single-dr.php

JDR Vol.14 No.9 pp. 1246-1253
(2019)
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2019.p1246

Paper:

Climate Change, Migration, and Vulnerability: Overview of the Special Issue

Mikiyasu Nakayama*,†, Scott Drinkall**, and Daisuke Sasaki***

*Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo
5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8563, Japan

Corresponding author

**Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C., USA

***International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan

Received:
May 29, 2019
Accepted:
August 6, 2019
Published:
December 1, 2019
Keywords:
atoll countries, climate change, livelihood, migration, Pacific
Abstract

Atoll countries in the Pacific, namely Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu, will become sources of climate migrants in the foreseeable future. This study aimed to examine if people in these atoll countries were, are, or will be ready to successfully relocate to foreign countries by re-establishing their lives and livelihoods in a new environment. An international collaborative research project was launched and implemented from 2017 to 2019. Case studies were conducted in Micronesia, Kiribati, and the Marshall Islands as the origin of climate migrants and in Fiji and the USA as their destination. It was found that a number of legal tools and practical policy measures are available for countries to alleviate the struggles of environmental migrants, despite the lack of a comprehensive legal framework that protects environmental migrants by allowing them to move to other countries. In addition, 65% of the college and university students in the Marshall Islands indicated education as their primary reason to migrate abroad, followed by work (15%), health (8%), family (7%), climate change (3%), and natural disasters (2%). The ratios of students who wished to migrate because of climate change were similar between the Marshall Islands (3%) and Micronesia (4%), despite the fact that the former is an atoll country and the latter is mostly composed of “high-lying islands.” As for the migrants from the Marshall Islands and Micronesia to the USA, climate change was revealed to be a contributing factor for some in their decision to migrate, and more so as a factor for not returning home. It was also found that education had more influence than religion or culture on people’s perception of climate change and its implications in the Marshall Islands and Kiribati. The policy implemented in Vienna, Austria was proved to be effective in avoiding the emergence of society and culture-bound mental illness, which is inherent to large, isolated ethnic communities.

Cite this article as:
M. Nakayama, S. Drinkall, and D. Sasaki, “Climate Change, Migration, and Vulnerability: Overview of the Special Issue,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.9, pp. 1246-1253, 2019.
Data files:
References
  1. [1] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Global Warming of 1.5C: Impacts of 1.5C of Global Warming on Natural and Human Systems,” https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/02/SR15_Chapter3_Low_Res.pdf [accessed April 17, 2019]
  2. [2] J. Barnett and W. N. Adger, “Climate Dangers and Atoll Countries,” Climatic Change, Vol.61, No.3, pp. 321-337, 2003.
  3. [3] C. D. Storlazzi, E P. Elias, and P. Berkowitz, “Many atolls may be uninhabitable within decades due to climate change,” Nature, Scientific Reports No.5, Article:14546, https://www.nature.com/articles/srep14546 [accessed April 17, 2019]
  4. [4] N. Myers, “Environmental Refugees: An emergent security issue,” 13th Economic Forum, May 2005, Prague, https://www.osce.org/eea/14851?download=true [accessed April 17, 2019]
  5. [5] J. Campbell and O. Warrick, “Climate Change and Migration Issues in the Pacific,” United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Pacific Office, http://www.ilo.org/dyn/migpractice/docs/261/Pacific.pdf [accessed April 17, 2019]
  6. [6] O. Brown, “Migration and Climate Change,” Int. Organization for Migration (IOM) Research Series, No.31, https://www.iom.cz/files/Migration_and_Climate_Change_-_IOM_Migration_Research_Series_No_31.pdf [accessed April 17, 2019]
  7. [7] United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030,” 2015.
  8. [8] United Nations, “International Expert Group Meeting on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change, Theme 1 – Effects of Climate Change on Indigenous Peoples, Darwin, Australia, April 2–4, 2008,” http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/EGM_cs08_Elisara.doc [accessed April 17, 2019]
  9. [9] Asia Development Bank (ADB), “Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific,” https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/443671/ki2018.pdf [accessed April 17, 2019]
  10. [10] PBS News Hour, “Marshall Islands: A third of the nation has left for the U.S.,” December 16, 2018, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/marshall-islands-a-third-of-the-nation-has-left-for-the-us [accessed April 20, 2019]
  11. [11] B. Schulte, “For Pacific Islanders, Hopes and Troubles in Arkansas,” New York Times, July 4, 2012, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/us/for-marshall-islanders-hopes-and-troubles-in-arkansas.html [accessed April 20, 2019]
  12. [12] Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the United Nations, “National Communication regarding the Relationship Between Human Rights & The Impacts of Climate,” http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/climatechange/docs/Republic_of_the_Marshall_Islands.doc [accessed April 17, 2019].
  13. [13] Government of Kiribati, “Kiribati Climate Change: About Kiribati,” http://www.climate.gov.ki/about-kiribati/ [accessed April 17, 2019]
  14. [14] UNICEF, “Kiribati Migration Profiles,” https://esa.un.org/miggmgprofiles/indicators/files/Kiribati.pdf [accessed April 21, 2019]
  15. [15] M. A. Teariki, “Housing and Health of Kiribati Migrants Living in New Zealand.” Int. J. of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol.14, No.10, pp. 1237-1247, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664738/pdf/ijerph-14-01237.pdf [accessed April 21, 2019]
  16. [16] UNDP, “National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan: The Federated States of Micronesia,” https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/1486micronesia.pdf [accessed April 17, 2019]
  17. [17] International Organization for Migration (IOM), “Migration in the Federated States of Micronesia: A Country Profile 2015,” https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/mp_micronesia.pdf [accessed April 20, 2019]
  18. [18] F. X. Hezel, “Micronesians on the move: eastward and upward bound,” East-West Center, 2013, https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/30616/pip009.pdf [accessed April 20, 2019]
  19. [19] S. O’Connor, C. Bruch, and M. Maekawa, “Legal and Practical Measures for Environmental Migrants,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.9, pp. 1254-1261, 2019.
  20. [20] S. N. McClain, J. Seru, and H. Lajar, “Migration, Transition, and Livelihoods: A Comparative Analysis of Marshallese Pre- and Post-Migration to the United States,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.9, pp. 1262-1266, 2019.
  21. [21] S. Drinkall, J. Leung, C. Bruch, K. Micky, and S. Wells, “Migration with Dignity: A Case Study on the Livelihood Transition of Micronesians to Portland and Salem, Oregon,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.9, pp. 1267-1276, 2019.
  22. [22] M. Maekawa, P. Singh, D. Charan, N. Yoshioka, and T. Uakeia, “Livelihood Re-Establishment of Emigrants from Kiribati in Fiji,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.9, pp. 1277-1286, 2019.
  23. [23] N. Yoshioka, I. Taafaki, and Y. McKay, “Higher Education and Destination of the Youth in the Republic of the Marshall Islands: Implication for Climate-Induced Migration,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.9, pp. 1287-1292, 2019.
  24. [24] K. Moriya, “Motivations for Students in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia to Emigrate Abroad,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.9, pp. 1293-1296, 2019
  25. [25] M. Nakayama, I. Taafaki, T. Uakeia, J. Seru, Y. McKay, and H. Lajar, “Influence of Religion, Culture and Education on Perception of Climate Change, and its Implications,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.9, pp. 1297-1302, 2019.
  26. [26] D. Sasaki, I. Taafaki, T. Uakeia, J. Seru, Y. McKay, and H. Lajar, “Influence of Religion, Culture and Education on Perception of Climate Change and its Implications: Applying Structural Equation Modeling (SEM),” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.9, pp. 1303-1308, 2019.
  27. [27] R. Fujikura, M. Nakayama, S. N. McClain, and S. Drinkall, “Addressing the Health Problems After Immigration Faced by the Marshallese in Springdale, Arkansas: Lessons Learned from the City of Vienna,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.9, pp. 1309-1316, 2019.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Nov. 27, 2020