Ecological refugees: movements of people from marginalized regions due to environmental problems [Commission for Marginalization and Global Apartheid and Commission for Anthropology and Environment)
Subhadra Channa (Delhi University)
Heather OLeary (Washington University in St Louis)
Living landscapes: Anthropocene/Paysages vivants: Anthropocène
VNR 2027
Start time:
4 May, 2017 at 14:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel invites papers on the forced movements of the poor and marginalized people from environments threatened by climate change and anthropogenic causes.

Long abstract:

In recent times millions of people are living in environments that are continuously threatened by climate change and other anthropogenic activities that cause floods, submergence of land, deforestation, volcanic eruptions and storms; leading to movements of populations. These are most often the people who are also on the margins of society because of their poverty, social and political marginalization, who do not get any support when their livelihoods disappear or their lands are submerged or rendered uneconomic. The people living in closest association with the environment, namely the indigenous and tribes, are the most vulnerable as they feel even the slightest variations in their habitat as a direct loss. In the name of modernity and development these habitat and the people native to them, like small island dwellers, forest and mountain dwellers often suffer devastation, when dams are built, mining takes place or massive urbanization dries up ground water or causes loss of vegetation. Pushed out of their original habitats these people are forced to migrate to cities or other locales where the indigenous knowledge and skills acquired by them are deemed useless and they find themselves at the bottom of the economic hierarchy, struggling for survival in hostile environments. This panel invites papers that illuminate cases of such displacements and migrations as well as probes the power hierarchies and inequalities that are causative of both environmental degradation and the exploitation of resources of marginal people.