Environmental Change and Forced Migration: A Critical Issue of Kazakhstan


Journal article


Anand, R.K.


Environmental Change and Forced Migration: A Critical Issue of Kazakhstan




International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management (IJSR)

Vol (No), pp



The impact of ecological factors on migration captured a lot of attention over the recent decade. Environmental changes associated with natural phenomena, anthropogenic impacts and climate change encourages increased migration trends, modify their destinations and forms of migration relevant to environmental factors. We can analyze migration issues effectively by using Lee’s “puss-pull” model. Lee’s model usually analyzes political, economic, demographic, environmental factors which are assumed to push people out of places of origin and lure them into destination places. To understand the migration processes in Kazakhstan Lee’s model is effective. Kazakhstan before disintegration to till now is the backbone of Central Asia. Kazakhstan environment change is the result of both anthropogenic exploitation and natural disturbances. Natural disasters like floods, droughts, wind storms, epidemics, and earthquakes disturb the environment of Kazakhstan time to time. When Kazakhstan was under Soviet Union, maximum nuclear testing programs conducted. Several areas have exposed to high level of nuclear radiation which leads to radioactive pollution for a long period of time. Semipalatinsk is one of them. Diseases like breathing problem, tissue related problem, cancer, eye infection are common. People are bound to leave their native places and resettled in other places which we called forced migration. To became a world superpower Soviet Union make  this place worst to survive because the environment of this region is radiated due to explosion. The Aral Sea represents one of the world’s major human induced environmental problem areas. The forced cultivation of cotton during the Socialist era was the main cause of water diversion for irrigation. The problem became worst when water used for irrigation wasted due to lack of proper management and infrastructure. Other major issues which affect the environment are air pollution, decreasing level of underground water, dust storms, salinity etc. Air pollution in Kazakhstan is the fundamental result of industrial smokes, mineral extraction, inadequate industrial policies and management. In Kazakhstan, the cause of maximum internal displacement of people is due to adverse environmental conditions like in Kyzylorda province and in East- Kazakhstan where Semipalatinsk and the Aral Sea are located respectively.


Anand, R. K. (2013) Environmental Change and Forced Migration: A Critical Issue of Kazakhstan. International Journal of Science and Research 4(5).