Environmental change and migration as adaptation in rural economies: evidence from Zambia’s rural–rural migration

Type

Journal Article

Author(s)

Makondo, C. C.
Thomas, D. S. G.

Title

Environmental change and migration as adaptation in rural economies: evidence from Zambia’s rural–rural migration

Year

2019

Journal

Migration and Development

Vol (No), pp

1-29

Abstract

Anchored on environmental change and migration theory, this article aims at gaining understanding of the extent to which gradual and long-term environmental factors contribute to human migration. Using long-term rainfall data and scoping opinion on environmental risk among respondents, the extent to which gradual and long-term environmental change is a factor in the least understood form of migration of rural?rural is investigated. Insofar as findings suggest, the environmental factor appears to be the main driver of rural?rural movements. However, we also find that the economic factor makes it difficult for some to leave when they want to while some choose to stay due to their traditional attachment to land. Given their strong cultural attachment, they are ready to face and experience additional or incremental exposure to shocks in this sort of ?voluntary trap?. We conclude that while gradual and long-term environmental factors dominate other drivers in rural migration, economic factors play a major but secondary role in influencing the migration process. Based on the lack of land tenure security, and given the climate change projections, we conclude that migration (which appears to be an immediate survivalist option in rural?rural movements) may prove to be maladaptive in the long term.

Citation

Makondo, C. C., & Thomas, D. S. G. (2019). Environmental change and migration as adaptation in rural economies: evidence from Zambia’s rural–rural migration. Migration and Development, 1-29. URL : https://doi.org/10.1080/21632324.2019.1646534

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