Climatic Change

, Volume 124, Issue 4, pp 733–746 | Cite as

Migrating to tackle climate variability and change? Insights from coastal fishing communities in Bangladesh

  • Md. Monirul IslamEmail author
  • Susannah Sallu
  • Klaus Hubacek
  • Jouni Paavola


There is an on-going debate about climate-induced migration but little empirical evidence. We examine how climate-induced migration has impacted vulnerability and adaptation of a coastal fishing community in Bangladesh. We used household surveys, interviews and focus group discussions to compare fishery dependent households who migrated from Kutubdia Island to mainland with those who stayed behind. Our results suggest that the resettled households are less exposed to floods, sea-level-rise and land erosion than those who stayed behind. They also have more livelihood assets, higher incomes and better access to water supply, health and educational services, technology and markets. In our case study migration has thus been a viable strategy to respond to climate variability and change.


Cyclone Tropical Cyclone Climate Change Impact Migrant Household Livelihood Asset 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study is funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. This study was also supported by the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) and Sustainability Research Institute of the University of Leeds; Carls Wallace Trust, UK; and Annesha Group, Bangladesh. Jouni Paavola also acknowledges the support of the UK Economic and Social Research Council for CCCEP. Authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers, journal editors and Professor Karen O’Brien for their comments on the earlier version of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Md. Monirul Islam
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Susannah Sallu
    • 1
  • Klaus Hubacek
    • 3
  • Jouni Paavola
    • 1
  1. 1.Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  2. 2.Department of FisheriesUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh
  3. 3.Department of Geographical SciencesUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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