Thursday, November 29, 2012

Migration not always a way to adapt

IRIN: As the impact of climate change unfolds, many have predicted forbidding scenarios of millions of impoverished people flooding into often affluent countries. Yet a ground-breaking study released on 28 November reveals a more nuanced relationship between climate variability and migration, which could provide insight into how events might transpire in the coming years.

The study, carried out by Care International and the UN University (UNU) in eight countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, reveals that in nearly all instances where rains have become too scarce for farming, people have migrated - but within the national borders.

The project also considered possible future scenarios in Tanzania, where even scarcer rains over the next 25 years were projected to double migration from vulnerable households.  The project’s researchers hope their findings will inform the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks, currently taking place in Doha, by persuading participants to speed up efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and develop effective policies to adapt to rising temperatures.

The three-year research project, Where the rain falls: climate change, hunger and human mobility, covered over 1,300 households and 2,000 individuals in Bangladesh, India, Ghana, Guatemala, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam. 

...It is one of the first empirical efforts to explore how poor households use migration as a risk management strategy to deal with climate stressors and food insecurity. The study also offers insight into how households adjust their behaviour in the face of these changes, which could inform how policymakers support rural communities....

Young people in Guatemala in 1980, shot by Infrogmation, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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