According to El-Hinnawi’s 1985 report for the United Nations Environment Program entitled Environmental Refugees, environmental refugees are defined as “people who have been forced to leave their traditional habitat, temporarily or permanately, because of a marked environmental disruption (natural and/or triggered by people) that jeopardised their existence and/or seriously affected the quality of their life.”
The UN University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security press release (October 12, 2009) mentions an (unsubstantiated) prediction that by 2010, there will be 50 million ‘environmentally displaced people’, most of whom will be women and children.
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