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Rural societies in the face of climatic and environmental changes in West Africa

Benjamin Sultan
Richard Lalou
Mouftaou Amadou Sanni
et al.

Part III. Social changes in rural populations

Chapter 13. The role of seasonal and pluri-annual migration in reducing vulnerability

Hombori and Djougou districts

Alain Bonnassieux et Fabrice Gangneron

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Climatic and environmental crises and migration: divergent positions

The role of climatic and environmental crises in increasing migration is a subject for debate (Gemmene, 2007). When they bring up the worsening subsistence conditions of populations and increasing migration, environmental specialists highlight the preponderant role of irregular, decreasing rainfall on the one hand and soil degradation on the other. Their work contributing to the emergence of an environmental refugee category has received much media coverage in a context of the blocking of frontiers in Europe for fear of a massive, uncontrolled flow of migrants from the most fragile parts of West Africa (Cambrezy and Lassailly Jacob, 2010). Researchers working on the long-term evolution of migration have reserves with regard to the determinant role assigned to climatic and environmental crises in displacements of populations. They accept that shortages and inter-annual variability of rainfall contribute to increasing...

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