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Population Movements and Human Security

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Abstract

At the outset of global efforts to understand and confront climate change, migration was presented as a cautionary tale: a security threat compromising the stability of affected societies and surrounding countries, which justified mitigation action. Thirty years later, the negative view of migration persists, but it is much more nuanced and contested by a plethora of research that suggests a complex picture of intersections between climate change, disaster risk, and population movements. The chapter provides an overview of these intersections, particularly in the Asian context. The presentation is divided around three main themes. The first deals with the initial framing of climate change and disasters as a cause and migration as a threat. It describes the causal mechanisms proposed and how regional evidence does or does not support migration fears. The second theme introduces current efforts to reframe migration as a means to adapt to the effects of climate change. Evidence from existing experience using migration to confront environmental stress, individually by people themselves or through resettlement programs, is reviewed. The third theme refers to emerging issues derived from confronting climate change and disasters on a background of moving populations. Two issues receive specific attention: addressing the needs of migrant populations affected by disaster crises and the role of remittances in responding and recovering from them. The final section synthesizes the three themes, identifying the prospects of reducing human insecurity and providing security through migration, or despite it.

Keywords

  • Environmental migration
  • Adaptation
  • Resettlement
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Security referent

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Fig. 9.1
Fig. 9.2
Fig. 9.3

Notes

  1. 1.

    This review draws substantially from my previous general review on climate change and migration (Gomez 2013a), expanding, deepening, as well as reevaluating observations made in that occasion.

  2. 2.

    Using apparently the same data, Shrestha and Bhandari (2007) had found correlation on all types of migration, suggesting the difficulties of this kind of research.

  3. 3.

    The transmigration scheme of Indonesia should also not be ignored (van Der Wijst 1985). Thanks to Professor Pulhin for pointing this out.

  4. 4.

    From the MICIC homepage https://micicinitiative.iom.int/about-micic (accessed January 9, 2021).

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Gómez, O.A. (2021). Population Movements and Human Security. In: Pulhin, J.M., Inoue, M., Shaw, R. (eds) Climate Change, Disaster Risks, and Human Security. Disaster Risk Reduction. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-8852-5_9

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