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“No Friends but the Mountains” Understanding Population Mobility and Land Dynamics in Iraqi Kurdistan

Eklund, Lina LU (2015)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

För att få en uppfattning om hur framtida miljöförändringar kommer att påverkar vårt samhälle är det viktigt att studera eventuella samband mellan migration, samhälle och miljö. Klimatförändringar väntas inom en snar framtid leda till stora befolkningsförflyttningar till följd av exempelvis ökad stormfrekvens, torka, havsnivåhöjning och vattenbrist. Migration kan å andra sidan påverka landskapets utseende och funktion.

Socio-ekonomiska, politiska och naturrelaterade processer har i hög grad påverkat samhällsutvecklingen i Irakiska Kurdistan sedan 1980-talet. Den här avhandlingen utforskar miljöaspekter av sådana förändringar genom att undersöka hur befolkningsförflyttningar förhåller sig... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

För att få en uppfattning om hur framtida miljöförändringar kommer att påverkar vårt samhälle är det viktigt att studera eventuella samband mellan migration, samhälle och miljö. Klimatförändringar väntas inom en snar framtid leda till stora befolkningsförflyttningar till följd av exempelvis ökad stormfrekvens, torka, havsnivåhöjning och vattenbrist. Migration kan å andra sidan påverka landskapets utseende och funktion.

Socio-ekonomiska, politiska och naturrelaterade processer har i hög grad påverkat samhällsutvecklingen i Irakiska Kurdistan sedan 1980-talet. Den här avhandlingen utforskar miljöaspekter av sådana förändringar genom att undersöka hur befolkningsförflyttningar förhåller sig till land-system i Duhok-provinsen. Ett tvärvetenskapligt tillvägagångssätt, som bland annat kombinerar intervju-data med information från satellitbilder, har möjliggjort analys av trender på både provins- och hushållsnivå.

Resultaten visar att migration mellan åren 2000 och 2010 huvudsakligen kan förklaras av ekonomiska faktorer. Miljöförändringar betonas inte i enkätsvaren som en orsak till migration, och endast en liten andel hushåll är ekonomiskt beroende av sin mark. Torkan mellan 2007 och 2009 var allvarlig, både med avseende på nederbörd, vegetation och från ett socio-ekonomiskt perspektiv. Analyserna visar dock inga tecken på ökad migration under eller efter torkan. Migration orsakad av konflikter, såsom Anfal-folkmordet under sent 1980-tal och det efterföljande återbyggnadsprogrammet, har påverkat hur marken i Irakiska Kurdistan används. Under perioder av tvångsförflyttning minskade arealen som används till spannmålsproduktion, medan den ökade under återinflyttningsinitiativ.

Den sista delen av avhandlingen är en metodologisk diskussion kring hur skala i tid och rum påverkar analyser av sambandet mellan miljö och migration. En granskning av samtida litteratur visar att vanliga skal-problem inbegriper dålig matchning av data, generaliseringar och försummande av variation i tid och rum. (Less)
Abstract
The link between population mobility and environmental change is fundamental for our understanding of how future global environmental changes will affect our societies, and also how the increased mobility will change our role in the Earth system. Climate change has been predicted as a major cause of human migration, both voluntary and forced, through for example increased storm and drought frequency, sea level rise, and reduced fresh water availability. On the other hand, contemporary migration patterns are part of processes that change the face of the Earth.

Social, political, and natural processes have shaped the development of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I) since the 1980’s. This dissertation explores the environmental... (More)
The link between population mobility and environmental change is fundamental for our understanding of how future global environmental changes will affect our societies, and also how the increased mobility will change our role in the Earth system. Climate change has been predicted as a major cause of human migration, both voluntary and forced, through for example increased storm and drought frequency, sea level rise, and reduced fresh water availability. On the other hand, contemporary migration patterns are part of processes that change the face of the Earth.

Social, political, and natural processes have shaped the development of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I) since the 1980’s. This dissertation explores the environmental aspects of such changes by focusing on how population mobility relates to land systems in the Duhok governorate, KR-I. This dissertation takes an interdisciplinary approach by combining household survey data with information extracted from satellite images. This enables analysis of patterns at both provincial and household levels.

The findings of this work reveal that migration patterns are mainly explained by economic drivers. The environment as a driver of migration is not emphasized in the interview responses, and only a small share of households are economically dependent on agriculture. The 2007-2009 drought was severe in terms of precipitation decrease, vegetation anomalies, and from a socio-economic perspective. The analyses, however, show no evidence of increased migration during the drought period. Migration for other reasons, such as the Anfal genocide in the late 1980’s, and the subsequent reconstruction program was found to influence land use activity. In times of migration and displacement the cropland area was reduced, while it increased during resettlement initiatives.

The final part of this dissertation consists of a methodological discussion of how scale affects analyses of the environment-migration nexus. A review of the current literature reveals that common scale-problems in this field include the mismatch between different data types, generalizations, and neglect of spatial variability. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Kümmerle, Tobias, Geography Department, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
migration, drought, Iraqi Kurdistan, agriculture, land, scale
pages
142 pages
publisher
Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University
defense location
Pangea, Geocentrum II, Sölvegatan 12, Lund
defense date
2015-05-13 10:15
ISBN
978-91-85793-47-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
be1c7e71-d49b-494c-8b23-b692272bf0b8 (old id 5275378)
date added to LUP
2015-04-28 10:30:10
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:10
@phdthesis{be1c7e71-d49b-494c-8b23-b692272bf0b8,
  abstract     = {The link between population mobility and environmental change is fundamental for our understanding of how future global environmental changes will affect our societies, and also how the increased mobility will change our role in the Earth system. Climate change has been predicted as a major cause of human migration, both voluntary and forced, through for example increased storm and drought frequency, sea level rise, and reduced fresh water availability. On the other hand, contemporary migration patterns are part of processes that change the face of the Earth. <br/><br>
Social, political, and natural processes have shaped the development of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I) since the 1980’s. This dissertation explores the environmental aspects of such changes by focusing on how population mobility relates to land systems in the Duhok governorate, KR-I. This dissertation takes an interdisciplinary approach by combining household survey data with information extracted from satellite images. This enables analysis of patterns at both provincial and household levels.<br/><br>
The findings of this work reveal that migration patterns are mainly explained by economic drivers. The environment as a driver of migration is not emphasized in the interview responses, and only a small share of households are economically dependent on agriculture. The 2007-2009 drought was severe in terms of precipitation decrease, vegetation anomalies, and from a socio-economic perspective. The analyses, however, show no evidence of increased migration during the drought period. Migration for other reasons, such as the Anfal genocide in the late 1980’s, and the subsequent reconstruction program was found to influence land use activity. In times of migration and displacement the cropland area was reduced, while it increased during resettlement initiatives. <br/><br>
The final part of this dissertation consists of a methodological discussion of how scale affects analyses of the environment-migration nexus. A review of the current literature reveals that common scale-problems in this field include the mismatch between different data types, generalizations, and neglect of spatial variability.},
  author       = {Eklund, Lina},
  isbn         = {978-91-85793-47-1},
  keyword      = {migration,drought,Iraqi Kurdistan,agriculture,land,scale},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {142},
  publisher    = {Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {“No Friends but the Mountains” Understanding Population Mobility and Land Dynamics in Iraqi Kurdistan},
  year         = {2015},
}