Since 2015, millions of refugees have fled war-torn and violent areas in seek of protection. Many have died along the way. Despite this overwhelmingly devastating crisis, the state of the environment is often left out of the discussion. This video aims to shed some light on the environmental impact of the refugee crisis and what we can do about it.
The influx of refugees to European countries has caused massive pollution, partly due to the simple increase of population in urban areas as well as refugee camps that use plastic as temporary homes. Perhaps one of the most pressing issues of this crisis is the life jacket graveyard. Over 700,000 life jackets have been left on the coastline and in landfills. Because of their non-biodegradable material, these life jackets just sit there as a reminder of the toll taken by refugees. But these graveyards are a hazardous risk to biodiversity.
Odyssea, a NGO located in Athens, Greece has taken on this challenge by recycling over 55,000 life jackets from Greek islands and transforming them into various products. This organization has also facilitated a connection of NGOs in Greece that hope to minimize the environmental effects of the refugee crisis. Once we start talking about this problem, then we can start solving it.
(Sources: Clip 0:02 – 0:06 UNHCR Syrian Emergency http://www.unhcr.org/syria-emergency.html Photo 0:25 – 0:28 http://www.greek-islands.us/map-greece/ Clip 0:29 – 0:36 UNHCR Syrian Emergency http://www.unhcr.org/syria-emergency.html Clip 1:05 – 1:25 Moria Refugee Camp in Greek Island of Lesbos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GZVF1dUbmk Drone footage courtesy of Greenpeace Greece Clip 1:48 – 1:53 Lovest What we Do https://www.facebook.com/lovestbyodyssea/videos/239365186457586/ Clip 1:59 – 2:08 CNN’s video on Odyssea https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5YM6xeWK0I Photo 3:25 – 3:31 Al Jazeera http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/12/life-jacket-mountain-m... Background information, research and facts: http://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/pft/2016/6/24/refugee-crisis-cr... https://gelr.org/2016/03/27/environmental-impacts-of-the-refugee-crisis/ https://www.pri.org/stories/2013-06-30/refugee-camps-limited-resources-l... http://solidarity2refugees.gr/refugee-accomodation-center-city-plaza/ http://www.unhcr.org/figures-at-a-glance.html http://www.odyssea.org.gr/#intiatives http://www.ekathimerini.com/209500/article/ekathimerini/community/abando... https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/201... http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/dangers-of-plastic http://www.stonesoup.io/2016/10/19/interview-a-modern-odyssea/)