The 2010 meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognized mobility as a form of adaptation to climate change in the form of migration, displacement, and planned relocations. While considerable work has been done on both migration and displacement, much less is known about how planned relocations will be used to adapt to the effects of climate change. This article examines some of the existing literature on relocations carried out in other contexts, such as development projects and disasters, and stresses the need for clarity of concepts and terminology. For example, it is presently unclear whether the term “relocation” applies only to the physical movement of people or also includes “resettlement” in the form of assistance to secure housing, restore livelihoods, and ensure access to services. Are evacuations in the aftermath of disasters a form of relocation? The article then illustrates some of the lessons learned from past experiences with relocations and concludes by highlighting present efforts to provide guidance for those who will be faced with planning relocations due to future climate effects.


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pp. 109-117
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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