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Communication incl. Poster: BibTeX citation key:  Bonnassieux
Bonnassieux, A. & Ciavolella, R. 2009. Questioning Environmental Vulnerability Impact on Migration and Immobility in Hombori (Mali). Work presented at Third International AMMA Conference, July 20—24, at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Added by: roussot 2009-11-04 18:30:51
Categories: Society-Environment-Climate interactions
Keywords: Adaptation and Mitigation
Creators: Bonnassieux, Ciavolella
Publisher: African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)
Collection: Third International AMMA Conference

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This double and joint paper presents a comparison between practices of migration and immobility in the municipal district of Hombori, Mali. The interaction between the two fieldworks in the same area can nourish the debate on the possible impacts of climatic and environmental instability on mobility.
Bonnassieux’s paper deals with seasonal migrations of young men as an old and longstanding strategy of social construction and job seeking during the long dry season. During the periods of drought and food crisis (i.e. 1973-74, 1984-85) their scale increases as their length does too. They concern diversified social categories. Since the 70s, rainfall irregularity, production decline, environment degradation, and predators’ raids affected agro-pastoral activities, demanding an economic diversification (commercialization of livestock, fisheries, tourism) eased by a better integration into communication system (paved road…). But in contexts where crops often ensure livelihoods for a few months, migration has become increasingly important, as mentioned by many interlocutors during fieldwork carried out in 2008. Especially for young generations, the increase in departures of "valid arms" contributes to the declining role of agriculture in the economic system. An analysis of the social dynamics generated by persisting migration shows how mobility is a consolidated or provisional practice, what is the role played by the construction of socio-professional networks, which are the destinations, to which extent mobility affect the processes of empowerment and social construction for migrants.
In order to understand the real impact of climatic and environmental changes on the evolution of migration, it’s crucial to deal with the issue of social differentiation provoked by migration. In this respect, Ciavolella’s paper completes Bonnassieux’s contribution. The paper aims to describe the immobility of other groups, especially marginal pastoral populations living in enclaves. This analysis shows a strong correlation between immobility and social and political marginality. Paradoxically, the practices of internal or international mobility and migration towards cities or foreign countries represent a privilege if compared to the immobility of the most isolated and marginalized villages of the district. Although migration is due to the socio-economic and ecological deterioration, there is not a direct and proportional relationship between the degree of vulnerability and the degree of mobility. This issue constitutes a crucial point to study the impact of deteriorating environmental conditions on the practices of local populations’ mobility. The relative immobility of the most vulnerable groups shows the complexity of the issue and gives scientific tools for deconstructing the idea of a direct relationship between vulnerability and mobility.
Added by: roussot