Who’s perspective?

Challenging the Western narrative around Africa's climate refugees.

When looking further into Rwanda, I discovered that the country has an incredible wealth of biodiversity.

East Africa is a region of most concern around climate impacts. Food insecurity, migration, and displacement make climate breakdown a very real reality for many. 

Prime minister Boris Johnson was condemned by the UN for proposing to send boats of asylum seekers back to Rwanda, causing serious concerns about human rights violations.

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Rwanda, despite being a carbon-low country, is hit particularly hard by global heating, leading to freak weather occurrences resulting in crop failure. 


Climate refugees across Somalia are experiencing the worst drought in the Horn of Africa since the 1980s. And the latest IPCC report warns that drought will displace 700 million people in Africa.

I was listening to Dipo Faloyin, the author of Africa Is Not a Country, talking on BBC Radio 4 about how Africa is depicted simplistically as a landscape of famine plagued by poverty.

I also wondered if I was falling into this short-sighted western narrative, despite coming from a North African heritage myself.

When looking further into Rwanda, I discovered that the country has an incredible wealth of biodiversity.

The people of Rwanda have made great efforts to restore degraded forests, although policy and lack of investment often get in the way.


I also enjoyed Scholastique Mukasonga’s article in The Guardian, in which she talks about how refugee voices are missing in the debate. 

In my coverage of the wave of Extinction Rebellion protests across London, I depict the hopes and fears of the movement. And I ask, will the movement get the public response it truly needs to get politicians to act?

As part of a wave of protests against Big Oil, the British museum faces its fourth protest in a month over demands to cut ties with BP.

Chris Saltmarsh reviews the book Half-Earth Socialism, a leftist response to the climate crisis. The authors propose rewilding half the planet to preserve biodiversity and argue this may only be possible, and desirable, through socialism.

This Author

Yasmin Dahnoun is assistant editor of The Ecologist.

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