The Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law are pleased to invite you to a Brown Bag Lunch Seminar with Rathana peou van den Heuvel.
NOV. 10, 2011 - 12:30 PM TO 1:30 PM
Faculty of Law, Old Chancellor Day Hall, Room 16
3644 rue Peel, Montreal, H3A 1W9, Quebec, Canada
The topic of climate induced displacement appeared quite recently in the international scientific research as in the media. Although very new, it is usually pointed as very urgent.
If the projections of the UN come true, Dhaka will be the fourth largest megacity in the world by 2025. It would even be the fastest growing city, with one of the highest slum prevalence. Therefore, many reports highlight the risks of such a rapid growth and the vulnerability of the slum dwellers, in the international press as well as in the local press. In the space of a few years, Dhaka has become the symbol of the urban growth linked to climate change and other risks.
At another level several predictions have been made with regards to the number of people displaced for climatic reasons. In 1995, Norman Myers argued that sea-level rise together with increase of inland floods (from melting Himalayan glaciers) would result in 15 million of environmentally displaced for Bangladesh. The latter would review his estimate in 2001 this time stating that the number of people at risk in Bangladesh by 2050 could amount to 26 millions. However, as highlighted in the recent report Assessing the Evidence: Environment, Climate Change and Migration in Bangladesh by IOM; “Some existing- and widely cited – figures vary by as much as a factor of 40(...) and in reality none of them have a sound basis in empirical data”.
The Government of Bangladesh has been gradually, over the last decade, active in developing the capacities of the country toward Climate Change. However, climate induced migrants are not yet viewed as part of a specific category with particular needs in regards to the local/national legal frameworks.
Lack of empirical data, evidence based policy recommendations impact the way climate induced migration is addressed currently in Bangladesh. However the main challenge while reflecting on this issue lies on the low understanding of the dynamic between environment and social – economical factors and on what could be the climate induced migration patterns in a context of high exposure to disaster, environmental degradation and poverty (officially 50 million people still live in poverty). Based on literature review, one empirical research completed and two- ongoing research projects, the proposed presentation aims at:
Presenting a Categorization of Climate Induced Migrant in Bangladesh
Replacing the Internal Migration in Bangladesh within the phenomenon of international labor migration
Framing remittance mechanisms as an Climate Change Adaptation Strategy
Analyzing Interventions and how Climate Induced Migrant are included into poverty alleviation programs
Evaluating the impacts of Micro- Finance Institutions on the resilience and capacity of Adaptation of the Climate Induced Migrant
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Dr. Rathana peou van den Heuvel is an Associate Professor at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) and a member of the ULAB Academic Council. She is also the Deputy Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) where she leads research programmes on different issues related to human trafficking and sex workers in Bangladesh, issues related to climate induced migration, impacts of active learning, and characteristics of social business. She is also currently an Independent Assessment Panel (IAP) member for SHIREE (funded by DFID), responsible for screening and assessing applications by NGOs to fund and for recommending successful proposals.
Prior to joining ULAB-ISD in 2009, Rathana worked as an international consultant and humanitarian workers in Sudan, Kenya, Pakistan and Bangladesh. She spent over two years in Darfur as an education, and evaluation manager building programme framework of activities and matrix of impact monitoring.
She has worked with and consulted for agencies such as DFID, USAID, ECHO, DIPECHO, AFD, EU and different INGOs and NGOs. She also ran different training programmes related to report and documentation skills and strategic position papers.
She holds a PhD in Political Science majoring in Philosophy and a minor in Arabic and a Masters degree in Political Science. Dr. Rathana’s research interests lies in the “4 inviolate principles”: food security, water security, energy security and social “health” security. These principles are dynamic in different context from emergency situation to development.