Why do people stay living in environmentally stressful conditions? Exploring non-migration through climate change and place relations in rural Bangladesh

MM Golam Rabbani, Matthew Cotton, Richard Friend

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

There are bodies of literature that examines human-place relationships for the people who do not or cannot migrate in the context of stressful environments (Mallick and Schanze, 2020). Yet, studies in this vein derive from some scattered literature and concepts which do not add up and produce a comprehensive picture about how these relationships function. For example, sense of place (Mulvaney, Merril and Mazzotta, 2020), risk perceptions (Lechowska, 2018; Sattar and Cheung, 2019), and trapped population (Ayeb-Karlsson, Smith and Kniveton, 2018) literature independently discuss why affected people carry on living in stressful environments. All of these approaches are factual but highlight only a part of the entire non-migration phenomenon. This study attempts to widen the current state of knowledge in this field of human-place relationships and provide a combined framework for analysing dimensions of place relations (Nicolosi and Corbett, 2018). The study applies 60 semi-structured interviews from four significant livelihood communities in Kalapara, Patuakhali, Bangladesh. Currently, the coastal town is at risk of the increasing cyclone, storm surge and fluvial-tide, coastal erosion, and encroaching salinity. The lead author collected the data through face-to-face interviews in early 2020 and coded using computer-aided qualitative software NVivoTM. This study categorised what influences these affected households carrying on living despite repeated lives and livelihood losses. The study identifies livelihood opportunities, sense of place, and risk perception as voluntary dimensions and inability as a forced dimension of place relation. Each dimension has multiple components that emerged from the qualitative interview data. The study discusses how these dimensions of place relations function and form the choice to stay in coastal communities of a country vulnerable to climate change. The findings can be useful to build targeted policies around environmentally induced migration governance. References: Ayeb-Karlsson, S., Smith, C. D. and Kniveton, D. (2018). A discursive review of the textual use of ‘trapped’ in environmental migration studies: The conceptual birth and troubled teenage years of trapped populations. Ambio, 47 (5), Springer Netherlands., pp.557–573. Lechowska, E. (2018). What determines flood risk perception? A review of factors of flood risk perception and relations between its basic elements. Natural Hazards, 94 (3), Springer Netherlands., pp.1341–1366. Mallick, B. and Schanze, J. (2020). Trapped or voluntary? Non-migration despite climate risks. Sustainability (Switzerland), 12 (11), pp.1–6. Mulvaney, K. K., Merril, N. H. and Mazzotta, M. J. (2020). Sense of Place and Water Quality: Applying Sense of Place Metrics to Better Understand Community Impact of Changes in Water Quality. Nicolosi, E. and Corbett, J. B. (2018). Engagement with climate change and the environment: a review of the role of relationships to place. Local Environment, 23 (1), pp.77–99. Poe, M. R., Donatuto, J. and Satterfield, T. (2016). “Sense of Place”: Human Wellbeing Considerations for Ecological Restoration in Puget Sound. Coastal Management, 44 (5), Taylor & Francis., pp.409–426. Sattar, M. A. and Cheung, K. K. W. (2019). Tropical cyclone risk perception and risk reduction analysis for coastal Bangladesh: Household and expert perspectives. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 41 (July), Elsevier Ltd., p.101283.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2021
EventThe 6th Gobeshona International Conference on Research into Action in Bangladesh - Online
Duration: 20 Jan 202124 Jan 2021
http://conference.gobeshona.net

Conference

ConferenceThe 6th Gobeshona International Conference on Research into Action in Bangladesh
Period20/01/2124/01/21
Internet address

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