Planned Relocation from the Impacts of Climate Change in Small Island Developing States: The Intersection Between Adaptation and Loss and Damage

  • Melanie PillEmail author
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


An increasing number of people have to abandon their homes and livelihoods due to the adverse impacts of climate change. Human mobility has always been part of people’s lives, however, some movements, especially planned relocation in the context of climate change, have become involuntary. Non-economic losses occur and the question is whether the relocation of entire communities is still and adaptation response or falls under the realm of loss and damage (L&D) from climate change. This chapter explores the intersection between migration as an adaptation response and L&D with a focus on small island developing states. It analyses when human mobility can no longer be described as adaptation as non-economic losses become too high. It shows that existing frameworks are inadequate to assess community relocation in the context of L&D and non-economic losses. The chapter concludes that there is a spectrum leading from human mobility as an adaptation response to forced migration as L&D. It develops a new framework to assess planned relocation projects and provides concrete recommendations to reduce non-economic losses.


Climate change Loss and damage Planned relocation Adaptation Small island developing states Human mobility Non-economic losses 



I would like to express my thanks to Dr. Anthony Weir for his advice and help in refining this chapter as well as my supervisor Professor Jamie Pittock for his continued support and guidance.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fenner School of Environment and Society CanberraAustralian National UniversityActonAustralia

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