Integrated Migrant-Pasture Systems in Montane Agropastoralist Communities: Untangling Interactions of Environmental Change, Livestock, Remittances, and Left-Behind Children

Environmentally-driven migrants are estimated to increase to 200 million globally by 2050. As environmental changes disrupt livelihoods, families use labor migration as a human resilience strategy. Migrant remittances can affect family income and relations, children’s well-being, and pasture dynamics and soil quality, but we lack information on how this flow of people and resources affects the dynamics of integrated socio-environmental systems (SESs) in origin communities. This project contributes generalizable knowledge about how migration dynamics alter fragile SESs by focusing on Kyrgyzstan as a study case: its agropastoral livelihoods, labor migration, environmental and demographic changes characterize much of the developing world. We ask: (1) How do changes in soil quality and pasture productivity impact migration, given mediating factors such as remittances, household dynamics, and social networks in montane agropastoralist communities? (2) How are left-behind children impacted by migration and changes in pasture productivity? (3) How do left-behind children and migrants affect pasture productivity through remittances and livestock investment relative to community-based management? (4) How should livestock systems be designed to build resilient and sustainable SESs? System responses and uncertainties will be predicted under several socio-environmental scenarios. This project aims to be a model for exploring the 21st-century climate-driven migrations undertaken by rural communities across the globe and their consequences.

Tuesday Poster Session
Guangqing Chi
Erica Smithwick
Jennifer Glick
Katherine Zipp
Armen Kemanian
Scott Yabiku
Kathleen Hill
Ashton Verdery
Ludmil Zikatanov
Mark Feinberg
Related Conference Themes
Land Use
Women & Girls