Deltas, Vulnerability, and Climate Change: Migration as an Adaptation
Deltas in Africa and South Asia have some of the highest population densities in the world. Many residents along the deltas live in poverty and depend on livelihoods that are sensitive to a changing climate. This research project will examine the issue. Specifically, it will assess migration as a climate change adaptation option in delta areas dealing with a changing climate. It will also deliver policy support to create the conditions for sustainable adaptation which respond to both men's and women's needs.
Migration is a common adaptation strategy used to cope with environmental and economic change in deltas. It can increase the ability of migrant households to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune. However, it can also perpetuate the vulnerability of people left behind or in locations of temporary or permanent resettlement. The impacts men and women experience differ.
Project area and team
The project area covers four deltas: the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta in Bangladesh and India, the Nile delta in Egypt, the Mahanadi delta in India, and the Volta delta in Ghana. A consortium of five institutions with expertise in the different regions will conduct the research. They will study migration in deltas in Africa and South Asia to inform policy on the potential role it can play in promoting sustainable options to adapt to a changing climate.
Different impacts of climate change
Climate change has various types of impacts in these regions: biophysical, economic, political, and social. The research teams will assess how different types of impacts and drivers of change affect vulnerability in deltas. They will evaluate the different impacts on men and women.
The teams will use a model that integrates climate and socio-economic aspects to assess when migration is an appropriate adaptation option, especially for the most vulnerable. Working with stakeholders, they will also contrast migration with other available options.
How the research will be used
The research outcomes will help stakeholders rethink climate change adaptation policies and practices. The results will also serve to mobilize resources to support conditions for more sustainable temporary, periodic, or permanent migration between now and 2100.
By taking a comprehensive interdisciplinary and comparative approach, this project will generate lessons on migration as an adaptation option from the local to the international levels. It will also promote knowledge-sharing across regions and continents, increasing capacity to understand the issues and articulate solutions.