The Greater Horn of Africa regularly faces a wide range of natural hazards, most commonly severe droughts and floods, but also landslides, earthquakes, and hurricanes as well as hazards linked to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise, desertification, and rainfall variability. Given its predominantly arid and semi-arid climate, disasters induced by droughts account for about ninety per cent of all disasters in the region. While such hazards contribute to human mobility, including internal and cross-border displacement, in some circumstances these movements occur within a complex environment impacted of armed conflict, generalized violence, poverty and governance challenges. For example, the 2011-2012 drought crisis affected an estimated 13 million people within the region, prompting hundreds of thousands to move within their own countries in search of food, water and humanitarian assistance, with tens of thousands more seeking refuge across international borders.
Greater Horn of Africa Regional Civil Society Meeting
This background paper informs the Nansen Initiative Greater Horn of Africa Regional Consultation, held in Nairobi, Kenya from 21-23 May 2014. Launched by the Governments of Norway and Switzerland in October 2012, the Nansen Initiative is a state-led, bottom-up consultative process intended to build consensus on the development of a protection agenda addressing the needs of people displaced across international borders in the context of natural hazards, including those linked to the effects of climate change.
To build consensus on the protection agenda, the Nansen Initiative is in the process of undertaking five Regional Consultations in the Pacific, Central America, the Greater Horn of Africa, South-East Asia, and South Asia over the course of 2013 and 2014. The first two Regional Consultations took place in Rarotonga, Cook Islands and San José, Costa Rica in May and December 2013, respectively. The Nansen Initiative is also hosting regional meetings with civil society representatives in these same five regions. The Horn of Africa civil society meeting entitled, “Natural Hazards, Climate Change and Cross-Border Displacement: Protecting People on the Move” took place on 3-4 March 2014 in Nairobi. Outcome documents from all of the regional consultations contain recommendations for further action at the community, national, regional and international levels.
The Nansen Initiative Civil Society Meeting “Natural Hazards, Climate Change and Cross-Border Displacement in the Greater Horn of Africa: Protecting People on the Move” brought together some 50 participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda to discuss the issue of cross-border displacement within the context of disasters in the Greater Horn of Africa Region. The overall purpose of the meeting was to develop a better understanding of the displacement dynamics linked to natural hazards in the region, identify key protection concerns and assess the relevance of existing legal frameworks to address these challenges. On the final day, participants drafted key messages for the Nansen Initiative Greater Horn of Africa inter-governmental Regional Meeting planned for 21-23 May 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya.
PROTECTION AND DISASTERS IN THE HORN OF AFRICA: NORMS AND PRACTICE FOR ADDRESSING CROSS-BORDER DISPLACEMENT IN DISASTER CONTEXTS
Tamara Wood, University of New South Wales
This report analyses the scope of regional and sub-regional law and policy frameworks relevant to addressing disasters and displacement in the Greater Horn of Africa. Taking the 2011 Horn of Africa drought and
famine as a case study, it assesses the capacity of these frameworks to address the needs of persons displaced across borders in the context of a disaster. This report has been prepared for the Nansen Initiative, a stateled, bottom-up consultative process intended to build consensus on the development of a protection agenda addressing the needs of people displaced across international borders in the context of disasters. In
particular, the research contained in this report contributed to and is informed by the Nansen Initiative’s Regional Consultation for the Horn of Africa.
DISASTER RELATED HUMAN MOBILITY WITHIN RELEVANT PACIFIC REGIONAL LAWS, POLICIES AND FRAMEWORKS
A. Gero, Institute for Sustainable Futures,University of Technology, Sydney
As small island states in a vast ocean, Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are highly vulnerable to natural disasters, including extreme weather events, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. There is mounting evidence that climate change is altering the patterns of weather‑related disasters globally, including slow onset events like droughts, sea level rise and rapid onset events like tropical cyclones, flooding and severe storms (IPCC, 2012; IPCC, 2013; Knutson et al., 2010). The direct and indirect impacts of climate change, coupled with ongoing development challenges, are becoming increasingly visible in particular parts of the Pacific region today.
LAND AND HUMAN MOBILITY IN THE PACIFIC: THE EFFECTS OF NATURAL DISASTERS
This report is a further output of the Pacific Regional Consultation. The consultation outcomes identified land issues as a key challenge for measures to address disaster‑related human mobility in the Pacific.
The outcomes document recommended actions to ensure, in circumstances of displacement or relocation:
• adequate mechanisms and/or safeguards to prevent and solve conflicts over land and resources due to factors such as cultural diversity or population growth.
• measures such as land audits, demarcation of uncontested boundaries and community land mapping to facilitate the identification of land.
PACIFIC DIASPORA: MOBILITY, TRANSNATIONALISM, AND IDENTITY OF TUVALU
Based on diverse dynamics of motivations, a large number of the Pacific Islanders have formed diasporic communities in metropolitan countries beyond boundaries. Transnational migration is not a new phenomenon among them as these practices with the continuous flow of remittances have been central to the socioeconomic development of Pacific microstates since the post-colonial era. This paper explores the questions of the impact of transnational migration of the Pacific Islanders and their maintenance of cultural values through their community activities. The findings I present here are based on qualitative analysis of transnational migration among the several Tuvaluan immigrant communities in Auckland, New Zealand. The Pacific diasporic islanders maintain their strong links to their homelands in multiple and complex ways, and the forms of mobility and transnationalism continue to shape their lives.