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Climate change-(im)mobility nexus: Perspectives of voluntary non-migrants from three coastal communities in Ghana

14:30, Thursday 11 May 2023 EDT (30 minutes)
Coffee break - SH-4800   03:00 PM to 03:30 PM (30 minutes)

The discussions on the climate change–human (im)mobility nexus have received academic and policy attention. These debates revolve around two dominant populations: trapped populations and voluntary immobile populations. In order to situate the latter group in place-based research in Africa, this paper employs 36 qualitative in-depth interviews to examine voluntary immobility amidst climate change–induced recurrent coastal flooding. The findings reveal three reasons for immobility: place attachment, livelihood opportunities, and low mobility prospects due to nowhere to go. Through this place-based research, this study contributes to the growing scholarship on voluntary immobility in the context of climate change. We highlight that policy must better incorporate local understandings of voluntary immobility in order to avoid damage to social connections, livelihood, and culture. With this understanding, policymakers can develop suitable in-situ adaption strategies for coastal communities in Ghana affected by climate change–induced coastal flooding who decide to stay put.

Western University
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