Social Science Baha Lecture series on Migration during Climate Change: Broadening the Discourse beyond Disaster Displacement and Failure to Adapt by Amina Maharjan

Social Science Baha continues its Lecture series  with Lecture Series CXIII on Migration during Climate Change: Broadening the Discourse beyond Disaster Displacement and Failure to Adapt by Amina Maharjan on 14 May 2024 (Tuesday) 5:30 pm | Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka, Lalitpur

Nepal is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, ranking 139th out of 182 in terms of exposure, sensitivity, and ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. Nepal faces several disaster risks such as floods, landslides, earthquakes, wildfires, and droughts. Marginalised populations, already burdened by poverty, food insecurity, and discrimination, and agriculture-based livelihoods are particularly susceptible to these impacts. Rural communities in Nepal are highly dependent on subsistence agriculture, with small holdings, mostly rainfed systems and livestock. The observed changes in temperature, rainfall patterns, and the increased frequency of extreme weather events, have led to significant losses in agricultural productivity, property, and human lives. Off-farm employment opportunities in informal services and manufacturing are limited.

Migration is a common and often effective risk-spreading strategy adopted by households in Nepal. The 2021 Census reported that roughly one in every four households has a family member abroad. The remittances sent home by migrant workers are used to meet household consumption, finance education and healthcare needs. There is evidence that a small portion is also invested in agriculture to build resilience to climate change. However, the general discourse continues to portray migration as both a challenge and a failure that needs to be stopped.

Against this backdrop, this lecture aims to shed light on these two interlinked mega-trends of climate change and migration. Climate adaptation interventions are generally designed for resident populations, and do not consider the mobility and immobility of exposed and marginal populations. The discourse on migration under a changing climate is also narrowly focused on disaster displacement and rarely addresses other forms of human mobility. This presents a huge gap in our understanding of climate change-migration linkages and therefore constrains the ways in which we can leverage migration to reduce livelihood precarity, increase adaptive capacities, and enhance the overall wellbeing of the population.

Amina Maharjan is Senior Livelihood and Migration Specialist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). With a PhD in agriculture, she is an interdisciplinary researcher and practitioner specialising in human mobility and migration, sustainable development, and climate adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

Dr Maharjan’s work focuses on the science-policy-practice interface related to the human dimensions of environmental change, vulnerability to cyrospheric change, air pollution, multi/translocal livelihood resilience, and gender equity and social inclusion. Among her recent publications (as lead author) related to the lecture are: ‘Can Labour Migration Help Households Adapt to Climate Change? Evidence from Four River Basins in South Asia’ (in Climate and Development), ‘Understanding Rural Outmigration and Agricultural Land Use Change in the Gandaki Basin, Nepal’ (Applied Geography), and ‘Migration and Household Adaptation in Climate-Sensitive Hotspots in South Asia’ (Curr Clim Change Rep).

The lecture will also be livestreamed at

This is a public lecture and admission is free and open to all. Seating is first-come-first-served. Queries: 4572807.

As part of the Social Science Baha Lecture Series, the Baha has been providing a forum to local and visiting scholars to present their work and interact with the larger public in an open lecture format. The Lecture Series is a not a periodic event but rather is held whenever there is someone ready to make a presentation. The following are the lectures hosted by the Baha so far. Note: Audio versions of lectures are available online from Lecture Series XXI onwards, and also available are abstracts from Lecture Series XI and later.

Listen to previous lectures

A Post Investment Summit India-Nepal B2B Meet in Kathmandu

Embassy of India, Kathmandu in collaboration with the Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) and Nepal India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI) organized a Post Investment Summit India-Nepal B2B Meet in Kathmandu today. 

The B2B meeting was attended by 35 delegates from Millennium India International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCIA) and Nepal India Chamber of Commerce and Industry covering energy, agriculture, construction, tourism, cold chain, medical devices, finance, consultancy and law sectors

Speaking at the event, Ms. Shreejana Rana, President, NICCI identified hydropower, tourism and agriculture as potential areas for cooperation between Indian and Nepali businesses. Ambassador Anil Trigunayat, President, MICCIA appreciated the recent bilateral connectivity initiatives and the importance of B2B connections in taking India-Nepal Economic Partnership forward. Mr. Ramesh Adhikari, Under Secretary, IBN summarized and welcomed Indian investors to do business in Nepal. He appreciated the more than 50 members strong Indian delegation from FICCI, CII, ICC, MICCIA as well as several individual businesses who had productive meetings at the 3rd Nepal Investment Summit from 28-29 April 2024.

The B2B meet witnessed the signature of an MOU for cooperation between MICCIA and NICCI. Indian delegates were also provided a copy of the 3rd edition of Handbook for Indian Investors Investing in Nepal, which had been unveiled a day before by Mr. Barshaman Pun, Hon’ble Finance Minister of Nepal. 

The Handbook can be downloaded at

Press Release - Embassy of India, Nepal 

India built High Impact Community Development Project in Chitwan, Nepal

The Embankment and Launching Apron Dhungre Khola River Training Works project at Khairahani Municipality, Chitwan, built with Government of India’s financial assistance at the tendered cost of NRs.36.74 million under ‘Nepal-India Development Cooperation’ was  inaugurated today jointly by  Mr. Shashi Kumar Khaniya, Mayor, Khairani Municipality and Shri Avinash Kumar Singh, First Secretary, Embassy of India, Kathmandu. Public representatives, Government officials, representatives of project user committee and social workers were also present on this occasion. 

The Government of India grant under ‘Nepal-India Development Cooperation’ was utilized for the Construction of Embankment and Launching Apron Dhungre Khole River Training Works at Khairahani Municipality, Chitwan for the people of local community. The project is taken up as a High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP), under an Agreement between Government of India and Government of Nepal. This project was implemented through Khairahani Municipality, Chitwan.  The project is an important example of the robust development partnership between India and Nepal. 

Mayor, Khairahani Municipality and representatives of project user committee in their remarks appreciated the continued developmental support of the Government of India in upliftment of the people of Nepal in priority sectors.

This HICDP-Embankment and Launching Apron Dhungre Khole River Training Works will help to stop agricultural land erosion, deforestation, frequent eviction of locals due to river flood flow and mitigating the risk associated with river dynamics and fostering resilience against natural calamities. 

Since 2003, Government of India has taken up over 551 HICDPs in Nepal in various sectors and has completed 489 projects. Amongst these, 106 projects are in Bagmati Province in various sectors, which include 9 projects in Chitwan. In addition to these, Government of India has gifted 1009 ambulances and 300 school buses to various hospitals, health posts and educational institutions in Nepal on the occasion of Independence Day and Republic Day of India. Amongst these, 236 Ambulances and 99 School Buses have been gifted in Bagmati Province, including 17 ambulances and 5 school buses provided in Chitwan District. 

As close neighbours, India and Nepal share wide-ranging and multi-sectoral cooperation. The implementation of HICDPs reflects the continued support of the Government of India in bolstering the efforts of the Government of Nepal in upliftment of its people, augmenting infrastructure in the field of priority sector in Nepal.  

Press Release - Embassy of India, Nepal 


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