Tracing the geographies of loss and displacement in an era of climate change (keynote)

Conference by Fiona Miller and 10th Biennial Conference of the Aotearoa New Zealand International Development Studies Network – Disruption and Renewal

The acceleration of loss and displacement associated with climate change is reconfiguring people’s connections to place, community and non-human agents in profound, and often disturbing, ways. The uneven consequences of climate change have long been documented in vulnerability studies, highlighting the disproportionate burden of climate change impacts for those who have contributed little to this problem. This stark asymmetry between contribution and consequence reveals the injustices embedded in particular forms of development. To draw connections between the uneven contributions to climate change and its consequences for particular people and places over time requires stronger engagement with the ideas and politics of climate justice. Drawing on a long-term study of livelihood and environmental change undertaken in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam this paper traces the emerging geographies of displacement and loss resulting from the combination of climate and developmental changes. Loss, absence, substitution and surprise are contributing to landscape scale changes resulting in more precarious livelihoods. Mobility and displacement are also increasingly part of people’s livelihood trajectories, leading to a reconfiguring and in some cases severing of the connections people have with particular places, each other and non-human agents. The paper concludes with some reflections on how development studies might more clearly trace these geographies of displacement and loss in ways that engage with questions of justice.

Title of Journal / Edit Volume, incl. names of editors:

Fiona Miller

Research Area:
Weather & Climate Change



New Zealand

URL to website/presentation:

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