Environmental Migration and Displacement
While there is a growing body of research about the effects of environmental factors – including climate change – on migration and displacement, much less is known about how many people will migrate or where or when they will move. ISIM faculty are seeking to fill these gaps through several research projects, including field-based research in Bangladesh and conceptual work on the issue of planned relocations.
Environmental Drivers of Out-Migration in Bangladesh
As part of an interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers from the University of Colorado, Vanderbilt, LSU, Georgetown, and Khulna Universities, this project brings together social scientists, physical scientists, and engineers to investigate the critical interactions between natural and human systems that influence out-migration in Bangladesh. With generous funding from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research, Professor Donato and her collaborators examine research questions that intersect the environmental, social, and behavioral sciences. Our research uses mixed methods to collect and analyze individual, household, and community data and examine decision making and behavior related to migration.
Integral to this project is the Bangladesh Environment and Migration Survey (BEMS). Designed to understand how environmental stressors–particularly salinity, cyclones, and riverbank erosion–affect patterns of migration in the southwest region of Bangladesh, the BEMS also offers us data to understand how migration in household and community resilience relates to environmental change.
The first phase of the BEMS began in the fall of 2013 and continued through the spring of 2014. We gathered data from randomly selected households in 10 communities. Phase 2 began early in 2019 and expand data collection to an additional 20 communities. In both phases, we collect data from household heads and spouses, from migrants, and from community leaders.
- Carrico, A.R., & Donato, K.M. (2019). Extreme Weather and Migration: Evidence from Bangladesh. Population and Environment, published online June 28.
- Benneyworth, L., Gilligan, J., Ayers, J.C., Goodbred, S., George, G., Carrico, A., Karim, M.R., Akter, F., Fry, D. Donato, K., Piya, B. (2016). Drinking water insecurity: Water quality and access in coastal southwestern Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 26, (5-6).
- Donato, K.M., Carrico, A.R., Sisk, B., Piya, B. (2016). Different but the same: How legal status affects international migration from Bangladesh. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 666, 203-218.