What is it about?

Atoll island populations have traditionally relied on mobility and migration to deal with environmental issues. Migration helps island populations in several ways, from preserving fragile atoll ecosystems and maintaining sustainability to establishing networks and channelling resources back into the atoll through these networks. Yet for migration to be beneficial to atolls, a sense of belonging rooted in sociocultural values needs to connect migrants to their place of origin.

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Why is it important?

The balance between migration, sustainability and climate change adaptation is particularly hard to achieve in small islands and atolls. We found out that as long as islanders stay connected to their home places, the sustainability of atolls is enhanced through migration, as migrants are invested in the future of their home communities and contribute to financial and physical capital in ways that help adapt to climate change.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Migration, belonging, and the sustainability of atoll islands through a changing climate, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2024, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2206190120.
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