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Leaving place, Restoring Home

As hazards, disasters and climate change profoundly affect people’s lives and livelihoods, communities and authorities seek opportunities to move people permanently out of harm’s way. The planned relocation of communities, or groups of households, to areas with lower exposure and disaster risks is occurring around the world. Planned relocation is recognized in policy and practice as a tool for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). However, the process can also undermine socio-economic prosperity, cultural practices and human security. As such, planned relocation is generally considered as a measure of last resort. In this context, policymakers, practitioners and communities require refined information on how planned relocation could be undertaken to minimize negative impacts, avoid pitfalls and promote human rights and human dignity. Attention to planned relocation in policy instruments, and interest in gathering insights on practice, have increased since it was included alongside displacement and migration in the 2010 Cancun Adaptation Framework. However, knowledge and data gaps remain. This report, which is undertaken pursuant to the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) 2019-2022 Strategy and Workplan, seeks to enhance the evidence base on planned relocation cases undertaken within countries. It provides: (1) a global dataset of 308 cases of planned relocation identified from English language peer-reviewed scholarly articles and grey literature; and (2) an analysis of characteristics across 34 of the identified cases. These two related outputs serve as a foundation for future efforts to augment knowledge and data on planned relocation, and to promote approaches to policy and practice that mitigate risk and protect people from harm.
Author: Bower, Erica; Weerasinghe, Sanjula
Language: English
Pubished By: Platform on Disaster Displacement and Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney
Pubished date: March 2021

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