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Ahmed publishes pieces on climate change, environmental responsibility and refugees

Saleh Ahmed portrait, SPS, faculty/staff, New Faculty Orientation Mobile Studio, Photo by Emma Thompson

Saleh Ahmed, an assistant professor in the School of Public Service, recently published two scholarly pieces. The first is titled Environmental Responsibility and Rohingya Refugees: Potential Grounds for Justice and was published in “Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability.”

The abstract reads: “In response to extreme violence by Myanmar, over one million Rohingya refugees have flooded into Bangladesh, resulting in massive-scale deforestation, land erosion, farmland degradation, and destruction of animal habitat, along with the Rohingya being denied basic environmental protections. Because neither Bangladesh nor the Rohingya is responsible for this environmental calamity, a variety of environmental legal claims can be raised against Myanmar, serving as grounds for proper redress to both the receiving state and the refugees therein. This paper highlights the emergence of environmental law as a basis for finding a sending state liable for the environmental impact and damage that it has caused to the receiving state and refugees due to the creation of a refugee crisis.”

The second piece is titled Climate Change Impacts In Coastal Bangladesh: Migration, Gender And Environmental Injustice and was published in “Asian Affairs.”

The abstract reads: “Sea level rise, tropical cyclones, saltwater intrusion, and coastal flooding along with many other natural hazards are increasingly common in many parts of the world, and regions like coastal Bangladesh are at the frontline of these impacts. Due, in part, to the ongoing climate crisis, male members of coastal households in Bangladesh are out-migrating temporarily or permanently. Reduced farm productivity can be blamed on this to a large extent. Men leave female members of their households behind in their coastal villages during the first phase of migration. This creates a new form of social injustice as women are not only exposed to the negative impacts of the climate crisis to a larger extent, but they also face the challenges of maintaining a farming livelihood as they confront patriarchal socio-cultural norms and expectations during the absence of male members of the families. Using the frameworks of critical development and political ecology, this paper unpacks how these farming women who stay in the rural villages in coastal Bangladesh have a higher social vulnerability than men do. More particularly, this paper illustrates the complex nature of social and environmental injustice, experienced by women because of the outmigration of male members of the households. An intersectional approach further explains how, in contrast to usual class/income privileges, religio-cultural norms and prohibitions result in women belonging to the ethno-religious majority being more vulnerable than minority women. This is due to restrictions from interacting alone with men to whom they are not related, which reduces their access to the knowledge and resources that flow through male-dominated social networks. This article contributes to our understanding of the complex interactions between humans and the environment, mediated by various social, cultural, and political factors, and provides critical policy insights on inclusive adaptation and long-term sustainability.”