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IOM Climate Human Mobility in Sub-national and National level of Indonesia
Aside from developing research on climate mobility in Southeast Asia, RDI alongside IOM Indonesia has been developing modeling on human mobility due to the slow-onset environment and climate change events. This measure is done in order to identify the key socio-economic determinants of community and individuals’ climate adaptation strategies, including migration. Moreover, the project aims to clarify whether and how the nature of slow-onset climate events and socioeconomic determinants impacts choices about human mobility; including migration. The drivers to human mobility induced by the slow-onset environmental and climate change model will be tested and refined to inform policy and programming recommendations that will be produced with relevant government and non-government institutions, including NGOs, academia, and affected communities.
In 2020, there were approximately 46,000 cases of displacement caused by extreme temperatures and 32,000 displacements due to droughts. People who live in areas with high levels of disaster displacement might progressively become unable to cope with the impacts of slow-onset disaster events on livelihoods, such as fishing or agriculture. This condition calls for urgency, especially in Indonesia, which heavily relies on climate-dependent livelihood strategies such as the agricultural sector, which absorbed 35.9 percent of the total labor force and contributed 14.7 percent to the national GDP in 2012.
In Indonesia, slow-onset climate change events such as sea level rise and drought combined with increasing environmental degradation have contributed to the rising climate-risk concerns of the affected community. These concerns create responses among them through various climate adaptation strategies, including decisions to migrate. For example, in Demak District, Central Java, coastal flooding and sea level rise have been exacerbated by industrial activities, land subsidence, and the conversion of mangrove land. These environmental and climate-related changes have submerged residential and agricultural areas, forcing the local community to shift their livelihood from agriculture to aquaculture. These shifts prompted the rise of rural-urban migration amongst the affected communities in search of work opportunities in the city center. Similarly, temperature increases in the Eastern Lombok Coastline, West Nusa Tenggara had worsened ocean waves that hindered fishermen’s productivity resulting in an occupation switch to become overseas migrant workers. Additionally, the area is also affected by rising sea levels, resulting in coastal flooding where the local community’s houses are slowly inundated.
There are more cases found where slow-onset climate change events affect people’s livelihood and living conditions. For instance, in Takalar District, South Sulawesi Province, drought has been occurring in the region that has threatened food security due to most of the area being rainfed rice fields. Meanwhile, in the coastal area of Takalar, an increase in rainfall has emerged and triggered high waves and coastal erosion. In this case, the community chose in-situ adaptation strategies where they built a sea wall to protect the residential area and more research should be conducted within this study to find out if there are other climate mobility-related adaptation strategies. Disruption caused by slow-onset climate change can also be found in East Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, the drought due to delayed rainy seasons is quite adverse, creating water scarcity and disrupting the agriculture sector.
The examples provided above showcase complex problems and mobility decisions to some of the most climate-prone regions and climate-dependent sectors such as food and water, and quite possibly, to energy, health, and the ecosystem as well. This project employs a mixed methodological approach to gather substantial data from primary and secondary sources on slow-onset environment and climate change impacts on mobility decisions, focusing on interconnected socioeconomic determinants. The findings will be used to propose policy recommendations at the national and local levels. Additionally, the team will develop a model that incorporates socioeconomic determinants to identify the factors driving human mobility and its adverse environmental impacts.