Around 17% of Bangladesh will be submerged by rising sea levels, rendering 20 million people homeless, by 2050.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet came up with the information at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council today, citing a report.
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The Maldives, with over 80% of its land area less than one metre above sea level, is already experiencing severe impact which will only get worse as sea levels rise, she said.
Also, across much of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, forecasts indicate that by 2050 daily high tides could flood areas where over 48 million people now live, while annual flooding would on average affect the homes of over 79 million people.
Displacement due to environmental disaster is a particularly serious phenomenon in Asia, where the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre has reported that in 2019, China, Bangladesh, India and the Philippines witnessed more disaster displacement than all other countries combined — amounting to 70% of the global total.
Last month’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presents a troubling forecast for South Asia in particular.