Key Messages

Contemporary migration is complex and diverse. Since the 1980s, human mobility has been increasingly linked to climate change, particularly because of the impacts of sea-level rise and coastal erosion and the changes in frequency, occurrence, and intensity of natural disasters. While migration as a response to climate-induced phenomena can take many shapes and forms, research has shown that it is extremely difficult to isolate a clear link between the two. Therefore, over the last decade, there has been a shift away from conceptualising climate mobilities as mass international movements of climate refugees, triggered as a response to environmental impacts. Instead, there is an increased focus on smaller-scale, contextually determined human mobilities to incorporate a wide range of mobility patterns of varying temporalities and spatialities. Immobilities, either voluntary or forced, and the various factors that drive these decisions are also being increasingly considered an integral part of this conceptualisation of climate migration.

Our proposed framework aims to function as a holistic system mapping tool for studying climate migration, which allows the identification of potential grey areas, where proactive responses can be tailored at an appropriate scale and location. The framework also demonstrates the potential for scaling and replication to various project objectives, employing different research methods at multiple scales as a way forward.