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Environmental security and labour migration in Nepal

Sundar S. Shrestha, Pennsylvania State University
Prem Bahadur Bhandari, Pennsylvania State University

Drawing upon the new economics of migration, this paper empirically examines if changes in environmental security resulting from declining access to forest resources such as firewood shape labor migration in Nepal. The results from multinomial logistic regression models using the micro-level data from the Chitwan Valley of Nepal showed that, net of other factors, a decrease in access to forest resources increased the likelihood of migration of individual(s) for work regardless of destination, domestic or international. Results provide evidence that environmental insecurity leads to labor migration in an agrarian society where household production and consumption activities are intimately dependent on environmental resources. The research findings also suggest that labor requirements for household maintenance also play a role in household migration decision.

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Presented in Session 185: Migration and the environment