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Living with climate change, conflict and displacement: recognising agency, voice, mobility, language and linkages

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Caitlin Sturridge

Image credit:Cha Pornea Image license:CC-B

While the relative weight of climate change, conflict or displacement may vary, some combination of all three coexist in many, if not most, crises: Afghanistan, Colombia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mozambique, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Syria, to mention just a few.

Against this backdrop of complexity, politics and protractedness, ODI’s Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) conducted a two-year qualitative research project in western Afghanistan and northern Mozambique. To get beyond the analytical enormity of climate change, conflict and displacement as a topic, the research narrowed the focus to how communities (both displaced and hosting) cope with and adapt to the combined pressures of climate change, conflict and displacement when these occur at the same time and in the same place. The research mapped the range of strategies people employ, and analysed the obstacles, challenges and opportunities that they present for their protection and wellbeing.

This policy brief is framed around five themes that emerged from our research: agency, voice, (im)mobility, language and linkages. The findings and recommendations of this paper also draw on three roundtables on climate change, conflict and displacement that were conducted in February and March 2023.