University of Twente Student Theses


Climate Resilience of Refugees in Jordan

Al-Baz, Hanadi (2021) Climate Resilience of Refugees in Jordan.

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Abstract:Climate change is affecting more and more people, impeding global economies and reshaping ecosystems. Climate change is a long-term challenge and brings along a wide range of other challenges. To respond to these challenges society has to become more resilient. In this regard, climate resilience refers to the capability to anticipate, recover and adapt to these effects. Resilience is a crucial part of any ambitious climate action programme, especially because climate change is both a global and local issue. The concept of urban resilience allows for addressing the risks of climate change on the various affected dimensions of an urban area, allowing planners and policy makers to identify strong and weak elements of the urban system. Jordan is a country that is especially affected by climate change. Considering its total state of food, water, environment, health, and infrastructure, its vulnerability to climate-related threats has increased while its capacity to cope with those threats is questionable. Despite that the triggers and wide-ranging impacts affect Jordan’s entire population, resilience measures have to be made at the asset, community, or individual level. A group which is especially vulnerable to climate change is refugees. Due to their overall position, refugees have limited adaptation ability, rendering them more susceptible than other members of society. Jordan has the largest proportion of refugees in its population, rendering its population even more vulnerable to climate change This research assessed the climate resilience of vulnerable groups in Jordan, with a focus on refugees. This was done using urban climate resilience assessment Indicators, which were developed based on desk research of grey and scientific literature depicting urban climate resilience assessment. The dimensions of assessment are: institutional, physical, economic, social, and environmental. The assessment framework allowed for the resilience to be qualitatively elaborated. Moreover, a gap analysis was conducted between the current climate actions addressing the climate resilience of vulnerable groups and the measured resilience of these groups in Jordan. The vulnerable refugee group in this has been divided in Syrian and Palestinian refugees. As it already is, both populations live in poor housing conditions, are mostly living in poverty and suffer from lack of access to sufficient water resources, food and health care. Especially the Syrian refugees consist for a large segment out of more vulnerable sub segments such as women and children. Moreover, Jordan already lacks natural resources and now with the immense population growth the hardships are greatly enhanced. This growing population also has growing demands of an ecosystem unable of meet those needs. Experts believe this problem in Jordan might lead to political instability, enhanced by climate change, questioning what would happen to the countries stability if the drought conditions get any worse than they already are. The gap analysis highlights that Jordan has prepared elaborate climate actions. The reviewed climate actions from the government of Jordan all included vulnerable groups but proportionally little mention of refugees was made. Despite Jordan's policies and attempts to address climate change, the country's climate governance structure is insufficient to react effectively to climate problems. Recommendations for decision makers include stakeholder inclusion, research into current conditions of refugees, monitoring the effectiveness and progress of climate plans, raising awareness and educating on climate change, and empowering refugees to contribute to their resilience. Moreover, from this research it is evident that refugees do not intrinsically lack resilience or agency. Rather, numerous and overlapping kinds of discrimination, injustice, and economic and institutional dynamics lead to reduced and uneven levels of authority and enjoyment of rights, making more vulnerable to any threats such as climate change.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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