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Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) 2019

Climate-Induced Migration in the Ancash Region in Peru

Løken, Ingrid

Titre : Climate-Induced Migration in the Ancash Region in Peru

Auteur : Løken, Ingrid

Université de soutenance : Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Grade : Master’s thesis in Geography 2019

The present thesis aims to answer the following research questions : How does the rural population perceive climate change and its causes in the Ancash Region ? In what way do they believe that climate change leads to migration ? The research questions have been illuminated through qualitative method of inquiry. By applying in-depth interviews and oral histories, individual experiences and perceptions have been obtained. This can provide an illustrative perspective of climate change and migration as consequence, as a supplement to external quantitative research on physical geographical changes. Snowball sampling has been selected as purposive sampling technique, additionally maximum variation as final selection of participants to obtain a wide range of perceptions. The study examines unique migration histories but also important common patterns that cut across variations. The analytical approach applicates relevant theory and key concepts for discussion of main results. External quantitative research concerning climate change is presented, additionally a categorization of slow onset and rapid onset climate change impacts. Key terms and indicators such as multi-causality, forced migration and climate-induced migration serve as theoretical basis for discussing migration. Slow onset climate change impacts are perceived by former rural small-scale farmers in the Ancash Region. Their perceptions reveal changes in precipitation pattern, intense hailstorms and increased frequency of ground frost. The study reveals progressively increasing impacts of climate change on agricultural production since the 1960s. Environmental degradation of soil and crops has caused the participants of this study to migrate within the Ancash Region. An invisible and indirect link between climate change and migration appears, due to the following reasons : slow onset climate change impacts being less dominant than rapid onset impacts ; lack of knowledge of global climate change among the participants and difficulties distinguishing causes of migration. The study reveals and discusses the complexity of migration analysis and of defining climate-induced migrants, in addition advantages and disadvantages of applying a legal decision framework of climate-induced migrants. The thesis proposes defining the majority of the participants of the present study as “environmentally forced migrants”. This is due to the fact that the findings regarding perceptions of climate change reveal severe changes having detrimental effects, causing rural population of the Ancash Region to leave their places of origin. Concurrently the study reveals the importance of consideration of the multi-causality of migration in migration analysis.


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