Applying Past Lessons Learned to the Relocation of Climate Change Induced Transboundary Displaced Persons

Mikiyasu Nakayama, Hirotaka Fujibayashi, Nagisa Yoshioka


This study aims to identify a useful and practical methodology to rehabilitate the livelihoods of climate change induced transboundary displaced persons (CCITDP) after they move to developed nations, in particular those from the Small Island Developing States in the Pacific Ocean. Migration sometimes causes conflicts among migrants, or between migrants and those in the host community. Such conflicts could be avoided or mitigated by examining the lessons learned from people’s past resettlement experiences—from those displaced by large infrastructure development projects in Asia and the Pacific or from evacuees of Fukushima due to the nuclear power plant disaster—and using these experiences to better cope with the emergence of CCITDP. Evacuees of an island that is sinking due to sea-level rise may be regarded as either voluntary migrants or CCITDP depending on when they leave the island. Although, lower-class people, who are vulnerable to hardships, will need to leave their homes earlier than wealthier people. These two groups of migrants should be assisted equally to avoid conflicts between the two groups because they may live in the same place after relocation and also to discourage them from staying on the island until they are entitled to assistance as CCITDP. Not all migrants will miss family bonds after relocation, and some may actually enjoy their emancipation from old customs by moving to a new place. The best destination for the first generation of migrants may differ from the best destination for their children.

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