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Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia (2012)

Effects of land degradation induced migration in Africa : providing evidence on the role of climate and environmental change as drivers of migration

Bendandi, Barbara

Titre : Effects of land degradation induced migration in Africa : providing evidence on the role of climate and environmental change as drivers of migration

Auteur : Bendandi, Barbara

Université de soutenance : Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

Grade : PhD programme in Science and Management of Climate Change 2012

Résumé partiel
Climate change and migration are closely interconnected in many parts of the world. Migration is a key way by which households cope with and adapt to rapid and slow environmental changes. Under extreme conditions of drought, economic hardship, and political instability, migration is used as a last-resort survival mechanism. Although these cases continue to happen, they are a less common form of climate-induced migration. Most migration associated with environmental and climate change does not occur under conditions of absolute distress, but of diversification, as households search for opportunities to generate new income sources and to reduce their exposure to environmental and climate related risks and hazards. This type of migration tends to be ignored and raises almost no interest in the media. However, to fully understand the dynamics of migration in less developed countries, it is essential to consider climate change and environmental degradation and increase understanding on the role they play in driving the decision to migrate. In this thesis, the author tried to address this complex subject by adopting a mix of different approaches that take in consideration the challenges and gaps in knowledge. In particular, the aim of this thesis is to provide new evidence on relationship between climatic and environmental changes and migration by : (i) adopting an inter-disciplinary approach and comparing concepts and paradigms from different academic and policy fields ; (ii) elaborating a conceptual framework that shifts from the dominant focus on climate change and addresses migration as a response to gradual environmental changes, such as land degradation and natural resource depletion ; (iii) producing new empirical data through a survey conducted on migrants from sub-Saharan Africa. This thesis consists of a collection of articles and is structured in three chapters, each of which contains one articles/paper. The first two articles have been co-authored, peer-reviewed and published, while the third one has been done in collaboration with the Institute for Scientific Research of the Rabat University that administered the questionnaire in Morocco under the supervision of the author.

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