Since 2016, the Pacific RISA, a NOAA RISA team, has worked with researchers in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Hawaiʻi, and the US Pacific Northwest to study the relationship between climate change and migration, with an emphasis on the health impacts of climate change and how they are related to migration. The research team’s latest publication, “Climate Change, Health, and Migration: Profiles of Resilience and Vulnerability in the Marshall Islands“ led by Pacific RISA PI Laura Brewington and East-West Center consultant David Krzesni, is now available online through the East-West Center publications website.
This research, supported by both the RISA program and NOAA’s International Research and Applications Project (IRAP), explored the nexus of climate change, health, and migration in the RMI, and provides a better understanding of these relationships to inform research and policy agendas that build resilience and adaptive capacity. The report summarizes a two-part analysis of survey data from 199 households in the RMI about their past migrations and expectations to migrate in the future. Using hierarchical clustering analysis and logistic regression, it identifies groups among those surveyed with significantly different profiles of vulnerability, health outcomes, and migration agency. The authors find that climate change and its impacts are not experienced evenly across the population, but have differing associated health and migration outcomes. Furthermore, migration within and beyond the RMI may be related to a changing climate but is also a complex composite of many factors.
The project was one of six funded by the IRAP program in 2018 to study how climate and weather events abroad affect U.S. interests in health, international development, and security.
For more information, contact Genie Bey.