Deltas, vulnerability and climate change: migration and adaptation

The project "Deltas, vulnerability and climate change: migration and adaptation" (DECCMA) looks at adaptation options in threatened deltaic environments. Deltas have some of the highest population densities in the world with 500 million, often poor, residents. The adaptive strategies available to delta residents (e.g., disaster risk reduction by building shelters, or land use management) may exacerbate gender inequalities, and may not be adequate to cope with pervasive, systemic, or surprise changes associated with climate change. Hence, large movements of deltaic people are often projected under climate change.

Migration is already an established household adaptation to cope with environmental and economic change. This can be both a successful form of adaptation, increasing the resilience of the migrant household, and unsuccessful, perpetuating vulnerability in a new location with differential impacts on men and women. The DECCMA project is investigating the impacts of climate change and associated vulnerabilities across three contrasting deltas. Processes of migration are being analyzed using survey, participatory research and economic methods.  Potential migration of men and women will be contrasted with other adaptation approaches using a stakeholder-driven and co-produced integrated model approach.


The dual project research aims are to assess migration as an adaptation in deltaic environments with a changing climate; and to deliver policy support to create the conditions for sustainable gender-sensitive adaptation. This knowledge will encourage appropriate gender-sensitive policy responses to ensure that the most vulnerable in deltas are able to adapt, and how adaptation policy effectiveness can be maximised. The analysis will guide sustainable and equitable development of deltas and will:

  • identify gender-differentiated stakeholder-relevant scenarios of local/regional/delta level vulnerability to climate change;
  • identify options for effective climate adaptation for men and women by the poorest groups in deltas;
  • lead to the development of gender-sensitive adaptation funding proposals in the three deltas.

FAO is contributing to the vulnerability, hazard and climate change hotspot mapping. This workgroup will quantify key issues such as flood, drought, erosion, salinization, their magnitude and probability and spatial distribution through time; ii) identify the distribution of spatial poverty variables weighted for specific hazards; iii) identify the magnitude and location of impacts, including locations that are subject to multiple impacts; iv) map hazards and vulnerability under a range of scenarios to 2100.


  • Current baseline and historical land cover and land cover change datasets by enhancing local capacities to implement the land cover production chain, using the existing standards for land cover classifications metadata and accuracy assessment;
  • National Agro-Ecological Zones methodology implemented in the three study areas to assess trends in major agro-climatic indicators and the potential productivity of land in current and future climatic conditions;
  • GeoNetwork nodes established within the country partners for the centralized management and distribution of geospatial project data.

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