Agricultural Livelihoods and Environmental Migration in Sub-Saharan Drylands: A Meta-Analytic Review
Roman Hoffmann1, Charlotte Wiederkehr2, Kathleen Hermans2, Anna Dimitrova3
1Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, 2Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), 3International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

This study combines quantitative meta-analytical and qualitative review techniques to synthesize the evidence on environmental migration in sub-Saharan drylands. Based on 82 original case studies, we explore the relationship between environmental stress, adaptation strategies and migration in different livelihood and climatic contexts. We show that migration is only one of many strategies used by households to adapt to and cope with environmental stress. Adaptation processes vary strongly, depending on the livelihood contexts and environmental hazards experienced by the populations. We highlight that migration can serve as a complementary strategy to other forms of adaptation, which can vary depending on situational needs. Using cluster-analysis, we identify adaptation clusters and show how linked adaptation strategies differ by socioeconomic and climatic conditions. Our results have important implications highlighting the role of context and the need to understand environmental migration against the background of other adaptation strategies available to households exposed to environmental stress.