Theoretical, methodological and statistical problems of studying environmental migration

Artem S. Lukyanets, Sergey V. Ryazantsev, Anastasia Sergeevna Maksimova, Evgeniya Mikhailovna Moiseeva, Roman Vladimirovich Manshin


The increase in the number of natural disasters that has been observed in recent decades around the world under the influence of increasing anthropogenic impact on the environment, not only often causes significant damage to the economy and infrastructure of the territories, but also causes people to die and their mass migrations. In the light of these trends, the environmental situation is increasingly becoming the subject of scientific interest of researchers of various specialties: not only climatologists, but also economists and demographers. However, despite the increasing publication activity, in particular, on problems of population migration caused by climate change and environmental problems, there are significant gaps in the theoretical and methodological aspect. Our analysis of the scientific discourse (mostly English-speaking) showed that the discrepancies concern not only the question of which immigrants should be classified as environmental or climate migrants, but also the very term “environmental migrants”, as well as the legal issue of the necessity and legality of providing such persons of refugee status. It has been established that at the moment “environmental refugees” do not actually have and never had refugee status, either in accordance with the relevant UN Convention or in accordance with the national legislation of any country. The article attempts to systematize and analyze the existing theoretical and methodological approaches to this problem and, on its basis, gives recommendations regarding their application. The features of statistical accounting for environmental migrants are established. The main difficulties of identifying and identifying those migration processes that resulted from changes in the environment are identified, since along with natural factors, a combination of other socio-economic factors, such as low living standards or poverty, often influence decision-making on resettlement. The principles that should be followed when organizing environmental migration statistics at the national level are given. Two groups of existing international sources of quantitative data on environmental migration are described: a bibliographic database containing materials and publications on environmental migration, as well as a database of quantitative data that provide information on the number of displaced persons. The relationship between climate change and the impact on the quality of life of the population has been identified. The negative impact of climate change on the level and quality of life of the population was identified primarily in rural areas, which led to an increase in the scale and deepening of poverty, and also caused the migration of the rural population.

Palabras clave

environment, climate change, ecological migration, methodological problems, statistical accounting

Texto completo:



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