Assessing the impact of climate change upon migration in Burkina Faso: an agent-based modelling approach

Smith, Christopher David (2012) Assessing the impact of climate change upon migration in Burkina Faso: an agent-based modelling approach. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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The notion of environmental migration, and the associated desire to predict the likely scale of
the phenomenon in the future, has frequented academic debate since the 1980s. Despite this, current estimates of the numbers of people likely to be displaced by environmental change by 2050 range from 150 million to 1 billion. By developing an agent-based model this research attempts to provide a rigorous means of quantifying the influence of future changes in climate (using rainfall as a proxy) upon migration trends within the context of Burkina Faso. Located in dryland West Africa, the population and economy of Burkina Faso are highly dependent upon rain-fed agriculture, placing them in a position of considerable vulnerability to future changes in rainfall. The conceptual basis behind the Agent Migration Adaptation to Rainfall Change (AMARC) model presented by this thesis is developed using contributions from the fields of climate adaptation and social psychology to focus upon three Theory of Planned Behaviour components of the migration decision: behavioural attitude; subjective norm; and perceived behavioural control. Rules of behaviour defined within the model are developed and parameterised using information gained from both retrospective migration data analysis and the responses of interviewees in focus groups conducted across Burkina Faso. Following a process of stringent model validation and testing the AMARC model is used to investigate the role of changes in rainfall variability upon past and future modelled migration. Although a relatively clear hierarchical impact of (from highest to lowest modelled migration) average, dry and wet rainfall conditions upon total modelled migration is identified, the individual flows of migrants that make up the total show unique and varied relationships with changes in rainfall. Furthermore, modelled internal and international migration flows show both similarities and differences when compared with relationships identified between rainfall and migration within existing literature.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT History of Africa > DT0470 West Africa. West Coast > DT0521 French West Africa. French Sahara. West Sahara. Sahel > DT0555 Burkina Faso. Upper Volta
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography > GF075 Human influences on the environment
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonisation. Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV6001 Emigration and immigration. International migration
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2012 13:30
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2015 14:25

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