Over the past decade, an average of 21.5 million people annually have been forced to move due to the impacts of extreme weather. That’s three times as many people as have been affected by conflict, and almost nine times as many as those who have fled persecution. These numbers are expected to increase even more as the impacts of climate change grow and intersect with the effects of conflict, governance challenges, resource deprivation, and other manifestations of instability and insecurity.

The links between migration, marginalized and vulnerable populations, and issues of security are increasingly understood, but these relationships are complex, multifaceted and highly context-dependent. People migrate for many different reasons—from a desire to secure a job or experience a new area, to flee from persecution, war, and other forms of violence. One common thread, however, is the role of resource access in shaping the migration experience. Migrants with more resources—better education, financial buffers, stronger social connections—require less material support from their communities and become more productive in their new homes. Those with fewer resources can struggle when they migrate. This struggle can build insecurity, at times manifesting in unrest, violence and conflict. Such manifestation can be found in conflicts between pastoralists over resources in the horn of Africa and the Sahel, in the food-induced riots in Haiti’s slums in 2008, or in the ongoing Venezuelan protests and unrest.

Read the full article about climate migration by  Jeannette Gaudry Haynie, Jay Balagna and Aaron Clark-Ginsberg at National Interest.