Why do people move? What impact does
have on landscapes and forests? How do
communities evolve as their demographics shift? In countries across Asia, Africa and
America, CIFOR is taking a closer look at migration and mobility: not only who is
where, but why, and how that choice affects land-use decisions, livelihood
social dynamics, gender roles and forest management. This portal brings together the
in CIFOR’s ongoing research on this relatively unexplored issue.
People have moved across landscapes for millenia. For some, it is a strategy to manage their
natural resources, or simply a way of life. Others migrate to adapt to changing
environmental conditions or to avoid climate shocks.
And each year millions of people –
especially men and youth – migrate within their country or abroad in search of better work,
education, health care or security. Remittances sent home by migrant workers are
transforming the economies of some countries, and although conflicts can arise as different
populations mix, migration can also create new networks as knowledge and skills are
Not enough is known about the impact these changes have on rural communities and their
landscapes. As population dynamics shift, so may social norms and land management practices.
Remittance flows and new networks can affect how people earn a living, their incentives to
manage and conserve forests and trees, their expenditure patterns, and the impact of various
forest management practices on different social groups. Yet forestry research and forest
policy have largely ignored the ways migration, mobility, and remittance and knowledge flows
affect land-use decisions.
With key partners, CIFOR scientists are working to improve our understanding of migration in
various countries to improve the equity and effectiveness of forest management projects and
policies. Research is underway in Peru, Indonesia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Burkina Faso,
Ethiopia, Laos, and Vietnam – all countries where both forests and migration are important
searchable Migration and Forest Database contains more than 500 citations, including
peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters, technical papers, reports,
and conference proceedings. The database covers a wide range of topic related to
migration and environmental, migration history on the forest frontier, remittance
and livelihoods, drivers and effects of migration, gender and generational aspect of
migration, and many more.