The cascading effects of climate change on children: extreme floods, family mobility and child well-being in Amazonia

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Climate change is a systemic crisis with an important intergenerational dimension, as its detrimental effects are expected to escalate over time. While the Children's Climate Risk Index (CCRI) provides valuable insights into measurable generational vulnerabilities, it tends to overlook the intricate and cascading impacts of weather changes on children's lives. This paper reflects on the less visible dimensions of children’s climate risk by examining a burgeoning trend of seasonal migration in Amazonia’s floodplains. Combining in-depth participant observation and draw-and-tell interviews with children, the paper focuses on identifying the different factors that shape children’s diverse experiences of flood impacts. The article examines how age and gender shape decisions around family mobility, and how different patterns of economic migration affect children left behind. The findings reveal that climate change is eroding vital social networks for children and exposing them to material and emotional hardship. The conclusion reflects on the importance of a more nuanced understanding of children’s climate risk and presents potential directions for attending to relational precarity in climate programming.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClimate and Development
Early online date9 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 May 2024

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