"Vanishing Land: Climate Change, Slow-Onset Disasters, and Land Rights"


As climate change impacts intensify, growing rates of natural disasters cause increasing damage to the lives of people across the globe. Climate change-related disasters include both rapid-onset disasters (such as hurricanes) and slow-onset disasters (such as long-term droughts). Given the urgency of rapid-onset disasters, it is unsurprising that governments, multi-lateral organizations, donors and others target a large percentage of resources towards rapid-onset events related to climate change.

Slow-onset disasters, however, have a significant and lasting impact on a host of development issues, from food security to fast-paced urbanization. While the mitigation, adaptation, and prevention of slow-onset related displacement requires a holistic approach, the collaborative issue brief developed by Landesa and BRAC focuses on slow-onset climate change migration and displacement with a particular emphasis on land use, tenure, and rights related issues.

The issue brief provides actions that various stakeholders - national governments, multi-national and bi-lateral institutions, international NGOs, and researchers - can include in their efforts while developing approaches for those that migrate or become displaced due to this issue.

This collaborative issue brief and infographic is the product of a collaborative effort between Landesa and BRAC, generated through facilitated participation in the Collaborative Models Program.

Landesa led the desk research for and writing of the brief on land and climate change, with a specific focus on slow onset displacement due to drought. The brief highlights a case study by BRAC in Uganda as one of the countries where slow-onset disaster took a toll in 2017, and presents best practices as well as a call to action.

Through this brief, the Coalition sought to bring attention to the critical issues of climate change, refugees, and land tenure rights.  Read the related article,”4 Recommendations to Prepare for Climate-Related Migration.”

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