Polina Koriukina was a virtual research intern at UNU-CRIS. Polina is currently enrolled in the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Programme in Economics of Globalisation and European Integration. During her nine-weeks internship at UNU-CRIS, she contributed to the research project on climate change and migration under the supervision of Ilse Ruyssen.
The focus of this project was to explore the role of irrigation in reducing climate-related migration incentives in the Global South. The issue of climate-change induced migration is extremely acute nowadays, as around 80% of the estimated billion of poor people live in rural areas and rely on agriculture. Global warming and consecutive modifications of rainfall and temperature patterns cause local temperatures to rise and leads to higher frequency of droughts. These are powerful factors that make large-scale migration a necessary option for survival for many households that rely on agriculture to sustain their livelihoods.
In this setting, the project seeked to examine innovative adaptation strategies such as irrigation. Irrigation, as a process of regulating water input to assist in crops production, helped the local population to combat negative effects of climate change on agriculture and therefore provided them with perspectives for a sustainable and better future.
Polina’s role in the project was to collect subnational irrigation statistics on all countries in the Global South. These statistics were matched with data on international and internal migration incentives from Gallup World Poll database, to further conduct a cross-country empirical analysis of the potential connection between irrigation and migration.