As croplands perish from extreme drought and irregular weather patterns, farmers around the world are losing their livelihoods season by season. More than half of India’s working population comes from the agricultural sector, according to India’s most recent Census in 2011. It can be argued that the crisis in agriculture is a crisis of the country as a whole. These communities experiencing hunger, poverty, and the desolation of their lands are part of the millions of people globally being forced to leave their homes and find refuge elsewhere due to global warming. However, they represent a group of people dependent on the well-being and success of the land. Subsistence, small-hold, and (in some cases) crop farmers are especially vulnerable to drought, which translates into lost farm business revenues and smaller household incomes. They make up the largest share of the global population directly dependent on agriculture. As a result, where drought conditions persist across multiple growing seasons, severe hunger or famine may ensue (McLeman, 2013).
There is an upward projection trend of internal climate migration by 2050 in the three regions of Subsaharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. In a pessimistic scenario, the number of people migrating internally due to climate change across these three regions is estimated to reach around 117 million, but could reach more than 143 million (Kumari, 2018). The intensity of migration proves to be a concern not only for these particular regions, but will lead to implications for the world as a whole. Hence, my framing question is, how will climate migration reshape the world?
Migration due to climactic changes carries many unknowns, but there are certain things that are concrete according to global research by the World Bank; climate change will add large numbers of internal climate migrants, climate change will hit poorer countries and communities disproportionately, and climate migration needs to be managed carefully in order to secure the resilience of all affected (Kumari, 2018). To truly understand these implications, I chose the elements of Land Degradation and Restoration, "Environment" is a word so embedded in environmental discourse and scholarship that it has effectively disappeared. We all know what the environment is—or do we? And what do our unexamined assumptions about environment mean for how we approach environmental issues? A careful examination of the word might lead us to... More Migrants and Refugees, and Environmental Values for my framework.
Land degradation and restoration involves one of the affects climate changes ensues on farmers and agricultural workers. Humanity is dependent on land and soil in so many ways. Not only is it literally the foundation on which humanity builds its structures and from which it extracts resources, but it provides for the needs of humanity in the form of soil in which most of our food is produced and on which trees and plants provide essential forms of shelter, energy, and other ecosystem services. (Chabay, 2018). Land degradation in some areas has cascading impacts as people move to urban metropolises when they are no longer able to survive on their decreasingly productive land or when the land has been taken over by agribusinesses or resource extraction industries.
Environmental migrants and the displacement of populations because of a changed environment is the result of a poignant consequence of climate change, such as an increase in droughts and degraded lands (Felli, 2018). Moreover, climate change, by further degrading natural resources intensifies the possible outburst of violence and triggers migration (Felli & Castree, 2012).
Environmental Values bear reﬂection that the environment is a site of common and shared concern where we have every reason to make common cause. An increasing focus on environmental values, therefore, has the potential, at least, to be a unifying rather than divisive force in our fractured world (Holland, 2018). Additionally, defending environmental values has brought the realization that we might be witnessing what has been called the ‘end of nature’ (McKibben, 1990).
I chose my situated research is to be in India, specifically with farmers and agricultural workers who are at the forefront of decimating lands and a lack of government aid. India is one of the most profound countries experiencing climate-induced migration. It is also where I plan to study abroad and gain knowledgable insight.
Chabay, Ilan. 2018. “Land Degradation and Restoration.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James D. Proctor. New York City: Routledge.
Dhas, Albert Christopher, 2009. “Agricultural Crisis in India: The Root Cause and Consequences,” MPRA Paper 18930, University Library of Munich, Germany.
Felli, R. & Castree, N. (2012) ‘Neoliberalising Adaptation to Environmental Change: Foresight or Foreclosure?’, Environment and Planning A , 44(1): 1– 4.
Felli, Romaine. 2018. “Environmental Migrants and Refugees.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James D. Proctor. New York City: Routledge.
Gemenne, F. 2011. “How They Became the Human Face of Climate Change. The Emergence of ‘Climate Refugees’ in the Public Debate, and the Policy Responses It Triggered.” In Migration and Climate Change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Holland, Alan. 2018. “Environmental Values.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James D. Proctor. New York City: Routledge.
Kumari Rigaud, Kanta. et al. 2018. “Preparing for Internal Climate Migration.” International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank. Washington DC.
McKibben, B. 1990. “The End of Nature.” New York: Viking.
McLeman, Robert & Smit, B. 2006. “Migration as an Adaptation to Climate Change.”