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Climigration: How to Plan Climate Migration by Learning from History?

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Climate change migration, climigration, has occurred through the ages, but with anthropogenic climate change it is predicted to swell. A Special Issue of this journal has earlier discussed environmental change related migration in history. This paper takes a complementary approach by studying other migratory movements in history and applying their lessons to plan climigration. Examples of six historically documented phenomena are investigated: mass migration, refuge seeking, evacuation, exile, slave trade and colonialism. These are explored in relation to the most inhabitable climigration destinations: the northern parts of the United States, Canada, the Nordic countries, Northern European Russia and Siberia. The purpose of this research is to help governments and global organisations to turn desperate, chaotic clirefuge-seeking into orderly, purposeful climigration, so that the migrants maintain their cultural identities, and, with the local inhabitants of the destination areas, build economically, socially, culturally and environmentally sustainable communities.
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Keywords: Climate change; colonialism; evacuation; exile; history; migration; refuge; slavery; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2015

More about this publication?
  • The half-yearly journal Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences acts as a forum and echo chamber for ongoing studies on the environment and world history, with special focus on modern and contemporary topics. Our intent is to gather and stimulate scholarship that, despite a diversity of approaches and themes, shares an environmental perspective on world history in its various facets, including economic development, social relations, production government, and international relations.
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