This study highlights the pressing need to mainstream human (im)mobility into climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction policy and strategy. It also raises important questions relevant to the ‘climate migration as adaptation’ debate.
The paper evaluates the role of human (im)mobility in climate adaptation in Bangladesh, a nation experiencing some of the worst effects of climate change. Drawing on over five years of peer-reviewed field research articles in the CliMig bibliographic database, this meta-study considers a plurality of climate-related human (im)mobilities, both forced and voluntary, occurring across a variety of ecological and geographic contexts. In the academic literature, much has been made about the context-specificity of climate change impacts on humans and the multicausal nature of climate-related (im)mobility. While this study’s findings support both positions, they also highlight commonalities that cut across ecological contexts, geographic locations, (im)mobility pathways, and phases of (im)mobility. Socioeconomic factors that predate and often contribute to environmental displacement, migration, and involuntary immobility are found to remain operative throughout the (im)mobility lifecycle in the sample. Vulnerabilities are rarely resolved through (im)mobility. Indeed, because most of the (im)mobilities in the dataset are involuntary and autonomous, with climate-related displaced people receiving little or no external support, (im)mobility often becomes erosive and maladaptive.
Published by Researching Internal Displacement