Climate Migrants and Urban Adaptation in India and China

Author : Kaubin Wosti Neupane, Lara Rubinyi, Thirunavukkarasu Sivappha, Yimin Wang | 2016
Published By: University of Wisconsin

The effects of climate change on migration present unprecedented challenges, especially in developing countries (IPCC 2014). India and China are of particular importance due to their population size, climate risks, and global economic influence. This project, designed for the University of Notre Dame Urban Adaptation Assessment initiative, aims to enhance the understanding of climate-induced internal migration in developing countries and the resulting adaptation challenges in urban areas. Using climate migrants as units of analysis, our findings suggest that economic integration, social inclusion, and public service accessibility are important determinants of how well cities are equipped to adapt to the influx of migrants within India and China. To better understand the role of climate-induced internal migration on urban adaptation in China and India, we explore two key questions: 1) are people moving from rural areas to urban centers due to climate change, and 2) if so, what are the resulting challenges of urban planning and development. Literature indicates that people migrate due to either climate stressors (droughts, land degradation, etc.) or shocks (floods, landslides, etc.). We found stressors are more difficult to assess, as their direct effects are often neither acute nor pronounced. Therefore, in this analysis we examine shocks, whose effects are more acute. We conduct in-depth case studies on floods of comparable magnitude in China and India to understand the reasons people do or do not move. We do so with a framework that incorporates socio-economic and political variables as well as factors that hinder or facilitate migration decisions. To add on-the-ground perspectives to this framework and to understand the migrants’ urban experiences, we conducted fieldwork in China and India.

URL : 20170808032447.pdf

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