Department of Geography

Environmental refugees or climate adaptors?

Is migration part of the solution to climate change adaptation?

The potential impact of climate change on human migration is one of the most hotly debated aspects of climate impacts. Initial ideas were of a ‘of crisis migration’ where people were forced from their lands and home by the impacts of climate variability and change. More recent nuanced debates have explored the possibility that migration might well be an effective adaptation strategy through the generation of social and financial remittances. However this is not to ignore the idea that some people may still be trapped in certain locations exposed to climate change impacts by a lack of assets and capitals to migrate. Research at Sussex funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network and the EU, in Africa, Central America and Asia is measuring and modeling the impacts of migration on the resilience of communities to climate change and other transformative forces.  This information is being used by governments to inform policy making in this area. A particular speciality of the work at Sussex is the use of agent based models to understand how mass flow of migrants emerge.

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