Climate Change and Migration in the Maldives: Some Lessons for Policy Makers

Type

Book section

Author(s)

Luetz, J.

Title

Climate Change and Migration in the Maldives: Some Lessons for Policy Makers

Date

2017

Editor(s)

Leal Filho, Walter

Book Title

Climate Change Adaptation in Pacific Countries: Fostering Resilience and Improving the Quality of Life

Publisher

Springer International Publishing

Abstract

In many small island contexts natural disasters and environmental change can combine to overwhelm communal coping capacities, at times triggering ad hoc human migration responses which can be lacking in anticipatory foresight, relevant preparedness, community coordination, and needed funding support. In the foreseeable future on-going urbanisation trends, creeping environmental degradation and progressive climate change can be expected to coalesce in many small island contexts to catalyse human migrations in the 21st Century. This makes forward thinking policy development a critical success factor for equitable migration outcomes, both for migrants and their host communities. Drawing on Ph.D. field research conducted in the Maldives in December 2011 and January 2012, this paper examines the linkages between climate change and human movement. Extensive government coordinated inter-atoll and inter-island migrations make the Maldives a fertile location for migration research. Although at present the majority of migration across the Maldives is internal and not (yet) climate change related, useful lessons can be learned from how the government has planned and implemented macro-managed migrations across the archipelagic nation. These lessons highlight the important role of education and may also inform climate change adaptation and related migration responses in Pacific island contexts. This study extends previous research by expressly inviting the participation of migrants and host communities. In soliciting these unique grassroots perspectives this research aims to identify and encourage more anticipative and congenial migration processes and outcomes.

Citation

Luetz, J. (2017). Climate Change and Migration in the Maldives: Some Lessons for Policy Makers. In W. Leal Filho (Ed.), Climate Change Adaptation in Pacific Countries: Fostering Resilience and Improving the Quality of Life (pp. 35-69). Cham: Springer International Publishing. URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-50094-2_3

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