The Floods are coming: Climate refugees in Bangladesh

Harris Siderfin
Friday 8 December 2023

Picareta, Lourdes DW , March 19, 2019.

This documentary examines the impact of climate change on remote villages in Bangladesh. This is critical to peace studies as it demonstrates how environmental change is and will continue to displace individuals, destabilising peace and creating adverse conditions. This piece further illustrates why environmental education is critical within peace studies (see other pieces 1,2).

This film follows the lives of Bangladeshi communities which are being displaced due to rising water levels in their region. The documentary looks at the day-to-day lives of these communities and questions what alternatives face them in the future. Many climate refugees must migrate to urban areas which are already overpopulated. This film features several experts from different charitable and governmental institutions, notably including Munir Muniruzzaman, the president of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies, who is critical of governments’ response to this emerging crisis. It highlights the difficulties of widespread migration from rural to urban areas in Bangladesh, and particularly the strains this would place on resources such as food and water. Muniruzzaman discusses how a mass rural-to-urban movement could cause instability, conflict and interstate migration due to the lack of resources in Bangladeshi cities. This documentary contains important insight into the future of climate refugees in one of the states which will be most affected by climate change, and also demonstrates that sustainable development and environmental action are crucial to peacebuilding because climate security is essential for states. As climate change becomes more damaging, geopolitics and international relations will become increasingly strained.

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