Research News

CIESIN Demographer Awarded Grant From Argentine Government to Continue Research Linking Climate Change and Human Displacement

2009-07-21

Susana Adamo, associate research scientist with the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, was recently awarded a grant for collaborative studies in Argentina following the release of a pioneering report she co-authored that links climate change with forced human migration.

Born and raised in Argentina, Adamo recently received the César Milstein grant from the Argentine government to engage in collaborative climate and migration research this summer with geographers and rural sociology scientists at several universities in her native country.  The Milstein grant is one of the action lines of R@ICES (Roots, Network of Argentine Researchers and Scientists Abroad), a program that promotes links between Argentine academics based abroad and university researchers in Argentina.  “I feel honored to have been considered for this award and look forward to working with colleagues in Argentina,” said Adamo. “Keeping and reinforcing the links with my country is very important to me.”

Adamo will soon be traveling to Argentina for one month to share and build upon her expertise as a demographer specializing in migration and environment. Her work there will include collaborations with faculty at the Institute of Geography at the University of Buenos Aires (her undergraduate alma mater), the Department of Geography at the National University of Córdoba, and the Master in Agrarian Social Studies at FLACSO (Latin American College of Social Sciences), Buenos Aires.  There she will study and teach about demographic dynamics of agrarian spaces, emerging economic sectors like rural tourism, and the nexus of these trends with migration and social sustainability.

The collision of climate change and human displacement present great challenges, but until recently there has been a dearth of accessible literature to help policymakers understand and navigate these global-scale crises.  To address this need, Adamo, CIESIN researchers Alexander de Sherbinin and Tricia Chai-Onn, and authors at the United Nations University and CARE International, have just published In Search of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration.  Based on  a  first multi-continent survey of environmental change and migration developed by the Environmental Change and Forced Migration Scenarios (EACH-FOR) project, the report provides a clear and compelling picture of current and predicted climate-related population displacement and connects this knowledge with concrete policy recommendations.

This spring Adamo presented a paper on environment and migration at the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) Open Meeting in Bonn, Germany. Her presentation, “Environment-Induced Population Displacements,” stressed the importance of interdisciplinary research and improved communication between researchers and policy makers.

Adamo’s expertise in the climate arena has also led to her involvement in recent climate activities at the Earth Institute. She was one of several Earth Institute researchers who facilitated the 2009 Summer Institute on Climate Information for Public Health hosted by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) in June.