• Economic reasons are the precipitating factor for migration in the Indian Bengal Delta that comprises the Sunderbans reveals an international study titled Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation (DECMA).
  • The study also points out that there is huge gender disparity when it comes to those migrating from the region.
  • 64% people migrate because of economic reasons, unsustainable agriculture, lack of economic opportunities and debt; 28 % of the migration from the region is for social reasons and about 7% for environmental reasons like cyclones and flooding.
  • The study, held between 2014 and 2018 focusing on three deltas Ganga Brahmaputra Meghna Delta (India and Bangladesh) Volta (Ghana) and Mahanadi (India) looks into the aspect of climate change, adaptation and migration in these deltas.
  • People surveyed during the study could not relate to reduced agricultural productivity, increased salinity and change in rainfall pattern as environmental reason for their migration.
  • Only in cases of extreme events like flooding and cyclones resulting in loss of livelihood, did the locals say their migration was due to environmental reasons.
  • When it comes to migration in the Indian Bengal Delta, the study finds a huge gender disparity, with men outnumbering women by almost five times.
  • It shows that of the people migrating 83% are men and only 17 % are women.
  • While most of the men migrate due to economic reasons, women do so, driven by mostly social factors.
  • In terms of the destination of migrations, the study finds that 51% of migration from the Indian Bengal Delta is to other areas of the State particularly to the city of Kolkata, 10% to Maharashtra, 9% to Tamil Nadu, 7% Kerala and 6% to Gujarat.
  • It shows that 57% of migration is seasonal, where people move once or twice a year; 19% is circular where those migrating move thrice a year irrespective of reasons and 24% permanent where people intend to stay for at least six months in the place they are migrating to.
  • According to experts behind the study, one of the reasons for migration is failed adaptation in the areas which are under stress due to climate change.