Forced Migration, Vanishing Cultures

Indigenous peoples leave the smallest carbon footprint, yet they disproportionately face the consequences of climate change—including forced migration.
The residents of Papua New Guinea’s Carteret Islands, where the highest point is just 1.2 meters above sea level, are a notable example. But they are not just the world’s first climate refugees—they are leaders too, writes the UNDP’s Jamison Ervin, describing their remarkable strides in an IPS op-ed marking the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
Globally, about 370 million indigenous people live across 90 countries. They make up less than 5% of the world's population, but account for 15% of the poorest, UN News reports. They are increasingly threatened by forced migration, often following environmental disasters or socio-political conflicts, said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay—who warns that their lifestyles and cultures could vanish as a result.


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