Displacement and Resettlement: Understanding the Role of Climate Change in Contemporary Migration

  • 2018•11•29

    Alison Heslin, Natalie Delia Deckard, Robert Oakes and Arianna Montero-Colbert

    How do we understand displacement and resettlement in the context of climate change? This chapter outlines challenges and debates in the literature connecting climate change to the growing global flow of people. We begin with an outline of the literature on environmental migration, specifically the definitions, measurements, and forms of environmental migration. The discussion then moves to challenges in the reception of migrants, treating the current scholarship on migrant resettlement. We detail a selection of cases in which the environment plays a role in the displacement of a population, including sea level rise in Pacific Island States, cyclonic storms in Bangladesh, and desertification in West Africa, as well as the role of deforestation in South America’s Southern Cone as a driver of both climate change and migration. We outline examples of each, highlighting the complex set of losses and damages incurred by populations in each case.

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