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Climate (im)mobilities in the Eastern Hindu Kush : The case of Lotkuh Valley, Pakistan

Title data

Khan, Saeed Akhtar ; Doevenspeck, Martin ; Sass, Oliver:
Climate (im)mobilities in the Eastern Hindu Kush : The case of Lotkuh Valley, Pakistan.
In: Population and Environment. Vol. 46 (2024) . - 2.
ISSN 1573-7810
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11111-023-00443-2

Abstract in another language

The relationship between climate, environment, and human mobility is complex as (im)mobility outcomes are influenced by multiple socioeconomic, political, and environmental factors. The current debate is focused on migration as an adaptation strategy in the face of climate change but largely ignores the immobility aspect, particularly in the Eastern Hindu Kush where mountain livelihoods are strongly dependent on local environmental conditions. In this study, we examine the interrelations between climate change and the environment as drivers of human mobility and immobility in the mountain communities of Lotkuh valley, Chitral, in north Pakistan. We employed a mixed methods approach grounded in migration theory to describe the relationship between climate change, environment, and (im)mobility outcomes. The study reveals that climate (im)mobilities are the outcome of a complex interplay between climate change, extreme events, and local livelihoods. The primary drivers of (im)mobility are socioeconomic factors. Forced displacement is driven by a multitude of extreme events in the area. Three critical aspects of livelihoods—land resources, crop productivity, and livestock farming—are identified as significant factors influencing mobility and immobility outcomes. Recurring extreme events such as floods and landslides exacerbate soil erosion and the loss of fertile farmlands, leading to food insecurity and compelling households to resort to labor migration as an adaptation strategy. Conversely, for households facing severe income stress and depleted economic assets, immobility becomes the only viable option due to insufficient resources for migration. Moreover, the study reveals that some households adopt a mixed strategy by sending select members to other areas while others remain in their places of origin to sustain their livelihoods. The study has implications for policymakers, government, and development organizations in the region suggesting sustainable livelihoods and adaptation measures to address the specific challenges faced by mountain communities in the Lotkuh valley and the wider region.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Political Geography
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Political Geography > Professor Political Geography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Doevenspeck
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
900 History and geography > 910 Geography, travel
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2023 06:55
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2023 06:55
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/88118