Manuel Cardoso is a campaigner who worked with Restless Development on Action 2015. Here he writes about how climate change affects his home country and the population of Mozambique.
By 2040 about 0.6% of the land in Mozambique will be under water forcing further migration.
Throughout the history of humanity, populations have migrated to cope with environmental changes.
But now, more than ever, the effect of climate change on migration is widely recognised.
Mozambique is among the countries that contribute the least to global warming, but it is one of the most affected by climate change.
Heavy rainfall, floods, coastal erosion, but also drought are driving the Mozambique’s’ displacement problem.
In 2000, Mozambique was ravaged by floods. It affected roughly five million people from across five provinces – Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Sofala, Manica and Zambezia – and left one million homeless and 300,000 refugees.
Thirteen years later the flooding returned, with waters reaching 10.67 meters and causing 143 million refugees. Meanwhile, on the coast, erosion has forced populations to migrate.
In 2012, residents of the Islanders Machanga district in the South, faced with a reduction in fish stocks, were forced to migrate to the mainland.
Meanwhile, other communities in the north were forced to abandon their farms due to drought. With their livelihoods affected, young people have been forced to migrate to neighboring South Africa, often working in the firewood and charcoal industries.
If we are to stop these problems facing Mozambique, we need to answer the question: what are our rights and obligations to the environment? We must be critical and conscious of our decisions that affect the environment.