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Climate-induced migration in South Asia: Migration decisions and the gender dimensions of adverse climatic events

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There is significant interest in determining the role of climate-induced shocks as a
prominent driver on migration decisions of different groups of farmers in South
Asia. Using data from a survey of 2,660 farm-families and focused group
discussions in Bihar (India), Terai (plains) (Nepal) and coastal Bangladesh, we
employed logistic regression to investigate household response towards migration
and gender dimensions of adverse climatic events. The results suggest that migration
decisions depend on farmers’ unique resource profiles: (a) households that use
migration to improve their resilience, mostly resource rich households; (b)
households that have no alternative but to migrate, mostly poor farmers; and (c)
households who cannot migrate due to different socio-economic obligations, mostly
farmers with intermediate level of income that also includes women, children and
elderly of different income profiles. These profiles represent a spectrum with
households within a profile being closer to one or the other of the profiles on either
side. They are not mutually exclusive and serve as a point of departure for further
research to refine key explanatory variables. Given that some members of the
household pursue migration as a result of adverse climatic events, government
strategies are required to mitigate risks at destinations and create opportunities for
the trapped populations.

Citation

Bhatta GD, Aggarwal PK, Poudel S, Belgrave DA. 2015. Climate-induced migration in South Asia: Migration decisions and the gender dimensions of adverse climatic events. The Journal of Rural and Community Development 10(4):1-23.