Voluntary relocation as an adaptation strategy to extreme weather events

Article


King, David, Bird, Deanne, Haynes, Katharine, Boon, Helen, Cottrell, Alison, Millar, Joanne, Okada, Tetsuya, Box, Pamela, Keogh, Diane and Thomas, Melanie. 2014. "Voluntary relocation as an adaptation strategy to extreme weather events." International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 8, pp. 83-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2014.02.006
Article Title

Voluntary relocation as an adaptation strategy to extreme weather events

ERA Journal ID200723
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsKing, David (Author), Bird, Deanne (Author), Haynes, Katharine (Author), Boon, Helen (Author), Cottrell, Alison (Author), Millar, Joanne (Author), Okada, Tetsuya (Author), Box, Pamela (Author), Keogh, Diane (Author) and Thomas, Melanie (Author)
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Journal Citation8, pp. 83-90
Number of Pages8
Year2014
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
ISSN2212-4209
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2014.02.006
Abstract

Migration out of hazard-prone areas presents significant opportunities for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Alongside and intermingled with opportunistic migration there has always been relocation to escape, particularly from calamity, disaster and warfare. As climate change is considered a likely driver of migration, the literature encompasses a debate as to whether or not migration can be considered to be adaptation. This paper investigates the concept of voluntary within-country migration as an adaptation strategy to reduce disaster risk in Australia. We refer to this internal migration as relocation. The paper examines results of research carried out in Australia at the time of recent and extensive disasters, where opportunities were presented to examine household attitudes towards relocation in the face of future disasters of similar extent. Individuals' attitudes towards relocation were ascertained within an adaptation and mitigation context, at a time of emerging longer-term climate change government policy that advocates retreat from hazard-prone locations. The paper examines demographic data to reveal who is likely to leave or stay. Policy implications of relocation strategies as climate change adaptation strategy within a developed nation are discussed. This research concludes that relocation is a strategy available to some as part of an extensive range of responses to extreme weather events but undertaking unsupported resettlement is not always an option for reasons of family commitment, livelihood opportunities, financial constraints and emotional ties. Those who remain, and those who leave a hazard-prone location may both demonstrate a capacity for adaptation and resilience.

Keywordsclimate change adaptation; migration; relocation; natural disasters; Australia; flood; cyclone
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440303. Migration
370903. Natural hazards
440699. Human geography not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsJames Cook University
Macquarie University
Charles Sturt University
Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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