Introduction: Managed retreat and environmental justice in a changing climate

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
In response to global climate change, managed retreat has emerged as a controversial adaptation strategy. The purposeful movement of people and communities away from hazardous places raises numerous social and environmental justice concerns that will become even more pressing as retreat occurs more frequently and at larger scales. This special issue contributes to an emerging body of literature on managed retreat by providing a range of perspectives and approaches to considering justice in managed retreat. The assembled papers represent diverse voices (including perspectives from individuals whose communities are currently relocating or considering relocation), disciplines (including oral histories, legal analyses, and cultural heritage considerations), and lenses through which to consider the justice implications of managed retreat. They describe completed, in-progress, and foiled relocations. They suggest opportunities for improvement through improved evaluations and broader collaborations. While each presents a unique lens, key themes emerge around the need for transparent and equitable policies, self-determination of communities, holistic metrics for assessing individual and community well-being, the importance of culture both as something to be protected and an asset to be leveraged, and the need to address historical and systemic injustices that contribute to vulnerability and exposure to risk.
This article was originally published in Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. The version of record is available at: © The Author(s) 2021
managed retreat, social justice, environmental justice, climate change, adaptation, climate action
Siders, A.R., Ajibade, I. Introduction: Managed retreat and environmental justice in a changing climate. J Environ Stud Sci 11, 287–293 (2021).