Selection of three field sites from India and Bangladesh enables a comparative perspective between state policies and localities faced with different kind of natural phenomenon (floods, cyclones and the rise of seawater level).
Mohammad Jasim Uddin explores people’s displacement due to the rising seawater in the Bangladeshi side of Sunderbons. He will study how the inhabitants, whose native places have been engulfed by the rising sea and river water level, pursue new livelihoods in an urban slum in Sylhet (a metropolitan city in northeastern Bangladesh). Migrants ́ struggle for new livelihoods includes their adaptive capacities, gaining and retaining access to resources and opportunities, dealing with stress and shocks, negotiating social relationships within the households, and managing social networks within and across communities and the city. Uddin also examines migrants’ claim making as everyday forms of agency and as part of political networks.
Dayabati Roy and Sirpa Tenhunen examine the predicament of the people who have been displaced from the Indian side of Sunderbons to Kolkata due to the combined effects of cyclones and the rising sea water level. Roy looks into the way in which these environmental migrants are making their subsistence in the city, and making claims on the government for alternative livelihoods. The research will aim to understand the politics of the displaced people on the one hand, and on the other, the intervention of the civil societies as well as the political parties in it. Furthermore, it will also find out how the government interprets the climate change issues and its effects on the citizens.
Sirpa Tenhunen will explore the gender aspects of the climate change induced displacement. She also examines how climate change induced mobilities relate to other mobilities particularlyin women’s lives such as women’s use of digital media (especially mobile phones) for translocal communication and maintaining social relationships at their native places and at their migration origins.
Jelena Salmi’s research explores environmental displacement caused by flash floods in the Araria district of Bihar, India. In recent years, Araria has been affected by severe flooding induced by climate change that has altered rainfall patterns and made monsoon more intense. During the 2017 floods, 95 people were killed in inundation-related incidents, and tens of thousands were forced to flee their homes and seek safety from temporary relief camps. Salmi’s focus will be on how flash floods shape residents’ livelihoods and perceptions of place as the threat of inundation looms over new areas. How do people adjust their livelihood strategies in order to deal with changing environmental conditions and the threat of future displacements?
Dayabati roy This pertinent question has recently been raised during an informal discussion with the author by an activist leader