How Seasonal Migration May Reduce Security Threats from Climate-Induced Migration

March 2020 No Comments

Author | Editor: Schon, J. (University of Florida); Yager, M. (NSI, Inc.)

Invited Perspective Preview

There are estimates that by 2050, roughly 150 million people will be internally displaced. This displacement is also expected to turn into international migration and refugee flows, as displaced populations search for areas where they have a chance to survive and prosper. In this piece, I will show that this is likely to increase the share of the world’s population living near country borders. With greater internal strains on countries, the resulting rapid urbanization rates pose important security threats. In addition, clustering populations around border areas may increase the threat of cross-border political violence. If governments continue responding to high levels of international migration with harsh border enforcement, including border closures, walls, and high-tech monitoring equipment, then they are likely to aggravate these risks. This piece argues that governments need to prepare for adverse effects of climate change by supporting the diverse arrays of adaptation and survival strategies that civilians may use according to their local contexts. This includes allowing people to be as mobile as they feel is necessary and providing options for seasonal migration.

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