Biography

Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Denver. His research interests focus upon the human dimensions of global environmental change, and sustainable agriculture and food systems. Specifically, he is interested in socio-cultural barriers to climate adaptation, as well as improving food security with farming practices that generate minimal ecological footprints and contribute to climate change mitigation. His regional concentration is Africa, with ongoing projects in Ghana and Malawi. His publications have appeared in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Peasant Studies, Ecology and Society, Geoforum, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, and Social Science & Medicine.

Abstract

New Insecurities: The political ecology of climate migrants, belonging, and adaptation to multiple stressors in Ghana

Climate change is transforming many semi-arid northern Ghanaian residents into climate migrants, escaping crop failure, water scarcity, and food shortages. Most of these climate migrants tend to resettle in the country‚Äôs rainforest zones, with relatively fertile soils and a bimodal rainfall. Upon relocation, however, these climate migrants face new insecurities and vulnerabilities, oftentimes much harsher than in the region where they originated. While much of the literature on this topic focuses on cross-border migration, we know very little about in-country migration due to ecological degradation. To address this research gap, this paper asks: What are the socio-ecological factors that shape new insecurities and vulnerabilities faced by climate migrants? How do climate migrants discursively construct their modes of belonging and identities in their host societies? The findings shed theoretical and empirical light on why climate migrants prefer to move even when they are deeply aware of impending insecurities in host societies.

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