Climate Action

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Climate Change and Migration in Coastal Areas in South Asia

Living reference work entry


Climate Change and Migration

Confusion and contention has surrounded the debate about defining the terms that describe migration caused by climate change. The reason might be attributed to global politics, because it is impossible to address this issue without political considerations; to intellectual conflict, that is, whether the discourse takes place within natural, social, or political science; or to the scarcity of significant empirical evidence (Piguet et al. 2011; McCarthy et al. 2001). Therefore, the two most relevant and widely cited institutions – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – have used the term “environmental migration” to describe migration that has been triggered either directly or indirectly by climate change and label it as one of the subsets of human mobility behavior. The IPCC (2018) identifies migration as environmental “where environmental risks or changes plays a significant...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Ahmed M, Suphachalasai S (2014) Assessing the costs of climate change and adaptation in South Asia. Asian Development Bank, MandaluyongGoogle Scholar
  2. Asian Development Bank (ed) (2012) Addressing climate change and migration in Asia and the Pacific. Asian Development Bank, MandaluyongGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhagat RB (2017) Climate change, vulnerability and migration in India: Overlapping hotspots. In: Climate Change, Vulnerability and Migration. Routledge India, 18–42Google Scholar
  4. Chen J, Mueller V (2018) Coastal climate change, soil salinity and human migration in Bangladesh. Nat Clim Chang 8:981–985. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dasgupta S, Akhter KF, Huque KZ (2015) River salinity and climate change: evidence from coastal Bangladesh. In: World Scientific Reference on Asia And the World Economy. World Scientific, Singapore, pp 205–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Davis KF, Bhattachan A, D’Odorico P, Suweis S (2018) A universal model for predicting human migration under climate change: examining future sea level rise in Bangladesh. Environ Res Lett 13:064030CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. DECCMA (2018) Climate change, migration and adaptation in deltas: key findings from the DECCMA project. In: DEltas, vulnerability & Climate Change: Migration & Adaptation (DECCMA). Accessed 12 Dec 2018
  8. Eckstein D, Künzel V, Schäfer L (2017) Global Climate Risk Index 2018 Who Suffers Most From Extreme Weather Events? Weather-related Loss Events in 2016 and 1997 to 2016Google Scholar
  9. Édes BW, Gemenne F, Hill J, Reckien D (2012) Addressing climate change and migration in Asia and the Pacific: open access e-book. Asian Development Bank. Manila. PhilippinesGoogle Scholar
  10. Fang J, Sun S, Shi P, Wang J (2014) Assessment and mapping of potential storm surge impacts on global population and economy. Int J Disaster Risk Sci 5:323–331. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Haque MS (2005) Migration trends and patterns in South Asia and management approaches and initiatives. Asia Pac Popul J 20:39Google Scholar
  12. Hirji R, Nicol A, Davis R (2017) South Asia Climate Change Risks in Water Management: Climate Risks and Solutions – Adaptation Frameworks for Water Resources Planning, Development, and Management in South Asia.
  13. Hossain MA (2018) The Impact of industrialisation on the suburban growth process. The Case of the Greater Dhaka Region, BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  14. Hugo G (2010) Climate change-induced mobility and the existing migration regime in Asia and the Pacific. Hart PublishingGoogle Scholar
  15. Hugo G, Bardsley D, Tan Y, Sharma V, Williams M, Bedford R (2009) Climate change and migration in the Asia-Pacific region. Asian Development Bank, ManilaGoogle Scholar
  16. Huq S, Rahaman A, Konate M, Sokona Y, Reid H (2003) Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. IDMC (2017) Global report on internal displacement, 2017. IDMC. Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  18. IOM (2014) Glossary-migration, environment and climate change: evidence for policy (MECLEP). International Organization for Migration (IOM), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  19. IPCC (2014) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). IPCC, Geneva. Accessed 20 Jan 2019Google Scholar
  20. Kelkar U, Bhadwal S (2007) South Asian regional study on climate change impacts and adaptation: implications for human development. Human development report 2008Google Scholar
  21. Mani M (2018) South Asia’s hotspots: the impact of temperature and precipitation changes on living standards. World Bank Group, Washington, DCCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Martin M, Billah M, Siddiqui T et al (2014) Climate-related migration in rural Bangladesh: a behavioural model. Popul Environ 36:85–110. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McCarthy JJ, Canziani OF, Leary NA et al (2001) Climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability: contribution of Working Group II to the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  24. MENR (Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources) (2000) Initial national communication under the United Nations framework convention on climate change: Sri Lanka. MENR, Government of Sri Lanka, ColomboGoogle Scholar
  25. Merkens J-L, Reimann L, Hinkel J, Vafeidis AT (2016) Gridded population projections for the coastal zone under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. Glob Planet Chang 145:57–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nakicenovic N, Alcamo J, Grubler A, Riahi K, Roehrl RA, Rogner H-H, Victor N (2000) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES), A special report of working Group III of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  27. National Geographic Society (2017) Visit the World’s only carbon-negative country.
  28. Neumann B, Vafeidis AT, Zimmermann J, Nicholls RJ (2015) Future coastal population growth and exposure to sea-level rise and coastal flooding-a global assessment. PLoS One 10:e0118571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nicholls RJ, Hutton CW, Lázár AN et al (2016) Integrated assessment of social and environmental sustainability dynamics in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta, Bangladesh. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 183:370–381. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Piguet E, Pécoud A, De Guchteneire P (2011) Migration and climate change: an overview. Refug Surv Q 30:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Preston BL, Suppiah R, Macadam I, Bathols JM (2006) Climate change in the Asia/Pacific region: A consultancy report prepared for the climate change and development roundtable. CSIRO, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  32. Rigaud KK, de Sherbinin A, Jones B et al (2018) Groundswell: preparing for internal climate migration. World BankGoogle Scholar
  33. Seto KC (2011) Exploring the dynamics of migration to mega-delta cities in Asia and Africa: Contemporary drivers and future scenarios. Glob Environ Chang 21:S94–S107. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Siddiqui MR (2014) Patterns and Factors of Natural Hazard Induced Out-migration from Meghna Estuarine Islands of Bangladesh. GeoScape 8:17–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Smith P (2007) Climate Change, Mass Migration and the Military Response, Foreign Policy Research Institute. Orbis 51(4):617–633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sultana H, Ali N (2006) Vulnerability of wheat production in different climatic zones of Pakistan under climate change scenarios using CSM-CERES-Wheat Model. In: Second international young scientists’ global change conference, Beijing, pp 7–9Google Scholar
  37. UNDP (2017) Human development reports. Accessed 9 Dec 2018
  38. UNHCR (2008) Climate change, natural disasters and human displacement: a UNHCR perspective. Accessed on 26 June 2019
  39. United Nations (2011) South Asia. Accessed 10 Dec 2018
  40. University of Dhaka (2018, unpublished) Adaptation of climate change Induced Internally Displaced People (IDPs) to cities. A study on the Dhaka Metropolitan Region. University of Dhaka. BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  41. Van Schendel W (2009) A history of Bangladesh. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. World Bank (2009) Environment matters at the World Bank: valuing coastal and arine ecosystem services. Accessed on 26 June 2019
  43. World Bank Group (2018a) Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate). Accessed 9 Dec 2018
  44. World Bank Group (2018b) Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP). Accessed 9 Dec 2018
  45. World Bank Group (2018c) GDP per capita (current US$) Data. Accessed 9 Dec 2018
  46. World Bank Group (2019) The World Bank in South Asia. Accessed 8 Jan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social RelationsEast West UniversityDhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.Department of Geography and EnvironmentUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh

Section editors and affiliations

  • S. Jeff Birchall
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Urban and Regional Planning, Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada