Recently I was reading an article that sent a multiplicity of neurons in my brain firing off in several directions, making connections between seemingly disparate global and local issues. Toward the end of my thought process, I trailed back around to our system of planting moringa trees and fast-growing timber trees with South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda.
The article stated that for perhaps the first time in recently recorded history, natural disasters provoked the majority of new internal displacement cases in 2018, surpassing conflict as the primary factor for driving people from their homes worldwide.
Let's put some numbers to that. According to the Global Report on Internal Displacement, an annual assessment carried out by the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, over 17 million people were newly displaced as a redult of weather and geophysical changes in 2018, compared to a roughly 10.8 million displaced by conflict. That means 61% of those forced from their homes within their country of origin were climate related, opposed to human-driven reasons such as war and conflict.
This is big news, news that you probably won't see on CNN or even BBC. This puts climate-related migration on the map: not as a prediction of what will occur in coming years, but as reality today, and, according to this report, even last year.
With the climate crisis only projected to get worse, than we can assume that these numbers will only grow in the coming years. Which means, that even if we manage to stabilize geopolitical tensions, the rate of global displacement will continue to rise.
Now, we realize that the majority of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda–whom we work with–were primarily driven from their homes due to a protracted conflict rather than climate insecurities. However, these new statistics are still relevant to our work with South Sudanese refugees. You see, our system aims to innovate the refugee service delivery system by building in sustainable and regenerative design into the very structure of refugee settlements and camps themselves. The system we designed is meant to be scalable and replicable in nearly all areas of the tropics–meaning that as global displacement continues with fervor, there are strategies in place to accomodate such an influx of displaced persons in a way that is also accounting for the need to address pressing climate issues, making sure that our strategies to deal with the effects of the climate crisis aren't contributing to the exacerbation of these issues.
This is why we believe in tree-based and bio-mimicry-based solutions. We can look to nature to reveal patterns that we can apply to the problems we face in this day and age, and that can help us not only manage those problems but to fix them at their roots, not just their surface-level symptoms.
Join us today to continue to supplement refugees' food rations with sustainable sources of nutrition, while also deterring further deforestation surrounding the camps–ensuring the longevity and fertility of the lands they inhabit.