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Climate change, adaptation strategies and mobility: evidence from four settlements in Senegal

In Senegal, migration has long been a key strategy to escape poverty and remittances are an important component of household budgets. This report describes how the impacts of climate change contribute to increasing these already high levels of mobility. Drawing on discussions with local residents, it explores their responses to environmental change and socio-economic and cultural transformations in four locations: Ourossogui, a thriving town where remittances from international migration have replaced agriculture as the base of the local economy; Ngueye Ngueye, in the groundnut basin, where temporary migration and income diversification are increasingly important; Gandiole, a once-flourishing horticultural centre badly affected by infrastructure designed to protect the nearby city of Saint-Louis from recurrent floods; and the Delta of the Senegal river, an area of in- and out-migration with a prosperous irrigated agricultural production. A common finding in all locations is that mobility is certainly affected by environmental change, but is also the consequence of more complex processes of transformation and can result in increased social polarisation. However, national and regional policies and initiatives aiming to support adaptation to climate change largely ignore the significance of migration.

Keywords: rural-urban

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