Week 3 // Temporary Expert
Research Update : New insights on Climate Refugees
Last week, I mapped out the different aspects of my topic. This included a preliminary list of stakeholders, causes, effects, etc. Dana added a few more important points to my map.
One of the most important aspects of defining climate refugees, is understanding the term itself. ‘Climate Refugees’ is a term that people use to refer to migrants who are forced to move from their land as a result of Climate Change. ‘Refugees’ on the other hand are defined and protected in international law as persons fleeing armed conflict or persecution. The legal definition of a Migrant and a Refugee is extremely important to my research. Here is an article that explains it explicitly.
Based on my conversation with Basundhara Tripathy, Assistant Professor and Research Project Manager at the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) I realized that climate induced migration cannot be studied as a global phenomenon – it has to be region specific. The reasons for migration depends largely on the socioeconomic conditions of the affected population.
– In Bangladesh, only the Men in the affected families migrate so they can send back money to their families. A key research subject in the study of climate induced migration is the flow of remittance. How does it help, what is the money used for, etc. Almost 2% the GDP of Bangladesh comes from remittance.
– Because the men migrate, the women of the affected families become household heads. This is a big step for conservative communities. Climate induced migration ends up empowering the women.
– Permanent Migration is very rare in these regions because most populations whose livelihoods are affected by climate change, are poor, and one needs a lot of capital to move to a new place.