Conceptualizing and Contextualizing Research and Policy for Links between Climate Change and Migration
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AbstractMuch literature on links between climate change and migration tends to downplay ambiguities in the terms and the limited empirical evidence. This paper presents a critical review of some literature on climate change and migration through conceptualising and contextualising the linkages between the two topics. Conceptualizing refers to the knowledge gaps and the need to understand and detail (even if not agreeing on) conceptual issues such as terminology, definitions, linkages, drivers, thresholds, implications, data requirements, and methodologies. Contextualizing refers to understanding the climate change and migration debate within wider topical and geographical contexts. Results identify major qualitative and quantitative gaps. Qualitatively, limited material exists on why people react differently to similar environmental stressors and why certain outcomes may arise. Quantitatively, credible and verifiable measures are not always available for assessing the climate change impacts on migration. This paper recommends a stratified, multi-disciplinary approach to facilitate policies regarding climate change and migration connections.