The migration-sustainability paradox: transformations in mobile worlds

Maria Franco Granovel*, William Neil Adger, Ricardo Safra de Campos, Emily Boyd, Edward R Carr, Anita Fábos, Sonja Fransen, Dominique Jolivet, Caroline Zickgraf, Samuel NA Codjoe, Mumuni Abu, Tasneem Siddiqui

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Migration represents a major transformation of the lives of those involved and has been transformative of societies and economies globally. Yet models of sustainability transformations do not effectively incorporate the movement
of populations. There is an apparent migration-sustainability paradox: migration plays a role as a driver of unsustainability as part of economic globalisation, yet simultaneously represents a transformative phenomenon and potential force
for sustainable development. We propose criteria by which migration represents an opportunity for sustainable development: increasing aggregate well-being; reduced inequality leading to diverse social benefits; and reduced
aggregate environmental burden. We detail the dimensions of the transformative potential of migration and develop a generic framework for migration-sustainability linkages based on environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability, highlighting identity and social transformation dimensions of migration. Such a model overcomes the apparent paradox by explaining the role of societal mobility in achieving sustainable outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-109
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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