Climate change, land degradation and migration in Mali and Senegal – some policy implications

  • Hummel D
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Interactions between climate change, environmental degradation and population movements in the West African Sahel have received a great deal of scholarly attention in recent years. Since the majority of the population living in Sahelian countries depend on subsistence and small-scale farming, climate changes such as increasing temperatures and declining rainfall pose considerable risks to their livelihoods. Migration is one possible response to changing ecosystems. This paper examines the interactions between climate change, land degradation and migratory processes in rural areas of the West African Sahel. The analysis is based on empirical research conducted in Bandiagara, Mali, and Linguère, Senegal, using an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach. From a theoretical perspective, the nexus of climate, environment and migration is conceptualised as a social-ecological system. Against this background, the paper addresses empirical findings on the motives for migration, the mobility patterns and the issue of migration as a strategy to adapt to climate change. The paper further discusses relevant institutions and policy frameworks that impact the livelihoods and mobility of people in the study regions.

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  • Diana Hummel

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