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Migration, assets, and forest degradation in a tropical deciduous forest of South Asia

Sandra Baquié, Johannes Urpelainen, Sarika Khanwilkar, Christopher S. Galletti, Nandini Velho, Pinki Mondal, Harini Nagendra and Ruth DeFries

Ecological Economics, 2021, vol. 181, issue C

Abstract: Indian internal migration is among the highest in the world, with 30% of the population migrating, often for work. Such population movement can alleviate poverty and reduce forest degradation. However, estimates of this double dividend are scarce. We estimate the potential of internal migration to alleviate poverty by exploring migrant characteristics and their investments. We then evaluate whether there are short-term benefits for Central Indian forests by assessing the relationship between migration and changes in forest use over a 5-year timespan. Finally, we study the village-level association between forest degradation and the proportion of migrating households in the village. We show that internal migration has the potential to alleviate poverty. On the other hand, migration does not reduce forest degradation in such a short term.

Keywords: Seasonal Migration; Forest Degradation; Central India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106887

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