Just adaptation? Generating new vulnerabilities and shaping adaptive capacities through the politics of climate-related resettlement in a Philippine coastal city

Justin See, Brooke Wilmsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Drawing on the adaptation, justice, and resettlement literatures, this study explores the prospects for procedural (who is involved, how they are selected) and distributive justice (how the outcomes are experienced by different groups) in a resettlement project in the coastal city of Iloilo in the Philippines. This project, which sought to reduce flood risks, required the resettlement of 3500 families. The city was lauded locally and internationally and the government intends to replicate it across the country. This study uses a mixed method approach, including 200 household surveys and interviews with government officials, NGO staff, and community members. It finds that while some households experience notable improvements in their housing quality, incomes and climate resilience, the resettlement process exacerbated intra-community inequality and exclusion. It also finds that the distribution of these benefits was a function of political power and pre-existing wealth discrepancies rather than of need. To avoid these mistakes in the future, governments and resettlement planners must take account of how inequality and asymmetries in power shape resettlement outcomes. To do this, questions of procedural, distributive and contextual justice must be brought to the fore.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102188
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Volume65
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

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