Examining the complex relationship between environmental change and human displacement
Environmental change is potentially one of the most significant generators of population displacement and yet we know remarkably little about the complex and multivariate processes – environmental, political, social and economic – at the root of this relationship.
Building on an initial project completed in 2010, this project investigated the conjuncture between environmental stress and population displacement in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia.
Using a ‘local lens’, the outputs from this project challenge the ahistorical, apolitical and neo-liberal framing of the way in which environmental variables are claimed to shape mobility decisions in a context of environmental stress and the rights that might pertain to this process. Instead, the analysis from this project explains (im)mobility in terms of structures and ‘hinge points’ of political and social power and disempowerment that shape access to resources and condition the livelihoods of vulnerable households.
Case Study: Environmentally Displaced People
International and national legal and normative frameworks protect the rights of many different groups of forced and involuntary migrants – refugees, stateless persons, people who are trafficked, and those displaced in their own countries by disasters and conflict. However, a new category of involuntary migrant is emerging for whom there is a significant rights ‘protection gap’.