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Environmental change influences population movements at various temporal and spatial scales. Yet individual decisions to migrate involve multiple motivations including perceived environmental risks and economic opportunities. We analyze how perceptions of environmental risks affect migration decisions and future migration intentions. We use cross-sectional household survey data (N = 5,450) from populations engaged in migration in net out-migration areas in four coastal areas in Ghana, Bangladesh, and India to examine ex post-migration motivations and ex ante-future migration intentions. The data include variables on previous migration, migration intentions, well-being, food insecurity, and perceived long-term environmental degradation. The results show that few households identified environmental risks as the primary driver for past migration decisions. Perceived increased severity of drought and household insecurity both reduce stated future migration intentions. Hence, perceptions of environmental risks, including future potential changes, are significant in altering aggregate migration flows from source areas in low-lying coastal regions.

 Adger  WN, Safra de Campos R, Codjoe S, Franco Gavonel M, Mortreux C. & Abu M (2021). One Earth, 4 (1), 146-157

Perceived environmental risks and insecurity reduce future migration intentions in hazardous migration source areas

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