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Climate Change, land degradation and migration in Mali and Senegal and their policy impacts. Diana Hummel & Victoria van der Land “ The Hamburg Conference: Actions for Climate Induced Migration ” Hamburg, 16–18 July 2013.

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climate change land degradation and migration in mali and senegal and their policy impacts

Climate Change, land degradation and migration in Mali and Senegal and their policy impacts

Diana Hummel & Victoria van der Land

“The Hamburg Conference: Actions for Climate Induced Migration”

Hamburg, 16–18 July 2013

project migration climate change environment in the sahel micle
Project „migration, climate change & environment in the Sahel“ (micle)
  • Cooperation partners
    • ISOE – Institute for social-ecological research (Project coordination)
    • Geographical Institute, University of Bayreuth
  • Partners in Mali und Senegal
    • Point Sud - Center for Research on Local Knowledge, Bamako, Mali
    • LARTES - Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Transformations Economiques et Sociales, Université de Dakar, Senegal

Duration: September 2010 - April 2014

overall objective research question
Overall Objective & Research Question
  • Analysis of interactions between climate change, land degradation and migration in Sahelian regions Senegal and Mali
    • motives for migration and patterns thereof
    • local population‘s perception and evaluation of climate and environmental changes
    • role of climate and environmental changes in migration decisions
  • What are the specific social-ecological conditions under which migration takes place and how are these conditions impacted by climate and environmental changes?
project design inter transdisciplinary approach
Project Design: Inter- & transdisciplinary Approach
  • Methodology that integrates natural-scientific and social-scientific insights, as well as scientific & non-scientific knowledge
  • In-depth study at local and regional level
  • Identification of policy options (orientation knowledge)
general hypotheses
General Hypotheses
  • Specificsocial-ecologicalconditionsconstitutethecontextformigrationdecisions
  • Migration resultsfrominterplayingfactors on different scales
  • Migration ispath-dependent, multi-causal, multi-directional and selective
  • Temporal & circularmigrationas an established and successfulstrategytocopewithclimatevariablity and as integral partofsocietalaction
  • Environmental conditionscanimpactmobility, environmental changescanbeonefactorforchanges in mobilitystructures
methods social empirical analysis
Methods - Social-empirical analysis
  • Survey: 900 interviews with individuals in Bandiagara and Linguére and in Bamako and Dakar
  • Ca. 120 qualitative Interviews
  • Expert interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Participatory observation
  • Joint fieldwork of natural & social scientists
physio geographical analysis
Physio-Geographical Analysis

Temporal-spatialpatternsofclimatevariability (temperature, precipitation) & vegetationchanges


  • Comparison & evaluationofexistingclimatedata and localisation
  • Long-term time series and high resolution time series
  • Validation ofchangeswithhigherresolutionsystems (Landsat, Rapideye)
  • On-site field work: Groundtruthing, interviewswithlocalinhabitants
study regions lingu re bandiagara
Study Regions Linguère & Bandiagara
  • High population mobility, migration deficit
  • Increasing rainfall variability and land degradation
focus on land degradation
Focus on Land Degradation

Reduction of biological productivity of dryland ecosystems & degradation of ecosystem services as result of natural processes & human activities

  • Study areas characterized by
    • decreasing soil productivity and reduced biodiversity
    • decrease of agricultural production
    • food insecurity
    • increased livestock numbers
    • deforestation, shortage of fuelwood
    • phenomena of „greening“
local representations of climate environment rainfall
Local Representations of Climate & Environment: Rainfall
  • Amounts of rainfall today lower than in the 1960s, rising precipiation in past 20 years
  • Upward trends for the last 5 years & very abundant rainfalls in 2009/2010: very good harvests (ML; SN), but also flooding & crop failure (ML)
  • Not only quantity, but distribution & timing of rainfall important: uncertain start & end of rainy season, heavy rainfalls increasing, persisting moisture on fields
  • Other factors for good harvests: access to seeds, fertilizer, availability of land, labor force
migration patterns spatial dimension
Migration Patterns – Spatial Dimension

Migration is predominantly internal or regional

  • Internal migration prevails

- to cities capitals

- Mali: also to rural destinations in the South

  • Few international/regional migration to
    • Europe, USA & Gulf States more common inLinguère, rare in Bandiagara
    • Abidjan/Cote d‘Ivoire mostimportant destination for

migrants from Bandiagara

suvey attitudes towards migration policies
Suvey: Attitudes towards migration policies

Governmental Action

More than 50% are in favor of encouragement of migration, but almost half of respondents are for restrictive policies

survey attitudes towards migration
Survey: Attitudes towards migration

Great majority of respondents would advise family members to migrate

first results from survey
First results from survey
  • Most findings confirm existing studies
  • Migration characterized by
    • multitude of migration destinations and objectives/motives
    • „new obscurity“ of migration: rural-urban & seasonal migration prevails, but increasingly during the rainy season
    • internal & international migration patterns are intertwined and affected by translocal provisioning strategies
    • social networks are important for migration decisions & motives
    • significant increase of female migration (sometimes sanctioned)
    • Role of education leval & education as motive for migration
  • Climate variability
    • irregularity of rainfall considered as serious problem
    • bad harvests and food shortages are motives for migration
policy impacts
Policy impacts
  • Dealing with fragmented governance-systems in diverse policy-arenas
  • Multi-level governance necessary with focus on citizen‘s needs
    • Inreasing capabilities of the youth
    • Education (not only education level, but quality)
    • Labor in agriculture, industry, services
    • Environment & nature protection
    • Inclusive urban and regional development planning
  • Important instruments at national level
    • Development: Poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSP)
    • Climate & environment: National Action plans (NAPA)

Implementation and ownership

  • Adamo, S.B. (2008): Addressing environmentally induced population displacements: A delicate task. Background Paper for the Population-Environment Research Network Cyberseminar “Environmentally Induced Population Displacements”, 18–29 August 2008 (2-21-2012)
  • Bilsborrow, R.E./ Henry, S.J.F. (2012): The use of survey data to study migration-environment relationships in developing countries: alternative approaches to data collection. Population and Environment 34, 113-141
  • Black, R./D. Kniveton/R. Skeldon/D. Coppard/A. Murata/K. Schmidt-Verkerk (2008): Demographics and Climate Change: Future Trends and their Policy Implicationf for Migration. Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty. Brighton: University of Sussex
  • Doevenspeck, M. (2011): The Thin Line Between Choice and Flight: Environment and Migration in Rural Benin. International Migration, 49(S1): 50–68
  • Findley, S.E. (1994): Does drought increase migration? A study of migration from rural Mali during the 1983–1985 drought. International Migration Review, 28(3): 539–553
  • Foresight: Migration and Environmental Change (2011): Final Report. London: The Government Office for Science
  • Hummel, D. (Ed.) (2008): Population dynamics and supply systems. A transdisciplinary approach. Frankfurt/New York
  • Hummel, D.; Doevenspeck, M.; Samimi, C. (2012): Climate change, environment and migration in the Sahel. Selected issues with a focus on Senegal and Mali
  • Hummel, D.; van der Land, V. (in print): Vulnerability and the Role of Education in Environmentally Induced Migration in Mali and Senegal“. Ecolgy and Society
  • Piguet, E.; Pécoud, A.; de Guchteneire, P. (2011): Migration and Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Warner, K. (2011): Environmental change and migration: methodological considerations from ground-breaking global survey. Population and Environment 33: 3–27