Rethinking human mobility in the face of global changes – A focus on Bangladesh and Central Asia

Mosello, Beatrice; Christian König, Emily Wright and Gareth Price 2021: Rethinking human mobility in the face of global changes. A focus on Bangladesh and Central Asia. London: Cascades EU.

This paper examines the interaction between climate impacts, migration, displacement and (in)security. It aims to go beyond the prevailing narratives on climate change and migration to better understand the different ways in which mobility can serve as an adaptive strategy to climate- and conflict-related risks and vulnerabilities. It also aims to assess how effective mobility is as an adaptation strategy and will continue to be in light of other stresses, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

The analysis focuses on two case studies, Bangladesh and Central Asia, each presenting different human mobility pathways. It adopts a diversity lens to consider how the success/effectiveness of mobility strategies is sensitive to the position of individuals in society and the opportunities they have. It also considers how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the ability of climate-vulnerable populations to use mobility as an effective adaptation strategy, considering movement restrictions, increased unemployment in cities, reduced opportunities for seasonal work (e.g. in the agricultural sector), return migration, and impacts on remittance flows.

In conclusion, the paper makes five recommendations to inform governments in countries of origin and international development and humanitarian policies and programmes in relation to mobility and climate change/security, including those of the EU and EU member states:

  • Increase knowledge and awareness
  • Promote adaptation and development
  • Strengthen and develop national policies, strategies and legal frameworks
  • Finance the responses
  • Drive strong global action and cooperation

Read the full Cascades policy paper on climate change, mobility and security in Bangladesh and Central Asia here.