Climate Change and Forced Environmental Migration Vulnerability of the Portuguese Coastline
Against the backdrop of Climate Change and the inevitable increase in the negative consequences which arise, there emerges the need to study their economic, socio-demographic and environmental impacts. In this context comes a new threat to human well-being: the “forced environmental migration” of populations due to environmental phenomena resulting from changes in the Earth’s climate. There are regions of the World with greater vulnerability to climate change and its consequences than others; countries with extensive coastal areas are included in these regions. As Portugal is a country with a considerably long coastline, it is extremely important to study the problems that such a shoreline faces, particularly those that arise from the increase in the average sea level. These problems resulting from climate variability associated with abusive and inappropriate use of the coastline increases its degradation and the vulnerability of the resident population. In some situations, the best solution involves implementing the planned withdrawal projects through the displacement of the population to an area more climatically stable, which can be considered “forced environmental migration”. In Portugal, there are several locations in this situation, as we can see through existing initiatives and interviews with local municipal authorities responsible for environmental issues. In the north of the country, withdrawals are planned in seven locations: S. Bartolomeu do Mar, Bonança, Pedrinhas and Cedovém in the municipality of Esposende; Paramos in the municipality of Espinho; Esmoriz and Cortegaça in the municipality of Ovar.