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The Complexity of the Climate Change, Migration and Conflict Nexus

Reuters/Rodi Said

By Dr. Marc Kodack

Researchers are actively assessing the interactions between climate/environmental change and migration (here) and, climate change, migration, and conflict (here and here) to increase our understanding of the diverse effects that climate change will have on populations around the world. Understanding the complex interaction between climate change, migration and conflict requires a theoretical model that can be empirically supported particularly when causality is too often assumed, but not analytically demonstrated, e.g., resource scarcity driven by climate change leads to out-migration which, in turn, results in conflict with populations living in receiving areas. We are thus looking back to a 2015 article by Brzoska and Fröhlich for a comprehensive understanding of the “environmental, economic and sociopolitical consequences of climate change contributing to migration and the different functions of migration in this context.”

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The Center for Climate and Security on Climate One: Migration and Resilience

Francesco Femia_2013SherriGoodman2018Hill_AliceIn case you missed it, the team of Center for Climate and Security (CCS) analysts has featured significantly in recent episodes of the excellent Climate One, a free radio program that is “broadcast on 90 public radio stations across the country and around the world, including on NPR International, Armed Forces Radio and SiriusXM.” This included a February 7 interview on climate change, migration and security with CCS Co-Founder, Francesco Femia, and another program on climate resilience and security, released on February 14, featuring CCS Senior Strategist Sherri Goodman, and CCS Advisory Board Member, Alice Hill. Click the links above to either listen to the full programs, or read the transcripts. Below are a few excerpts from the interviews. (more…)

The Climate and Security Podcast: Episode 13 with Louise Van Schaik

Louise Van Schaik_CCS Podcast_Episode 13Welcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast!

In this episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to Louise Van Schaik, Head of the Clingendael International Sustainability Centre at the Clingendael Institute and Senior Member of the Executive Committee of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS). Louise discusses the relationship between climate change, security and migration from a European perspective. She describes the evolution of the Planetary Security Initiative and how it had worked to help reduce and reverse security risks associated with climate change. She emphasizes the importance of identifying and undertaking climate adaptation actions for the purpose of conflict prevention and peace building efforts. Check out the incredible examples Louise provides in this episode!

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Central America: Climate, Drought, Migration and the Border

Nicaragua37_lo_(5472078328)

Dry season in Nicaragua, 19 February 2011

By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, US Navy (Ret)

The dominant media narrative that explains the reasons for current Central American migration to the United States centers on the dismal economic and security conditions across source states: Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The ‘failing economies’ and ‘corrupt governments’ narratives largely frame our understanding of the near en masse emigration of Central Americans northwards. However, those explanations don’t tell the whole story. The ongoing food security crisis across the region (caused by drought, crop disease, and water shortages) deserves special examination, not only because it might be a leading causal factor for the crisis, but also because it is undoubtedly one of its catalysts. As such, any U.S. policy prescriptions that do not help to address the catastrophic impacts of environmental changes on Central American agriculture, will fail to achieve their objectives.

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