ABSTRACT

The West African Sahel is presumed to be one of the most affected regions by climate and environmental change in the future. The chapter describes the livelihood and migration patterns in two rural study areas in Mali and in Senegal based on quantitative and qualitative empirical research. The majority of the people in the two rural areas around Linguère in Senegal and Bandiagara in Mali depend on small-scale agricultural production. This makes them highly vulnerable to environmental stressors, particularly to the variability and lack of rainfall. Over time people have developed several adaptation strategies to cope with and adapt to environmental stress, of which migration is one. Migration from the two study areas is very common for both men and women, but may not necessarily be an adaptation strategy.