Internal Climate Migration – Part One: The Mobile and the Trapped

Over the next few weeks, I will be highlighting some of the issues surrounding migration and climate change. Among other resources, I will be drawing on a special 256 page report from the World Bank: Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration. This report addresses development issues of people being forced to move under distress to escape the long-term impacts of climate change. I will begin with the following quote from the report:


“The impacts associated with climate change are already shifting patterns of mobility and will increasingly do so. Because mobility is complex, driven by multiple, interacting processes that vary greatly over space and time, there is no straight line of causation from environmental stress to the movement of people. But climate change–driven pressure can directly and indirectly alter mobility patterns. In some cases, people migrate in an attempt to adapt to climate change. In others, the impacts of climate change will lead to movements under distress, induce displacement, or require planned relocation. Favorable environments attract people who are moving; people do not only move away from places of environmental stress, they are equally likely to move to them. Millions of people will be unable or unwilling to move from areas of environmental stress, rendering them immobile or “trapped”.”

Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration, p. 1-2

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