Population Mobility and Adaptation to Droughts in the Brazilian Semi-Arid

Alisson F. Barbieri , Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Gilvan R. Guedes, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Isac Correa, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Ricardo Ojima, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil)

We discuss how population perceptions about impacts of droughts affect mobility responses as a livelihood adaptation response in the Seridó region in the Brazilian Northeast semi-arid, which historically faces severe droughts and water supply shortages and where ex-situ livelihood adaptation strategies (mainly mobility and governmental transfers) are particularly relevant. We use a unique urban household survey (n=1,064) conducted in 2017, bivariate descriptive analysis with significance tests, multiple multinomial regression framework and Probit Heckman selection model. We show that migration and commuting have an inverse relationship when controlled by exposure to droughts. Migration is a more common strategy in events not related to droughts, while the probability of commuting increases when experiences with droughts increase. Receiving a social benefit increases the probability of adopting commuting and thus reduces immobility. The results reinforce the male preference for commuting in harsh times, but preference for migration when environmental conditions are attenuated.

See paper

 Presented in Session 106. Empirical Assessments of Linked Human-Ecological Adaptive Responses to Climate Change