New Regional Formations Project: Regional Conference on Rapid Environmental Change and Migration in Coastal Regions in Accra, Ghana
On November 17th-18th, the first of two Regional Conferences on Rapid Environmental Change and Migration in Coastal Regions took place at the Yiri Lodge, Institute for African Studies at the University of Ghana, Accra. The workshop was organized by Prof. Dr. Felicitas Hillmann and PhD candidate Usha Ziegelmayer from the Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS) in Erkner, Prof. Dr. Michael Flitner and Dr. Johannes Herbeck from the artec Sustainability Research Centre of the University of Bremen in collaboration with Prof. Mariama Awumbila and Dr. Joseph Teye from the Centre for Migration Studies of the University of Ghana.
The two-day workshop was held within the framework of the New Regional Formations Project, funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung, and discussed the dimensions and dynamics of the nexus between coastal environmental change, migration and mobility in West Africa, with a special focus on Ghana. Besides the presentations on regional perspectives of migration and policy dynamics held by the workshop organizers, project-related contributions were provided by Prof. Dr. Volker Heins and PhD candidate Jan Schuster from the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen on risk cultures. ZMT research within the project was represented by PhD candidate Carina Goldbach and Prof. Dr. Achim Schlüter on household economics, and Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal, Dr. Alessio Rovere, Dr. Thomas Mann and the MSc candidates Aleksandra Serwa and Benjamin Lasalle on coastal morphological changes. Besides that, numerous contributions by researchers from Ghana shed light on related aspects, e.g. the interrelations between coastal erosion and the development of tourist infrastructure, on the connections between climate change and health, or on the relevance of theatre for communicating research findings to affected communities in Ghana.
The workshop brought together scientists and actors from governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and was perceived as a great success from all participants. It provided an excellent platform for networking and discussions dealing with the adaptive capacities with respect to migration and mobility in response to long- and short-term environmental changes on regional scales.
A second regional conference is planned to take place in Indonesia in March 2016, then focusing on similar issues in the second of the two research areas within the project context.
Contact: Johannes Herbeck (general project coordinator)
Further information on the project