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Population dynamics, climate change and variability in Western Africa: the case of Sahel regions

Abstract: 

This report is part of the JRC Climate Change Induced Migration (CLICIM) project. CLICIM aims at the provision of evidence on the nexus between climate change and population dynamics in Africa. In this report, we analyse the relationship between climate change, population and migration in a selected territory within the Sahel – an already documented case of climate related migration. We base the analysis on the recent JRC net migration estimates at high geographical detail, produced in the context of the CLICIM project. Our contribution is twofold. Firstly, the report provides a mapping of the population exposure to climate change in the selected territory over the period 1975–2015. In particular, it identifies the geographical distribution of populations affected by droughts and how their demographic dynamics have changed over time. Second, the report develops a modelling exercise to investigate the climate change–migration nexus. Results from the model confirm a significant association between net migration and drought intensity, which is more accentuated in rural areas. Model findings also document that increasing temperatures and precipitation have contributed to decreasing net migration over the considered period.