Climate-related migration in rural Bangladesh: a behavioural model
- 1.5k Downloads
Research into the climate change and migration nexus has often focussed solely on how people move in response to the impacts of variability and change in climate. This notion often ignores the nature of migration as a tried and tested livelihood choice amid a variety of socio-economic and environmental opportunities and limitations. This paper closely looks at the behavioural aspects of migration decision-making in Bangladesh in the context of changes in its economy, and, increasingly, exposure to the impacts of climate variability and change. We find that villagers in areas particularly affected by increasing climatic stresses and shocks are diversifying their traditional livelihood strategies by migrating. Environmental factors, including climatic stresses and shocks, often make such shifts even more necessary. Although the migrants’ primary motivation is better income, in effect, migration becomes an effective form of adaptation. Based on a qualitative study in three geographically distinct places of Bangladesh, we propose that migration is a socially acceptable behaviour that occurs in the context of perceived environmental change and climate variability. Migration decisions are mediated by a set of ‘behavioural factors’ that assesses the efficacy of different responses to opportunities and challenges, their socio-cultural acceptance and the ability to respond successfully. This understanding has policy relevance for climate change adaptation, in terms of both how migrants are perceived and how their movements are planned for.
KeywordsClimate change Hazards Cognitive model Adaptation Decision-making Planned behaviour
The study was conducted as part of a CDKN-funded project focusing on climate change-related migration and policy options for adaptation in Bangladesh. The map of Bangladesh was drawn by Pedram Rowhani, Department of Geography, University of Sussex.
- Adger, W. N., Barnett, J., Chapin, F. S., III, & Ellemor, H. (2011). This must be the place: Underrepresentation of identity and meaning in climate change decision-making. Global Environmental Politics, 11(2), 1–25.Google Scholar
- Afsar, R. (2003). Internal migration and the development nexus: The case of Bangladesh, paper presented at the regional conference on migration, development and pro-poor policy choices in Asia organized by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit and DfID, UK, Dhaka, Bangladesh 22–24 June.Google Scholar
- Agrawala, S., Ota, T., Ahmed, A. U., Smith, J., & van Aalst, M. (2003). Development and climate change in Bangladesh: Focus on coastal flooding and the Sundarbans. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
- Ahmad, N. (2012). Gender and climate change in Bangladesh: The role of institutions in reducing gender gaps in adaptation program. Social development working papers, and a summary of ESW report no. P125705, Paper No. 126/March, 2012, Washington DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
- Ahmad, A. U., Hassan, S. R., Etzold, B., & Neelormi, S. (2012). Where the rain falls project—Case study: Bangladesh, Results from Kurigram District, Rangpur Division, Report No. 2, Bonn: UNH-EHS.Google Scholar
- Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior, organizational behavior and human 673. Decision Processes, 50, 179–211.Google Scholar
- Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behaviour. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Azad, S. N., Billah, M. M., & Farah, M. (2011). Revised foresight workshop on migration and global environmental change: Bangladesh, low elevation coastal zones and islands 3–4 February, Dhaka. Submitted by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, London: Government Office for Science UK.Google Scholar
- Bilsborrow, R. E. (2009). Collecting data on the migration-environment nexus. In F. Laczko & C. Aghazarm (Eds.), Migration, the environment and climate change: Assessing the evidence. Migration research series paper (Vol. 33, pp. 115–196). Geneva: International Organization for Migration.Google Scholar
- Bilsborrow, R., & Okoth-Ogendo, H. W. O. (1992). Population-driven changes in land-use in developing countries. Ambio, 21(1), 37–45.Google Scholar
- Chowdhury, S., Mobarak, A. M., & Bryan, G. (2009). Migrating away from a seasonal famine: A randomized intervention in Bangladesh, Human Development Research Paper 2009/41. New York: UNDP.Google Scholar
- Conisbee, M., & Simms, A. (2003). Environmental refugees: The case for recognition. London: New Economics Foundation.Google Scholar
- Curran, S. (2002). Migration, social capital, and the environment: Considering migrant selectivity and networks in relation to coastal ecosystems. Population and Development Review, 28(Suppl), 89–125.Google Scholar
- De Jong, G. F., & Fawcett, J. T. (1981). Motivations for migration: an assessment and a value-expectancy research model. In G. F. De Jong & R. W. Gardner (Eds.), Migration decision making: Multidisciplinary approaches to microlevel studies in developed and developing countries (pp. 13–58). Pergamon: New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- DMB. (2010). National disaster management plan, Dhaka: Disaster management bureau, disaster management and relief division. Dhaka: Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.Google Scholar
- Ellis, F. (2000). Rural livelihoods and diversity in developing countries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- EM-DAT. (2012a). Top 10 natural disasters in Bangladesh for the period 1900 to 2012, sorted by numbers of total affected people, The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels. http://www.emdat.be/result-country-profile#sumtable. Accessed 8 Nov 2012.
- EM-DAT. (2012b). Disaster data of Bangladesh, The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels. http://www.emdat.be/database. Accessed 8 Nov 2012.
- Entwisle, B., Rindfuss, R. R., Walsh, S. J., Malanson, G. P., Mucha, P. J., Frizzelle, B. G., McDaniel, P. M., Yao, X., Williams, N. E., Heumann, B. W., Verdery, B. W., Prasartkul, P., Sawangdee,Y., Jampaklay, A. (2011). Extreme climate events and migration: An agent-based modelling approach extended abstract for submission to: PAA 2012. http://paa2012.princeton.edu/papers/122100. Accessed 6 July 2013.
- Findlay, A., & Geddes, A. (2011). Critical view on the relationship between climate change and migration: Some insights from the experience of Bangladesh. In E. Piguet, A. Pécoud, & P. De Guchteneire (Eds.), Migration and climate change (pp. 138–159). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Foresight, (2011). Migration and global environmental change, Final project report. London: Government Office for Science.Google Scholar
- Gardner, K. (2009). Lives in motion: The life-course, movement and migration in Bangladesh. Journal of South Asian Studies, 4(2), 229–251.Google Scholar
- Grothmann, T., & Patt, A. (2003). Adaptive capacity and human cognition, paper prepared for presentation at the open meeting of the global environmental change research community, Montreal, Canada, 16–18 October, mimeo.Google Scholar
- Harmeling, S. (2012). Global climate risk index 2012: Who suffers the most from extreme weather events? Weather-related loss events in 2010 and 1991 to 2010, Germanwatch. http://germanwatch.org/en/3667. Accessed 12 Nov 2012.
- Hassan, S. (1991). Environmental Issues and Security in South Asia. Adelphi Papers, p. 262.Google Scholar
- Homer-Dixon, T., & Percival, Valerie. (1996). Environmental scarcity and violent conflict: Briefing book. Toronto: University of Toronto.Google Scholar
- Hunter, L. M., & David, E. (2011). Displacement, climate change and gender. In E. Piguet, A. Pécoud, & P. Guchteneire (Eds.), Migration and climate change (pp. 306–330). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Huq, S., Rahman, A., Konate, M., Sokona, Y., & Reid, H. (2003). Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in least developed countries. London: IIED.Google Scholar
- IPCC. (2012). Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation, a special report of working groups I and II of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Karmalkar, A. C., McSweeney, M. N., & Lizcano, G. (n.d.). UNDP climate change country profiles Bangladesh. http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/research/climate/projects/undp-cp/UNDP_reports/Bangladesh/Bangladesh.hires.report.pdf. Accessed 8 Nov 2012.
- Kniveton, D. R., Smith, C. D., & Black, R. (2012). Emerging migration flows in a changing climate in dryland Africa. Nature Climate Change, 2, 444–447.Google Scholar
- Laczko, F., & Aghazarm, C. (Eds.). (2009). Migration, the environment and climate change: Assessing the evidence. Migration research series paper (Vol. 33). Geneva: International Organization for Migration.Google Scholar
- Mehedi, H. (2010). Climate induced displacement: Case study of cyclone Aila in the southwest coastal region of Bangladesh. Khulna: Humanity Watch.Google Scholar
- Miller, F., Osbahr, H., Boyd, E., & Nelson, D. (2010) Resilience and vulnerability: complementary or conflicting concepts? Ecology & Society 15 si3), 11. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss3/art11/accessed. Accessed 27 Dec 2012.
- MOEF. (2005). National adaptation programme of action. Dhaka: Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.Google Scholar
- Myers, N. (2001). Environmental refugees: Our latest understanding. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 356, 1.61–1.65.Google Scholar
- Narayan, D., Patel, R., Schafft, K., Rademacher, A., & Koch-Schulte, S. (2000). Voices of the poor: Can anyone hear us?. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- NASA. (2009). Cyclone Aila, NASA earth observatory. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=38786.
- Piguet, E. (2010). Linking climate change, environmental degradation, and migration: a methodological overview. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 1(4), 517–524.Google Scholar
- Planning Commission. (2010). Outline perspective plan of Bangladesh 2010–2021 (Vision 2021). Dhaka: Planning Commission, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.Google Scholar
- Planning Commission. (2011). 6th five year plan (2011–2015) accelerating growth and reducing poverty, part-1 strategic directions and policy framework. Dhaka: Planning Commission.Google Scholar
- Planning Commission. (2012). The millennium development goals: Bangladesh progress report 2011. Dhaka: Planning Commission.Google Scholar
- Poncelet, A. (2007). Bangladesh case study report: “The land of mad rivers, EACH-FOR environmental change and forced migration scenarios”. www.each-for.eu/documents/CSR_bangladesh_090126.pdf. Accessed 23 Oct 2013.
- Rahman, A., & Alam, M. (2003). Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in least developed countries (LDC)’’,WP 2, Bangladesh Country Study International Institute for Environment working paper. London: IIED.Google Scholar
- Rahman, A. A., Alam, M., Alam, S. S., Uzzaman, M. S., Rashid, M., & Rabbani, G. (2007). “Risks, vulnerability and adaptation in Bangladesh”, background paper commissioned for the 2007–2008 human development report. New York and Development, London: United Nations Development Program.Google Scholar
- Renaud, F., Bogardi, J. J., Dun, O., & Warner, K. (2007). Control, adapt or flee; how to face environmental migration? InterSecTions number 5. Bonn: United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security.Google Scholar
- Ritchey, P. N. (1976). Explanations of migration. Annual Review of Sociology, 2(363), 404.Google Scholar
- Sarraf, M., Dasgupta, S., Adams, N. (2011). The cost of adapting to extreme weather events in a changing climate. Bangladesh development series paper; no. 28. Washington DC: The Worldbank.Google Scholar
- Schipper, E. L. F. (2007). Climate change adaptation and development: Exploring the linkages, Tyndall centre working paper 107. Norwich: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.Google Scholar
- Schwitzgebel, E. (2011). Belief. In E. N. Alta (Ed.) The Stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy (Winter 2011 Edn.). Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2011/entries/belief/. Accessed 07 July 2013.
- Scoones, I. (1998). Sustainable livelihoods: A framework for analysis, IDS working paper 72. Brighton: Institute of Development Studies.Google Scholar
- Siddiqui, T. (2009, August 27–28). Climate change and population movement: The Bangladesh case. Paper presented at the conference on climate insecurities, human security and social resilience, The RSIS Centre for Non-traditional Security Studies, Singapore.Google Scholar
- Smith, C., Wood, S., & Kniveton, D. (2010). Agent based modelling of migration decision-making. In Proceedings of the European workshop on multi-agent systems (EUMAS-2010).Google Scholar
- Stark, O., & Bloom, D. E. (1985). The new economics of labor migration. American Economic Review, 75, 173–178.Google Scholar
- Tacoli, C. (2011). Not only climate change: mobility, vulnerability and socio-economic transformations in environmentally fragile areas of Bolivia, Senegal and Tanzania, Human Settlements Working Paper Series Rural-Urban Interactions and Livelihood Strategies—28, London: IIED.Google Scholar
- Tickell, C. (1989). The human impact of global climate change, natural environment research council annual lecture at the royal society, London: 5 June 1989.Google Scholar
- Toufique, K. A., & Turton, C. (Eds.). (2002). Hands not land: How livelihoods are changing in rural Bangladesh. Dhaka: Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies.Google Scholar
- Walsham, M. (2010). Assessing the evidence: Environment, climate change and migration in Bangladesh, working paper. Geneva: International Organization for Migration.Google Scholar
- Warner, K., Ehrhart, C., de Sherbinin, A., Adamo, S., Chai-Onn, T. (2009). In search of shelter: Mapping the effects of climate change on human migration and displacement. Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University, CARE International, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, World Bank.Google Scholar
- WARPO. (2006). Coastal development strategy Dhaka: Water resources and planning organisation, government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.Google Scholar
- Wisner, B., Pierrre, B., & Cannon, T. (2004). At risk: Natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- World Bank. (2010). World development report 2010, development and climate change. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
- World Bank. (2012). World development report 2013, overview: Jobs. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- World Bank. (2013). Bangladesh: Priorities for agriculture and rural development, agriculture in south Asia. http://go.worldbank.org/770VR4DIU0. Accessed 07 July 2013.
- Zaman, M. Q. (1989). The social and political context of adjustment to riverbank erosion hazard and population resettlement in Bangladesh. Human Organization, 48(3), 196–205.Google Scholar
- Zaman, M. Q., & Weist, R. E. (1991). Riverbank erosion and population resettlement in Bangladesh. Practicing Anthropology, 13(3), 29–33.Google Scholar