John de Boer & Ronak Patel

Resilience in the Future: 2025 and Beyond

In the Press | October 17, 2016 | , , ,

Photo by UN Photo/Marco Dormino
Photo by UN Photo/Marco Dormino

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of the World Disasters Report 2016, published by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies:

The future environment of humanitarian response along with the predominant threats challenging the world, will drive practice in 2025 and beyond. As urbanization and uncertainty characterize this environment, the interrelated nature and complexity of the risks we are expected to face is becoming clear. Singular risks, such as the unsustainable pace of unplanned urbanization, climate change or conflict, cannot be seen or addressed in isolation. They cause a cascade of further risks, compounding the challenges for international and local humanitarian actors. 

The changing climate will drive displacement at a scale unknown. Current estimates of forced migration due to environmental change range dramatically from 25 million to 1 billion people by 2050 (IOM, 2014). Although some of this migration will be slow and adaptive, much of it will be sudden and harmful displacement. This displacement has obvious imperatives for humanitarian action and may also trigger conflict. Protracted conflicts in Darfur and the Sahel have been cited as evidence of climate change playing a direct role in the instability of countries and regions, potentially fuelling conflict (Mazo, 2009). These cascading effects of climate change exemplify how future threats could become ever more entangled.