Forthcoming

To relocate, or not? The future of small and remote communities in the Nordic Countries facing natural hazards

Authors

  • Nina Baron University College Copenhagen

Abstract

Remote communities are often particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change in the form of increased risk of hazards such as avalanches, storms, flooding, or landslides. This is due to, for example, nature-dependent livelihoods, large distances from emergency services as well as limited resources and expertise for climate adaptation work. Still, most remote communities are dependent on support from wider society if they are to successfully address the increased challenges that a changing climate entails. 

This commentary aims to spark a discussion on the controversial issue of relocation of remote communities living in high-risk areas. In the Nordic context, relocation is often avoided (and not discussed) due to many valid reasons, such as the right of each citizen to get state services regardless of where they live, the value of having dispersed settlements, and strong place attachment of remote communities. Nonetheless, we argue that researchers, policymakers and broader society should discuss if living in high-risk areas is still reasonable in the light of climate change? While raising this question often leads to a simplified debate about forced relocation, we aim to contribute to a more nuanced debate. Maybe relocation might indeed be a more resilient and sustainable long-term solution for (some) remote communities.

Section
Reflections

Published

2024-06-30

How to Cite

Baron, N. (2024). To relocate, or not? The future of small and remote communities in the Nordic Countries facing natural hazards . Fennia - International Journal of Geography. https://doi.org/10.11143/fennia.145701