Migration and global environmental change: methodological lessons from mountain areas of the global South

A. Milan, G. Gioli, and T. Afifi
European Geosciences Union
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Language of Publication: 
Tanzania (United Republic of)
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The relationship between migration and environmental and climatic changes is a crucial yet understudied factor influencing mountain livelihoods in the global South. These livelihoods are often characterized by high prevalence of family farming, widespread dependence on natural resources and high sensitivity to climatic changes. Except for a limited number of empirical case studies, the literature on migration and global environmental change has not yet moved beyond case study results to address and explain global patterns and specificities of migration in mountain areas of the global South. After an introduction to the topic, the authors present their empirical approach combining household surveys, Participatory Research Approach (PRA) tools and key informant interviews through its application in three case studies in Pakistan, Peru and Tanzania. This article suggests that the systematic use of transdisciplinary approaches, with a combination of quantitative and qualitative empirical methods, is the key to understanding global migration patterns in rural mountain areas of the global South. In the future, survey data should be triangulated with PRA results as well as secondary data in order to build household profiles connecting vulnerability (measured through a multidimensional index) with human mobility patterns. Such profiles can be conducive to better understand the feedback processes between livelihoods and mobility patterns both within each case study and across case studies, helping researchers to draw general lessons.

Earth Syst. Dynam., 6, pp.375–388
An Interactive Open Access Journal of the European Geosciences Union.
This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.