the word.
For organisations with the capacity to be further involved in the project, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be very happy to hear from you!
Help us reach 100,000 postcards and make our voices heard.
Suggested best local solution for this topic:
We should be careful not to understate that this is an issue of climate justice. As a 2013 World Bank report reiterates, it is the poorest and most climate sensitive countries that are affected first and worst by climate change. Yet, perversely, these are the countries who have benefited least from our carbon-intensive global economy: Kiribati has emitted the equivalent of a mere 0.0007% of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions in the two decades 1990-2010 but the impacts of climate change pose a genuine existential threat to it as a state. In short, the world’s 50 least-developed countries together emit just 1% of total carbon emissions.
This is what makes it necessary to view climate change through a human rights lens as well as from an environmental perspective. A new United Nations mandate for a UN Special Rapporteur on climate change and human rights could further the protection of those forced to leave their homes as a result of climate-related disasters of decimated livelihoods, who currently face a major protection gap.
EJF are open to partnership with like-minded organisations and networks. Please get in touch introducing yourself to email@example.com.
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