Siddiqui, T.


Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU)

Year of Publication:


Traditional climate change literature generally treats migration with fear. It is depicted as a manifestation of acute vulnerability of people experiencing climate change. Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and climate change induced displacement. So far little research has been conducted to assess the nature and extent of population displacement linked to climate change in the context of Bangladesh. Through a survey of secondary information this paper attempts to trace the impact of climate change on human security of affected populations and provide evidence of climate change induced migration in Bangladesh. This paper accepts the threat perception of climate change literature, however, it argues for transforming temporary migration of few member of the affected household into a logical and legitimate livelihood diversification strategy of the affected household.

The paper is divided into five sections. Section I attempts to settle some of the terminologies used in describing people who are on the move. Section II presents the socio-economic situation of Bangladesh and juxtaposes the speculations of impact of global climate change on the country. Section III concentrates on the sudden and gradual events of environmental change and looks for empirical evidence of migration in Bangladesh. Section IV reviews environmental policies and legal instruments of Government of Bangladesh (GoB) as well as adaptation strategies both at macro and micro levels and identifies migration as the missing element in those initiatives. The concluding section identifies ways through which migration can be used as one of the adaptation techniques in reducing human insecurities of affected people.

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