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

Report
from Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
Published on 14 Jan 2014 View Original

This technical paper represents an initial attempt to assess the risk of disaster-induced displacement in 21 island states in the South Pacific. It presents results from the second of five planned analyses which correspond with the regional consultations of the Nansen Initiative, a state-led process that brings together representatives from governments, international organisations, civil society, think tanks and other key actors to develop a protection agenda for people displaced across state borders by disasters and the effects of climate change. Preliminary results of this analysis were presented at the Nansen Initiative consultation in the Cook Islands in May 2013.

The primary intended audience for this paper are those in national and regional governments responsible for reducing and managing disaster risks and for protecting the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Given that displacement risk is largely influenced by human decisions, final outputs of the process discussed in this paper could potentially inform development decisions and reduce or avoid the risk of displacement. Humanitarian actors may also use this analysis to inform preparedness planning for disaster-induced displacement. For example, the paper could help determine evacuation centre capacity, temporary shelter needs or funding needed for activities to reduce displacement risk in particular countries.
Findings from the five regional analyses will inform a consolidated report on the risk of disaster-induced displacement.
Drawing on IDMC’s Global Estimates and other relevant data on previously reported disaster-induced displacement, this report and the five regional analyses will provide evidence-based estimates and scenarios concerning the likelihood of future displacement—and how it can be mitigated.

The following analysis is based on probabilistic risk. It models a methodology that has been widely used to assess the likelihood of disaster-related economic losses and fatalities. IDMC is testing this methodology to assess the likelihood of displacement, having already published an assessment of displacement risk in Central America. This methodology will be refined and expanded in 2014 in regional analyses focusing on South Asia and Southeast Asia. A fifth technical paper, focusing on drought-induced displacement in the Horn of Africa, will expand the analysis by employing a methodology based on system dynamics modelling due to the difficulty of estimating drought-related displacement using existing methodologies. An initial analysis based on the system dynamics model, which accounts for drought impacts on the natural resources, livelihoods and displacement, will be published in early 2014. The aim of each report is to provide the best possible estimates of displacement risk given the available data. In this spirit of continuous improvement,
IDMC invites relevant experts and interested readers to comment on and contribute to this innovative area of work.