Preparing Communities to Receive Climate Migrants

As communities, ecosystems, and economies are pummelled by worsening climate disasters, the world is opening its eyes to an unavoidable consequence: human migration. But researchers and practitioners are just beginning to think about where people will move to -- and how to prepare so-called climate-receiving communities. 

ASAP’s newest applied research project acts on our responsibility and opportunity to establish the foundation for socially just and environmentally sound growth in climate receiving regions.

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Climate Migration and Climate Opportunities in the Great Lakes Region

Jeff Schmaltz / Public domain

ASAP is running an applied research project in the Great Lakes region to create methodologies for projecting human migration that integrate future climate projections and to gather stakeholder perspectives on the topic of climate-induced in-migration to the region. The project includes region-wide work as well as work specific to New York State, a unique jurisdiction which includes both major populations centers with high climate vulnerability and significant areas that are well positioned to be population-receiving communities under future climate conditions. 

We aim to build foundational knowledge on the topic of in-migration, create new tools that can be applied in other climate-receiving regions, catalyze additional investment and research into this critical area of adaptation and resilience work, and cultivate a narrative around the importance of preparing for climate-related opportunities in addition to climate risks.  

This project is funded by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and a 2019 Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) small grant to the American Society of Adaptation Professionals.

Pilot activities include:

  • Developing a typology of issues, opportunities, and stakeholder needs for climate-related migration into the Great Lakes region. (September-December 2020)
  • Convening a Climate-Informed Demography Workshop to catalyze this work. (December 2020)
  • Developing a methodology for projecting migration in the U.S. that integrates future climate projections. (June 2020-March 2021)
  • Coordinating a set of cross-sector applied research teams to create new climate-informed migration models for New York State. (December 2020-August 2021)
  • Convening a capstone conference to share insights from this project. (August 2021)

Get Involved

Sign up to receive project updates

Upcoming Events and Opportunities:

  • Call for Teams (Opens early November)
  • Climate Informed Demography Workshop (Save the date for Thursday, December 3 & Tuesday, December 8)

Project Partners

We are connecting and collaborating with a robust group of adaptation professionals, applied researchers, and end users to develop and implement this project, including demographers, climatologists, local, state, and tribal government officials, and industry representatives. Sign up to receive project updates and learn more about how to get involved.

Thank you to our collaborators!

  • Matt Hauer, Florida State University
  • Missy Stults, City of Ann Arbor
  • Anna Marandi, National League of Cities
  • Amanda Stevens, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
  • Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments
  • ASAP Climate Migration and Managed Retreat Member Led Interest Group

Thank you to our funders!

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

NYSERDA works with stakeholders throughout New York including residents, business owners, developers, community leaders, local government officials, university researchers, utility representatives, investors, and entrepreneurs. NYSERDA partners with them to develop, invest, and foster the conditions that attract the private sector capital investment needed to expand New York’s clean energy economy, overcome barriers to using clean energy at a large-scale in New York, and enable New York’s communities and residents to benefit from energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments, a NOAA RISA Team

GLISA is one of eleven RISAs, which comprise a national network of centers focused on adaptation to climate change and variability. GLISA integrates information from a wide array of scientific fields, develops collaborations between entities with similar goals, and helps inform decision makers throughout the region with sound science. GLISA offers a unique approach to building climate literacy, long-term sustainability, and facilitating smart decision making across the eight Great Lakes states and the province of Ontario.

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