Accepted Paper:

Migration as an Adaptation to Coastal Erosion? Evidence from Chaukatali in South-east Bangladesh  
Joanne Jordan (University of Manchester)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the effects of environmental factors on migration and its implications for adaptation. It establishes erosion as the key driver of migration with four factors influencing migration outcomes. It gives emphasis to those that are ‘trapped’ in locations exposed to risk.

Paper long abstract:

Migration was initially characterised as a problematic outcome of climate change, as a failure to adapt, however more recently there has been a shift towards recognising the opportunities of migration as an adaptation to environmental and other risks. This paper aims to build on this emerging theoretical and empirical case-based literature, specifically; it examines the effects of environmental factors on migration, and its implications for adaptation, through case-study research in Chaukatali in South-east Bangladesh. It establishes an environmental factor - coastal erosion, as the dominant driver of migration; however this driver has induced a wide array of different migration dynamics. The case-study evidence determines that there are four factors (attachment to place, economic capital, education and social networks) that influence these diverse migration outcomes. While each factor can be interpreted as having its own unique value, it is the interaction of these factors that determines the specific nature of this movement at various spatial and temporal scales. In turn, these diverse types/patterns of movement create a range of outcomes, both positive and negative; which have implications on whether migration is interpreted as an effective adaptation or a failure to adapt. Specifically, this study emphasises the importance of giving attention to those that lack resources and assets and are thus, 'trapped' in locations exposed to risk through a process of cumulative impoverishment.

Panel P30
Understanding everyday perceptions: a new wave of climate change and migration research.