Migration and forests
People in motion, landscapes in transition
Why do people move? What impact does migration have on landscapes and forests? How do communities evolve as their demographics shift? In countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, CIFOR is taking a closer look at migration and mobility: not only who is moving and where, but why, and how that choice affects land-use decisions, livelihood strategies, social dynamics, gender roles and forest management. This portal brings together the latest in CIFOR’s ongoing research on this relatively unexplored issue.
Linking migration, landscapes and forests
People have moved across landscapes for millenia. For some, it is a strategy to manage their natural resources, or simply a way of life. Others migrate to adapt to changing environmental conditions or to avoid climate shocks.
And each year millions of people – especially men and youth – migrate within their country or abroad in search of better work, education, health care or security. Remittances sent home by migrant workers are transforming the economies of some countries, and although conflicts can arise as different populations mix, migration can also create new networks as knowledge and skills are shared.
Not enough is known about the impact these changes have on rural communities and their landscapes. As population dynamics shift, so may social norms and land management practices. Remittance flows and new networks can affect how people earn a living, their incentives to manage and conserve forests and trees, their expenditure patterns, and the impact of various forest management practices on different social groups. Yet forestry research and forest policy have largely ignored the ways migration, mobility, and remittance and knowledge flows affect land-use decisions.
With key partners, CIFOR scientists are working to improve our understanding of migration in various countries to improve the equity and effectiveness of forest management projects and policies. Research is underway in Peru, Indonesia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Laos, and Vietnam – all countries where both forests and migration are important features.
Ghetto chimps, 4 billion trees for Ethiopia, while Amazon deforestation accelerates…fast!
EARTH DAY: Can Sumatran elephants and people coexist?
Small fortunes: How effective migration policies will benefit landscapes
Gaharu: A migration story
To protect the world’s forests, we must start with its cities
Discussion Forum 16: Managing migration and remittances for environmentally sustainable and socially responsive landscapes
4th Annual FLARE Meeting
Third Annual Flare Network Meeting
What does migration mean on the home front? Implications for land and social change in NepalLand Governance in an Interconnected World
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Land Governance in an Interconnected World
Presentation of CIFOR Migration and Forests research at Resilience 2017
People in motion and forests in transition: Findings from CIFOR’s ongoing work
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The searchable Migration and Forest Database contains more than 500 citations, including peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters, technical papers, reports, and conference proceedings. The database covers a wide range of topic related to migration and environmental, migration history on the forest frontier, remittance and livelihoods, drivers and effects of migration, gender and generational aspect of migration, and many more.Learn more
We encourage media to contact our scientists and experts directly with interview requests or questions about the topic.
Team Leader, Forests & Human Well-Being
English, Portuguese, Spanish
Team Leader - Climate Change, Energy & LC
Burkina Faso and Tajikistan
Arabic, English, French, German, Indonesian
Senior Associate, Forests and Governance Programme
Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam
Indonesian, English, Dutch
Kartika Sari Juniwaty
Quantitative Research Specialist
I Made Sanjaya