Linking Migration and Adaptation to Climate Change. How Stakeholder Perceptions Influence Adaptation Processes in Pakistan

  • Lisa-Michèle Bott (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


In many countries of the Global South, climate-induced migration is still stigmatised as a failure to adapt. However, comprehensive adaptation requires open approaches that include migration as part of the solution. Stakeholders from governments and NGOs play a central role in shaping actions for adaptation. Using Pakistan as a case study, this paper analyses how stakeholders perceive the nexus between environmental risks and migration, and how these perceptions influence adaptation outcomes. Pakistan is expected to be strongly affected by future climate change. Repeated natural hazards are threatening the highly vulnerable population. Results from qualitative expert and stakeholder interviews reveal that climate change has a low priority in Pakistan. Other problems such as violent conflicts and hunger are perceived as more urgent. Internal migration is generally perceived as negative. An open approach that recognises how migration holds both challenges and opportunities in dealing with climate change is largely unknown. These perceptions are reflected in national policies. Both climate change and migration are still addressed separately, and comprehensive plans are lacking. Thus, the results show that negative views about migration hamper regional climate adaptation processes.