Technical paper: The risk of disaster-induced displacement in the Pacific island states

This technical paper represents an initial attempt to as-sess the risk of disaster-induced displacement in 21 is-land states in the South Pacific. It presents results fromthe second of five planned analyses1which correspondwith the regional consultations of the Nansen Initiative,a state-led process that brings together representativesfrom governments, international organisations, civil soci-ety, think tanks and other key actors to develop a protec-tion agenda for people displaced across state borders bydisasters and the effects of climate change.2Preliminaryresults of this analysis were presented at the NansenInitiative consultation in the Cook Islands in May 2013.The primary intended audience for this paper are thosein national and regional governments responsible forreducing and managing disaster risks and for protectingthe rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Giventhat displacement risk is largely influenced by humandecisions, final outputs of the process discussed in thispaper could potentially inform development decisions andreduce or avoid the risk of displacement. Humanitarianactors may also use this analysis to inform preparednessplanning for disaster-induced displacement. For example,the paper could help determine evacuation centre capac-ity, temporary shelter needs or funding needed for activ-ities to reduce displacement risk in particular countries.Findings from the five regional analyses will inform a con-solidated report on the risk of disaster-induced displace-ment. Drawing onIDMC’sGlobal Estimates3and otherrelevant data on previously reported disaster-induceddisplacement, this report and the five regional analyseswill provide evidence-based estimates and scenariosconcerning the likelihood of future displacement—andhow it can be mitigated.The following analysis is based on probabilistic risk. Itmodels a methodology that has been widely used toassess the likelihood of disaster-related economic loss-es and fatalities.IDMCis testing this methodology toassess the likelihood of displacement, having alreadypublished an assessment of displacement risk in CentralAmerica.4This methodology will be refined and expand-ed in 2014 in regional analyses focusing on South Asiaand Southeast Asia. A fifth technical paper, focusing ondrought-induced displacement in the Horn of Africa, willexpand the analysis by employing a methodology basedon system dynamics modelling due to the difficulty ofestimating drought-related displacement using existingmethodologies. An initial analysis based on the systemdynamics model, which accounts for drought impacts onthe natural resources, livelihoods and displacement, willbe published in early 2014. The aim of each report is toprovide the best possible estimates of displacement riskgiven the available data. In this spirit of continuous im-provement,IDMCinvites relevant experts and interestedreaders to comment on and contribute to this innovativearea of work

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