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Climate Change Knows No Borders

An analysis of climate-induced migration, protection gaps and the need for solidarity in South Asia


The effects of climate change are devastating people’s lives, livelihoods and food security in South Asia and increasingly contributing to or driving migration.

South Asia has a long history of migration as conflict, poverty, land access and ethnicity have pushed people out and development, livelihoods, seasonal labour, kinship and access to services have drawn them in.

This history has made South Asian countries slow to recognise climate change as a push factor and include it in migration discourse.

This study looks at the impacts of climate change on migration in South Asia, which is very vulnerable to climate change events, with a particular focus on Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Droughts, heatwaves, cyclones, rising sea levels, heavy rainfall, landslides and floods often strike more than one country in the region and their effects are expected to become more severe, according to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5).

Political issues governing trans-boundary rivers such as the Ganga, Brahmaputra and the Indus are also creating regional tensions about water ownership and exacerbating downstream communities’ vulnerability to drought or flood.