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Über dieses Buch

The contributors present empirical and theoretical insights on current debates on environmental change, adaptation and migration. While focusing on countries subject to environmental degradation, it calls for a regional perspective that recognises local actors and a systematic link between development studies and migration research.



Introduction: (Re-)locating the Nexus of Migration, Environmental Change and Adaptation

Introduction: (Re-)locating the Nexus of Migration, Environmental Change and Adaptation

For a couple of years, the question as to whether and how climate change affects human mobility has been widely debated both within the policy context and in academia. Piguet, Pécoud and Guchteneire (2011), Gemenne (2010) and Afifi and Jäger (2010) produced seminal edited volumes, with ongoing research highlighting the relation between climate change and migration, but at the same time calling more complex reflections and new policy approaches. Hugo (2013) presented a 1000-page best-of reader on the conceptual debate, and the Foresight Report (2011) has guided the policy debate. So, what does this book aim to add to this flourishing and contested debate? What may the reader expect when reading through the various chapters of this book?

Felicitas Hillmann, Marie Pahl, Birte Rafflenbeul, Harald Sterly

Framing the Debate


1. Climate Mobilities from a Human Geography Perspective: Considering the Spatial Dimensions of Climate Change

At first glance, climate change seems to be in line with paradigm shifts in the social sciences which appeared in the final two decades of the 20th century in the context of the multiple forms and meanings of economic, social and cultural globalisation. Similar to globalisation, climate change appears as a phenomenon that has to be observed and analysed on a global scale, because of its global causes and its border-transcending effects. Only a global observation, one might argue, allows the identification of long-term and uni-directional trends in the complex and multiple changes in local weather all around the globe. The same is true for the attribution of “global” climate change to anthropogenic activities, which has been a central field of enquiry for many years.

Johannes Herbeck

2. Human Mobility and Adaptation: Reducing Susceptibility to Climatic Stressors and Mainstreaming

Worldwide, climate-sensitive livelihoods (such as farming, fishing and herding) are under pressure from changes in weather patterns. As people observe these changes, they undertake adaptive measures with the goal of avoiding or reducing the negative impacts of climatic stressors on their development goals (like food consumption, livelihood diversification, education and health). This chapter explores the factors that affect climate sensitivity and migration decisions, and how these factors relate to adaptation mainstreaming.

Koko Warner, Juan Hoffmaister, Andrea Milan

Understanding Regional Vulnerabilities


3. “Migration as Adaptation”: New Perspective for Migration Research or Dead-End?

Influenced by research on climate change, debates on “migration as adaptation” have increasingly gained importance during recent years (Adams and Adger, 2013). Research paid special attention to the nexus between climate and environmental change and migration (EACH-FOR, 2009; Foresight Study, 2011). Migration seems to be highly correlated to climate variability in some regions, like the Sahel, and is thus interpreted as adaptation (Cisse et al., 2010). However, most studies have failed to establish direct causal links between single drivers and migration, instead stressing the multidimensional and multifactorial causes of migration (Foresight, 2011; Assan and Rosenfeld, 2012, p.1055; Morissey, 2012).

Sabine Dorlöchter-Sulser

4. Migration and Social Protection as Adaptation in Response to Climate-Related Stressors: The Case of Zacatecas in Mexico

Migration in the context of climate change has recently been addressed in different ways and with a particular focus on vulnerable people. Special attention has thereby been paid to rural areas in developing countries (UNDP, 2007/08). Shifting away from assumptions of a linear relationship, which postulate that climate change inevitably leads to different forms of migration, more elaborated approaches argue that the link between climate change and migration is complex. Additionally, it is stated that different forms of climate-related stressors lead to different forms of human mobility, and that migration in the context of climate change can manifest in two forms: as a forced coping and a “voluntary” adaptation strategy, depending on internal and external preconditions (Foresight, 2011).

Mustafa Aksakal, Kerstin Schmidt

5. The Role of A Priori Cross-Border Migration after Extreme Climate Events: The Case of the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands, with a population of around 92 million (NSCB, 2010). As an islands state, the whole archipelago is vulnerable to hazards such as sea-level rise and extreme climate events. With a total area of approximately 300,000 km2, the Philippines is located in Southeast Asia, close to the equator and on the Pacific Ring of Fire (PSA, 2014). Being situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire exposes the Philippines to a large number of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Cleovi Mosuela, Denise Margaret Matias

6. Migration as Future Adaptive Capacity: The Case of Java — Indonesia

Java is a fast-growing island in Indonesia. Almost 70 per cent of the Indonesian urban population lives in Java, while the island comprises only 6.75 per cent of the total Indonesian territory. The coast has been developing as the most dynamic area. In line with its colonial history, the early development of the urban area strategies in Java started in coastal regions with cities based on trade, such as Jakarta, Semarang and Surabaya, the three biggest urban areas in the northern coastal region of Java Island. According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS, 2010b), there are 63 districts/cities located in the coastal areas out of a total of 118 districts/cities in Java. There are almost 75,000,000 inhabitants living in both the northern and southern coastal regions of the island. The annual population growth rate is 2.2 per cent, very much above the national average. Various activities that have been leading to different human livelihoods have developed in the area. They are not only related to sea-based livelihoods, such as fishermen and fish farmers which have characterised most of the rural coastal region, but also urban-based activities, including industry and services in many urban areas along the coast. As typically seen in the urbanisation phenomenon occurring in many developing countries worldwide, the industrial and service activities in these urban regions can belong to both the formal and informal sectors.

Wiwandari Handayani, Novia Riska Kumalasari

Extreme Regional Situations: Bangladesh


7. Indigenous Women’s Migration to Cities: Root Causes, Coping Mechanisms and Gendered Transformations

The migration literature at the turn of the century has focused more on international migration (with transnationalism and globalisation becoming buzz words) than on the traditional internal migration between rural and urban areas, between villages, towns and cities. Another dimension has been added with environmental migration or migration as a result of environmental degradation or climate change. South Asian scholarship too has had to traverse such pathways. Rather than looking at migration as binaries, internal and external, rural-urban or traditional or modern, it makes more sense to treat it as being historically rooted. Though some scholars have represented traditional societies in South Asia as being sedentary and stable (Dewey, 1972; Bremen, 1988; Inden, 1990), historians have argued that spatial mobility was as common as sedentary living in pre-colonial India (Osella and Gardner, 2004, p.xiii).

Meghna Guhathakurta

8. Disaster-Induced Migration and Adaptation Discourse in Bangladesh

Migration is everywhere. Who are considered to be migrants, what migration is considered to be and how migration can contribute to adaptation are inevitable issues in the migration-adaptation discourse. Usually migration is related to social, economic, political and many other factors. Extreme environmental change can cause affected populations to leave their permanent residence temporarily or permanently and move to (nearby) urban places or where more opportunities are available. Migration is a multi-causal phenomenon: even in cases where the environment is a predominant driver for migration, it is usually compounded by social, economic, political and other factors (Walsham, 2010). Furthermore, the decision to move or to stay is highly complex and depends on the individual, social and even cultural ability to cope with and adapt to climate shocks and stresses, including the particular vulnerabilities faced by women, children, the elderly, the disabled and the extremely poor. Therefore, just as the environment is only one among many factors that drive migration, migration is only one among many possible responses to environmental change (Bates, 1989; Black, 2001; Myers, 2002; Walsham, 2010). Environmental migration is often depicted as a failure of adaptation to environmental change and a worst case scenario.

Bishawjit Mallick, Tamanna Siddiqui

9. Climate Change-Induced Migration and Post-Disaster Remittance Responses through a Gender Lens

The movement of people as a result of changes in their environment is not a new phenomenon. However, the linkages between weather-related events and migration have been largely ignored until recently due to a lack of consensus among scholars and policymakers about the interconnectedness of these two issues (IOM, 2009).

Priyanka Debnath

Extreme Regional Situations: Ghana


10. Changing Reproductive Behaviour and Migration in Response to Environmental Change: Evidence from Rural Northern Ghana

Over the years, the world has witnessed a sustained growth in human populations. UN-DESA (United Nations-Department of Economics and Social Affairs) (2013, 2014) projects that the 2014 population of 7.244 billion people will, most likely, increase to 9.6 billion by 2050 and to 10.9 billion by 2100. With regard to current fertility patterns, it is envisaged that much of the increase in population will be in countries with high fertility levels, mainly in Africa and in countries such as Pakistan, India, the Philippines and the United States which have large population sizes. In spite of global population growth, UN-DESA (2014) projections indicate that fertility rates across the world have consistently declined from 4.5 children in the 1970s to 2.5 children per woman in 2014. These populations depend on the ecosystem for sustenance and the provision of other services such as carbon sequestration and defence against natural disasters (Black et al., 2008).

Stephen A. Adaawen

11. Dealing with Climate Change in the Coastal Savannah Zone of Ghana: In Situ Adaptation Strategies and Migration

Although environmental change represents a global developmental challenge (Foresight, 2011; Piguet, 2013), there is enough evidence to suggest that climate change/variability particularly affects people living in poor and drier regions of Africa (Odada et al., 2008; Mertz et al., 2009). Farmers in Africa are particularly affected by changes in temperature and rainfall patterns because they depend on rain-fed agriculture (Van der Geest, 2011; Yaro et al., 2014). Additional constraints, such as disease burden, poverty, weak governance and political instability, increase the vulnerability of farmers in Africa to climate change/variability (Stanturf et al., 2011). In view of the weak adaptive capacity in many parts of Africa, recurrent drought has resulted in low levels of crop production, food insecurity, water stress and poverty in drier regions of Africa (Dixon et al., 2001; Owusu and Teye, 2014). Communities in coastal areas are also being impacted by the rise in sea level and flooding (Stanturf et al., 2011).

Joseph Kofi Teye, Kwadwo Owusu

12. Finding the Right Path: Climate Change and Migration in Northern Ghana

Climate change is considered to have aggravating effects on the security and quality of livelihoods of people around the world. Particularly rural populations of the so-called developing world or Global South are subject to increasing insecurity in their livelihoods (IPCC, 2001, 2007, 2013). Certainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, the largest proportion of the rural population still maintain a land-based livelihood through dryland rain-fed crop farming and/or livestock holding and are therein highly dependent on the weather (IPCC, 2007, 2013; Morton, 2007; Foresight, 2011). As their livelihoods provide little chance of generating vast surpluses, they also have limited capacity to cope with extreme events and, more notably still, try to adapt to permanent changes in climate. Yet, in spite of these factors, the rural populations of Sub-Saharan Africa prove themselves to still be dynamic and innovative, having previously been able to generally cope and adapt to changes in their environment through various strategies.

Francis Xavier Jarawura, Lothar Smith

13. Beyond Adaptation? The Changing Nature of Seasonal Migration in Northern Ghana in the Context of Climate Change, Agricultural Decline and Food Insecurity

In the debate on the relationship between human migration and environmental degradation and climate change, migration is more and more understood as an adaptation strategy. Moreover, when migration is perceived as a response to underdevelopment or ecological change, it may serve as a strategy to increase resilience and livelihood and food security (for example Tacoli, 2009; Black et al., 2011; Scheffran et al., 2012). If one looks at the studies dealing with the interlinkages between environmental change and human mobility, it becomes obvious that it is not permanent migration in the first place, which makes human mobility an essential response to poverty, climate change or environmental degradation. It is rather temporarily limited migration undertaken by individual household members that may be perceived as an important adaptation strategy. Particularly seasonal migration plays a key role in the relevant contexts (Jaeger, 2009; Foresight, 2011; Schraven, 2012; Warner and Afifi, 2013).

Benjamin Schraven, Christina Rademacher-Schulz

Bringing Things Together: Conclusions


Conclusion: Linking Migration, Environmental Change and Adaptation — Lessons Learnt

This book has set out to contribute to the discussion of the relationship between climate change, or more precisely environmental change, and migration. In the Introduction, the editors identify three pitfalls that have accompanied and complicated the debate from the outset until today: first, a discourse that is foremost characterised by sudden disasters and natural hazards that call for immediate action; second, blurred terminologies that do not determine clearly what is meant by “migration”, and especially by climate change-related migration; and third, the jumping or elision of scales and the tendency to overlook the integrating force of a regional perspective. In addition to these, the highly politicised nature of the debate adds to its complexity. Questions of relocation and resettlement, too, seem to urge governments in many places of the world to engage in migration studies.

Felicitas Hillmann, Marie Pahl, Birte Rafflenbeul, Harald Sterly


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