Project

Climate change-related mobility in the borderlands

The core objective of the project is to offer an in-depth and interdisciplinary study of the interplay between climate change and regional borderlands – their history, politics, social relations and drivers of mobility – in shaping cross-border human mobility.

Understanding the historical and social nature of mobility avoids assuming climate change-related mobility is per se “new” and “exceptional”. Instead, this project aims to uncover how cross-border climate mobility is rooted in mobility histories, contexts and understandings. It will do so with a focus on communities who have historically been mobile in relation to environmental challenges. Think of pastoralists or nomadic fishers.

We aim to uncover how their mobility is being affected by climate change. Is climate change disrupting or changing their mobility patterns and if so, how? How do the historical and socio-cultural ways of moving intersect with these dynamics? And how does this play out in settings of cross-border movement?

The project will centralize the lived experiences and perspectives of those moving, both through participatory mobile methods and collaborative forms of knowledge utilization. In collaboration with Deltares, we will also use interdisciplinary tools to identify the role of climate change in these accounts of mobility.

The project focuses on three regions:

  1. the West African borderlands via two PhD projects, one concentrating on pastoralist mobilities and the other on fishery mobilities;
  2. the Bengal borderlands via one PhD project (focussing on the Sunderban and the surrounding areas);
  3. the Pacific borderlands focussing on Tuvalu-Australian relations (done by Dr. Carol Farbotko and the PI of this project, Dr. Ingrid Boas).