Migration and environmental change in Asia


Book section


Hugo, G.
Bardsley, D.


Migration and environmental change in Asia




Piguet, E.
Laczko, F.

Book Title

People on the Move in a Changing Climate. The Regional Impact of Environmental Change on Migration


Springer Netherlands


Increasingly it is becoming clear that major changes in Asia have implications for global environmental, social and economic systems. Together, environmental change across Asia and increasing internal and international migration already present challenges that are straining the management capacities of nation-states. Future climate change will exacerbate these challenges, as indicated here in the context of likely key regions that are projected to face major change. The chapter synthesises the current academic debate on how such environmental change will influence human migration for Asia. Many millions of people will be highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, and many more people are moving into harm’s way as Asian urban development concentrates in vulnerable areas such as river valleys, deltas and coastal zones. Case studies of potential linear and non-linear changes to future migration due to climate change are presented from sub-regions of Asia. As Asian countries, and particularly those with large, poor populations, experience significant environmental change, people will adapt in situ, but increasingly, policy responses will need to look to support ex situ climate change adaptation that involves the movement of people, systems and/or assets from places of high vulnerability. Such a change in orientation would have significant, non-linear impacts for the many already highly complex migration patterns and networks within and from Asia.


Hugo, G. and D. Bardsley (2014). Migration and environmental change in Asia. People on the Move in a Changing Climate. The Regional Impact of Environmental Change on Migration. E. Piguet and F. Laczko, Springer Netherlands: 21-48.