Natural Disasters, Climate Change and Forced Displacement: Regional Dynamics of Mobility in West Africa

François Gemenne, Université de Liège and Université de Versailles
Julia Blocher, Université de Liège
Florence De Longueville, Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, Belgium
Pierre Ozer, Université de Liège
Nathalie L. Perrin, Université de Liège
Sara Vigil, Université de Liège
Caroline Zickgraf, Université de Liège
Dalila Gharbaoui, Université de Liège
Nakia Pearson, Université de Liège

West Africa region is particularly exposed to the effects of climate change, experiencing a significant increase in the number of natural disasters in the past decades. The intensity of floods, droughts, winds and heat waves that increasingly affect populations is expected to rise due to the effects of climate change, as is human mobility. Furthermore, West Africa already has a particularly high rate of intra-regional mobility due to its relative political unity, porous borders and historical bonds. This paper seeks to investigate existing gaps and barriers in relation to cross-border displacement due to disasters. After an outline of the relevant actors, processes and frameworks, the paper provides an outline of natural hazards in the region and the current patterns of human mobility as well as the likely future impacts of climate change on these trends. Finally, the existing frameworks, principles and elements regarding the three phases of displacement are evaluated.

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Presented in Session 93: Population and Geopolitics