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Migration and Climate Change

Over the past few years, climate change has become a major issue in the international community, and successive reports from the IPCC have demonstrated its possible impact on migration. Whereas population geography has examined environmental factors insofar as they shed light on the different phases of global population and the emergence of cities, it is also important to point out that, until recently, migration studies have overlooked the impact of the environment as a repelling factor resulting in migration. Although there is more and more interest in this problem, specific knowledge in the field is still limited. For instance, we are still uncertain of the exact nature of the active mechanisms, as well as the number of persons and the geographical areas that are affected.

Although precise estimates are unavailable, it is commonly believed that more and more people will migrate in coming years due to environmental changes. At the same time, migration will most likely have a growing impact on the environment. For example, internal migration to cities is expected to continue to increase. Today, over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, many of which are in coastal regions and are particularly vulnerable to rises in sea level. The effects of these changes will vary and the impact will differ in each region of the world.

At the Institute of Geography (IGG), more and more studies are being carried out, and its partners are committed to enhancing their understanding of this phenomenon, not only through field studies (Bolivia, Niger, Peru, the Philippines, Turkey), but also through a theoretical and epistemological perspective. The IGG is also involved in the writing of the IPCC’s fifth report on the social consequences of climate change. (Source image: paxgaea.com).

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