Environmental causes and impact of refugee movements: a critique of the current debate

Disasters. 1997 Mar;21(1):20-38. doi: 10.1111/1467-7717.00042.


The relationships between insecurity, environmental change and population displacement are discussed in this paper. It argues that environmental change and concomitant population displacement are the consequences of war and insecurity rather than triggers for it-as postulated in so much of the recent literature. Additionally, the paper critically reviews the state of knowledge concerning the impact of refugees on the environment of host countries. The aim here is not to document the negative or positive impacts as such, but rather to de-mythologise some aspects of the state of knowledge which through repetition have become accepted as 'scientific truth'.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Developing Countries
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Dynamics*
  • Refugees*
  • Social Environment*