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Sustainable deltas in a changing world

Sustainable deltas in a changing world
Sustainable deltas in a changing world
Deltas and low-lying coastal regions have long been perceived as vulnerable to global sea-level rise due to multiple climatic, environmental and socio-economic drivers, with the potential for mass environmental change and displacement of exposed populations. Populations in deltas are however already highly mobile, with significant urbanization trends driven primarily by economic opportunity. Yet environmental change in general, and climate change in particular, are likely to play an increasing direct and indirect role in future migration trends. The policy challenges centre on understanding what sustainability means within such a dynamic context and how this informs regional adaptation strategies to climate change; the protection of vulnerable populations; and the future of urban settlements within deltas. This paper reviews current knowledge on migration and adaptation to environmental change to assess sustainability in delta regions. It is based on a new integrated methodology to assess deltas, and most particularly migration in those deltas. It uses the Volta delta (Ghana), Mahanadi delta (India) and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta (India and Bangladesh) as case studies. Our integrated method focuses on: biophysical changes and spatial distribution of vulnerability; demographic changes and migration decision-making using multiple methods and data; macro-economic trends and scenarios in the deltas; and the policies and governance structures that constrain and/or enable adaptation. Initial results suggest that migration decision-making strongly interacts with diverse measures for adaptation of land, water and agricultural management. Any notion of sustainability in such dynamic environments cannot be static and must consider and steer these large-scale trends towards more desirable goals.
Hutton, Craig
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Lazar, Attila
d7f835e7-1e3d-4742-b366-af19cf5fc881
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Kebede, Abiy
7370b5e9-5447-48bd-80e5-fe7b14e4a857
Hutton, Craig
9102617b-caf7-4538-9414-c29e72f5fe2e
Lazar, Attila
d7f835e7-1e3d-4742-b366-af19cf5fc881
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Kebede, Abiy
7370b5e9-5447-48bd-80e5-fe7b14e4a857

Hutton, Craig, Lazar, Attila, Nicholls, Robert and Kebede, Abiy (2017) Sustainable deltas in a changing world. Development Studies Association: DSA2017 Annual Conference: Sustainability Interrogated: Societies, Growth, and Social Justice, United Kingdom. 06 - 08 Sep 2017.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Deltas and low-lying coastal regions have long been perceived as vulnerable to global sea-level rise due to multiple climatic, environmental and socio-economic drivers, with the potential for mass environmental change and displacement of exposed populations. Populations in deltas are however already highly mobile, with significant urbanization trends driven primarily by economic opportunity. Yet environmental change in general, and climate change in particular, are likely to play an increasing direct and indirect role in future migration trends. The policy challenges centre on understanding what sustainability means within such a dynamic context and how this informs regional adaptation strategies to climate change; the protection of vulnerable populations; and the future of urban settlements within deltas. This paper reviews current knowledge on migration and adaptation to environmental change to assess sustainability in delta regions. It is based on a new integrated methodology to assess deltas, and most particularly migration in those deltas. It uses the Volta delta (Ghana), Mahanadi delta (India) and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta (India and Bangladesh) as case studies. Our integrated method focuses on: biophysical changes and spatial distribution of vulnerability; demographic changes and migration decision-making using multiple methods and data; macro-economic trends and scenarios in the deltas; and the policies and governance structures that constrain and/or enable adaptation. Initial results suggest that migration decision-making strongly interacts with diverse measures for adaptation of land, water and agricultural management. Any notion of sustainability in such dynamic environments cannot be static and must consider and steer these large-scale trends towards more desirable goals.

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More information

Published date: 7 September 2017
Venue - Dates: Development Studies Association: DSA2017 Annual Conference: Sustainability Interrogated: Societies, Growth, and Social Justice, United Kingdom, 2017-09-06 - 2017-09-08

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 415903
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415903
PURE UUID: e6bd9c72-963f-45d2-a2cd-6451a7ddfed3
ORCID for Craig Hutton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5896-756X
ORCID for Attila Lazar: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2033-2013
ORCID for Robert Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

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Date deposited: 28 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 07:05

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