Course Description

Course Name

Global World: Climate Change and Migration

Session: VPGS1124

Hours & Credits

45 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Course description & objectives

The introductory part of the course outlines the integration of the issue into the system of professional disciplines and research methods. The most important theoretical concepts of problems, typology and delimitation will be described. At the same time, emphasis will be placed on obtaining and processing data necessary for analytical activity. These tools will then be applied to tackle key issues related to the impact of climate change impacts on population migration in selected regions in Asia, Africa and Europe in relation to local economic and demographic conditions; adaptive strategies of local populations and economic opportunities; possible strategies for tackling climate variability; current migration to Europe, population security, natural resources and the impact of climate change.




1. Introduction

Programme, data sources, readings, internet journal databases. Topics of student presentations, conditions for successful competition of the course.

2. Environment and Migration – conceptual introduction

Why people move? Theories of international migration and the role of environmental factors. Theoretical concepts of environment and migration nexus. Environmental security, natural sources and impacts on population dynamics. Environmental refugees or migrants? The role of international legislation. Typology of environmental migrants, definitions. Estimation and prediction of environmental migrants. Hot spots. Impacts of environmental change, natural disasters and climate extremes on population on regional and global level.

3. Current Immigration Flows to Europe

European migration history and Europe in modern “migration times”. Causes of recent immigration to Europe from the Middle East and Africa. Case study of Syrian migrants. Trends, statistics and dynamics since 2015. Migration routes and strategies. Impact of migration on EU countries. The role of climatic factors. Smart migration phenomenon. Digital technologies and migration. New role of smugglers. Survey methods and research questions.

4. Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

Global warming and climate change facts. History of climate change research. Definition of climate change and its evidence. Impacts of climate change such as sea level rise, droughts, floods, rainy seasons shifts, hurricanes intensity, etc. Mitigation measures. Coping and adaptation strategies.

5. Migration and Climate Change in Bangladesh and India

Climate change impacts on South Asian population, dynamics of sea level rise processes, hurricanes frequency and intensity, trends in floods and their scope, etc. Migration strategy as adaptation. Geographical and environmental characteristics of Bangladesh. Causes of migration in/from Bangladesh. Case studies of migration from Bangladesh to Indian Assam. Demographic aggression? Livelihood condition of immigrants. Survey methods and research questions.

6. Climate Change Impacts and Population Dynamics in Low-lying Islands

Geographical and environmental characteristics of Maldives. The main environmental problems of Maldives. Atoll islands. Survey methods and research questions. Migration patterns in Maldives. The role of traditional and cultural factors. Sea level rise and national displacement or adaptation? Why not emigration to ‘empty Detroit’? Resilience of local residents. Climate change impacts on population in small islands in Pacific, Caribbean and Indian ocean.

7. Climate-related extremes, local resilience and population adaptation strategies

Different approaches and trends in ad coping and adaptation strategies. Resilience of local residents and the role of perception of environmental risks and hazards. Displacement or adaptation? The role of non-migration. Trapped population. Migration as adaptation livelihood strategy?

8. Environmental change, cultural context and population in sub-Saharan Africa

Impacts of climate change on Sahel countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Local traditional resilience. The adaptation measures and the influence of cultural factors. Case study North-East Kenya and regional migration processes. UNHCR refugees camp in Kakuma and local livelihood conditions. Why refugees don’t want go home? Climate variability conditions. Survey methods and research questions.

9. Development and displacement in China

Development displacees in the world. Population displacement and environmental change. Situation in Asia with detailed focus on China. Construction of the largest river dam in the world. Three Gorges Dam and its impacts on the life of the inhabitants. Numbers of displacees and predictions. Social and economic impacts on displaced population. Overall environmental regional impacts of the Three Gorges Dam. Comparative analysis with construction of any Czech river dam.

10. Regional and Household Adaptation Strategies to Climate Extremes in the Czech Republic

Climate extremes and floods in Central Europe since 1990s and their trends. The role of local perception and adaptation strategies of households. Case study of small municipalities in North-East Czech Republic. Floods and population dynamics. Climate, human memory and population survival strategies. Survey methods and research questions.


11. Chernobyl Disaster and Displacement

Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe  in 1986 and its impacts. Local forced and ‘voluntarily’ displacement. Impacts on health condition of displacees in Belarus and Ukraine. Recent situation in displaced municipalities. Survey methods and research questions.

12-14. Student projects presentations

Course evaluation

Written part: (i) individual control of readings (hand-outs) answering particular questions, and (ii) team presentation of selected topic (30 minutes + 15 minutes for discussion). In the course seminars, every student will also be assigned to a team for study/analyse materials collectively in preparation for a formal presentation, to provide issues for plenary discussion.



STOJANOV, R.; KELMAN, I.; SHEN, S.; DUŽÍ, B.; UPADHYAY, H.; VIKHROV, D.; LINGARAJ, G.J.; MISHRA, A. (2014): Contextualising Typologies of Environmentally Induced Population Movement. Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 23 (5): 508-523

STOJANOV, R.; DUŽÍ, B.; KELMAN, I.; NĚMEC, D.; PROCHÁZKA, D.: Local perceptions of climate change impacts and migration patterns in Malé, Maldives. The Geographical Journal, 183(4): 370–385.

BLACK, R. et al. (2011): Migration as adaptation. Nature, 478: 477-479.

DE SHERBININ, A. et al. (2011): Preparing for Resettlement Associated with Climate Change. Science, 334: 456-457.

KNIVETON, D.R.; SMITH, C.D. BLACK, R. (2012): Emerging migration flows in a changing climate in dryland Africa. Nature Climate Change, 2, 444-447.

YAN, T., WANG, Y. Q. (2004): Environmental Migration and Sustainable Development in the Upper Reaches of the Yangtze River. Population and Environment, 25 (6): 613-635.

STOJANOV, R.; DUŽÍ, B.; KELMAN, I.; NĚMEC, D.; PROCHÁZKA, D. (2016): Household Adaptation Strategies to Climate Extremes Impacts and Population Dynamics: Case Study from the Czech Republic. In: Milan, A. et al. (eds.): Migration, Risk Management and Climate Change: Evidence and Policy Responses. Springer, pp. 87-103. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-42922-9_5 ISBN  978-3-319-42920-5


The grading scale:


100 – 96 %


95 – 90 %

A -

89 – 87 %

B +

86 – 83 %


82 – 80 %

B -

79 – 76 %

C +

75 – 70 %


69 – 60 %

C -

59 – 0 %



Attendance policy

Attendance of classes is mandatory. During Fall and Spring Semester only one unexcused week of classes is tolerated and it will not affect a final class grade.

Student absence is excused only on presentation of a medical document. Students deliver this document to the ISA Resident Director who informs CU Academic coordinator. In case of more than one week of unexcused absences student’s final grade of the class will be automatically lowered by one step on the grading scale; one absence for each step on the grading scale.

Class protocol

Students are required to be involved in class activities. They are expected to show their preparation by active participating in the class activities, by asking relevant questions, being critical and analytical with the contents presented in class as well as by sharing their ideas and opinions.

It is expected that students arrive to class on time and that they return promptly to class after any given a class break. (Regularly missed minutes could be counted together and can make another unexcused absence, as mentioned above.)

Mobile phones must be put on silence mode during classes. If it is necessary for a student to use any other personal appliances, it must not disturb the working atmosphere in a classroom.

It is expected that students know how to behave themselves. Students are not allowed to take part in classes in a state of intoxication by alcohol and drugs. For inadequate behaviour student can be expelled from the classroom. ISA Resident Director will be informed about student’s inadequate class performance.

During the Study Abroad course any plagiarism is prohibited.

During the Study Abroad course any ethnic, racial or sexual discrimination is consdiered immoral and is prohibited. Offender will be reported to the Academic Coordinator. 

Please show your respect and culture awareness by following Czech local classroom etiquette. It is considering impolite to browse of internet, chat online, listen to an IPod, mp3, etc.; put your feet up; eat and drink excessively; and to chew gum. Wearing a hat or failing to greet people you know through Charles University or ISA first is also considered impolite.

*Course content subject to change