Environmental change, adaptation strategies and the relevance of migration in Sub-Saharan drylands

Type

Journal Article

Author(s)

Wiederkehr, C.
Beckmann, M.
Hermans-Neumann, K.

Title

Environmental change, adaptation strategies and the relevance of migration in Sub-Saharan drylands

Year

2018

Journal

Environmental Research Letters

Abstract

Understanding coping and adaptation behaviour of different population groups in the context of global environmental change has become increasingly important, especially in regions with high vulnerability such as Sub-Saharan drylands. In this regard, household strategies tend to be dependent on local and context-specific conditions. However, the strategic development of climate change adaptation measures, as well as natural resource and migration management on national and international level require transferable results and recommendations. In this paper, a first attempt is made to address the lack of meta-knowledge and to create a bigger trans-regional picture on the topic. It provides an exploratory and systematic synthesis of quantitative and qualitative data from 63 studies covering more than 9,700 rural households from Sub-Saharan African drylands. Relevant household coping and adaptation strategies under different types of environmental change are assessed with a particular focus on the role and relative significance of migration. The results demonstrate that strategies related to crop, livestock, soil and water management are, by far, the most common. Yet, various forms of migration are reported as strategy by about 23% of the households. Corroborated by qualitative findings, this emphasises the importance of migration for responding to unfavourable environmental
conditions at the household level. Based on the synthesised literature, future directions for research needed to support socially and ecologically sustainable coping and adaptation are provided.

Citation

Wiederkehr, C., Beckmann, M., & Hermans-Neumann, K. (2018). Environmental change, adaptation strategies and the relevance of migration in Sub-Saharan drylands. Environmental Research Letters. URL : http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aae6de/pdf