Any Port in a Storm? Climate, Mobility, and Choice in Pacific Small Island Developing States

Oakes, Robert, van der Geest, Kees and Corendea, Cosmin, "Any Port in a Storm? Climate, Mobility, and Choice in Pacific Small Island Developing States" in Climate Refugees: Global, Local and Critical Approaches ed. Kent, Avidan and Behrman, Simon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 249-260.

Document type:
Book Chapter

  • Author Oakes, Robert
    van der Geest, Kees
    Corendea, Cosmin
    Book Editor Kent, Avidan
    Behrman, Simon
    Chapter Title Any Port in a Storm? Climate, Mobility, and Choice in Pacific Small Island Developing States
    Book Title Climate Refugees: Global, Local and Critical Approaches
    Publication Date 2022-03
    Place of Publication Cambridge
    Publisher Cambridge University Press
    Start page 249
    End page 260
    Language eng
    Abstract The Pacific Small Island Developing States are often represented as living in a perfect storm of climate change. They are low-lying and located near the equator where changes in mean temperature, rainfall and hazards such as floods and storms will be most severe. Their young populations are increasing, exposing ever greater numbers to risk. As developing countries, their populations are often classed as vulnerable with their ability to adapt constrained. Human mobility has long been a normal activity in these regions, and under climate change this is already accelerating. This chapter identifies current mobility flows in Kiribati, Tuvalu and Marshall Islands to show that such movements are largely from outer islands towards the urban centres which can create new risks in overcrowded, exposed towns and cities. While flows of people into urban areas are increasing, flows out are less dynamic. People may want to move, but the agency of affected people to move is limited, by a lack of money, opportunities and their governments’ political weakness in securing access to visas for international mobility. The chapter then considers existing and potential frameworks and innovative ways to facilitate more adaptive and dignified forms of migration while reducing the risks of loss and damage and displacement. It outlines a range of opportunities for addressing climate-related mobility for the Pacific Small Island Developing States at the global, regional and national level. It considers the strengths and limitations of global frameworks such as through the UNFCCC and then analyses the constraints to regional agreements which would enable “Migration with Dignity”. The chapter then highlights Fiji’s role in leading with national frameworks with a discussion of its new guidelines on planned relocation and displacement. The chapter concludes that new efforts at all levels are essential to boost the agency of Islanders to be able to decide whether to move, and under what circumstances.
    UNBIS Thesaurus REFUGEES
    Keyword Migration
    Human mobility
    Climate migration
    Loss and damage
    Copyright Holder Cambridge University Press
    Copyright Year 2022
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISBN 9781108828772
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    Created: Wed, 27 Apr 2022, 17:39:30 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS