Global Views on Climate Relocation and Social Justice : Navigating Retreat book cover
1st Edition

Global Views on Climate Relocation and Social Justice
Navigating Retreat

ISBN 9780367693442
Published October 12, 2021 by Routledge
324 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This edited volume advances our understanding of climate relocation (or planned retreat), an emerging topic in the fields of climate adaptation and hazard risk, and provides a platform for alternative voices and views on the subject.

As the effects of climate change become more severe and widespread, there is a growing conversation about when, where and how people will move. Climate relocation is a controversial adaptation strategy, yet the process can also offer opportunity and hope. This collection grapples with the environmental and social justice dimensions from multiple perspectives, with cases drawn from Africa, Asia, Australia, Oceania, South America, and North America. The contributions throughout present unique perspectives, including community organizations, adaptation practitioners, geographers, lawyers, and landscape architects, reflecting on the potential harms and opportunities of climate-induced relocation. Works of art, photos, and quotes from flood survivors are also included, placed between sections to remind the reader of the human element in the adaptation debate. Blending art – photography, poetry, sculpture – with practical reflections and scholarly analyses, this volume provides new insights on a debate that touches us all: how we will live in the future and where?

Challenging readers’ pre-conceptions about planned retreat by juxtaposing different disciplines, lenses and media, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of climate change, environmental migration and displacement, and environmental justice and equity.

The Open Access version of chapter 1, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.


Table of Contents


  1. Navigating retreat: Global views on climate relocation and social justice: Introduction
  2. Idowu Jola Ajibade and A.R. Siders

    Part 1. Definitions and legal landscapes

  3. Rethinking process and reframing language for climate-induced relocation
  4. Kristin Baja

  5. The role of international governance to reduce maladaptive climate relocation
  6. Thea Dickinson and Ian Burton

  7. Charting a justice-based approach to planned climate relocation for the world’s refugees
  8. Laura E.R. Peters and Jamon Van Den Hoek

    Interlude 1: Origins of Limestone:

    Martha Lerski

    Part 2. Shifting lands, resistance and acceptance

  9. Breaking the borderscape: Migration, resettlement, and citizenship on the Anthropocene Brahmaputra
  10. Kevin Inks

  11. Losing ground: Rethinking land loss in the context of managed retreat
  12. Maggie Tsang and Isaac Stein

  13. Resistance, acceptance and misalignment of goals in climate-related resettlement in Malawi
  14. Hebe Nicholson

  15. Land is Life: A poem of the Philippines Lumad
  16. Nikki C.S. Dela Rosa

    Interlude 2: Flood experiences in the United States

    Anthropocene Alliance

    Interlude 3: Rock that Fell to Earth: Storm Series

    Martha Lerski

    Part 3. Navigating transitions

  17. Moving to higher ground: Planning for relocation as an adaptation strategy to climate change in the Fiji Islands
  18. Beatrice Ruggieri

  19. Voices of Arraigo: Redefining relocation for landslide-affected communities in the informal settlements of Bogota, Colombia
  20. Duvan H. López Meneses, Arabella Fraser, Sonia Hita Cañadas

  21. The climate crisis is a housing crisis: Without growth we cannot retreat
  22. Deborah Helaine Morris

  23. Voices of Ghoramora Island, India: The case for planned relocation
  24. Oana Stefancu

  25. The need for a resettlement pathway for Guyana’s vulnerable coastal communities
  26. Dina Khadija Benn

  27. Mobile livelihoods and adaptive social protection: Can migrant workers foster resilience to climate change?
  28. Haorui Wu and Catherine Bryan

  29. Identity and power: How cultural values inform decision-making in climate-based relocation
  30. Rachel Isacoff

    Interlude 4: Tool Sharpening, Martha Lerski

    Interlude 5: Untitled, 2013: Storm Series, Martha Lerski

    Part 4. Finding hope

  31. Voices of Enseada da Baleia: Emotions and feelings in a preventive and self-managed relocation
  32. Giovanna Gini, Erika Pires Ramos, Comunidade Enseada da Baleia

  33. Hope, community, and creating a future in the face of disaster
  34. Claire-Louise Vermande

    Interlude 6: Gratitude, Martha Lerski

    Part 5. Future directions

  35. Retreating from the waves
  36. Orrin H. Pilkey, Sarah Lipuma, Norma Longo

  37. Climate-induced relocation as a third wave of response to climate change
  38. Patrick Marchman

  39. Waves of grief and anger: Communicating through the "End of the World" as we knew it

          Susanne C. Moser

          Interlude 7: Dialogue of the Shattered, Martha Lerski


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Idowu Jola Ajibade is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Portland State University.

A.R. Siders is an assistant professor in the Disaster Research Center, Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, and Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences at the University of Delaware.