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What is "Just Transition"?

The Impact of Climate Change on Tribal Communities in the US: Displacement, Relocation, and Human Rights

This collection of case studies examines the implications of climate-induced relocation and U.S. government support for Indigenous peoples facing the threat of displacement.


Sea level rise, erosion, and permafrost thaw are threatening to displace coastal and low-lying Indigenous communities in the United States. These communities are now faced with the challenge of climate-induced relocation. This paper presents three case studies from Kivalina and Newtok, Alaska, and Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, to examine the implications of displacement on these communities and propose an international standard for resettlement and relocation rooted in a human rights framework.

These three communities are already facing the devastating consequences of climate change and have begun preparations to relocate. However, the U.S. government has provided them little assistance with their resettlement. In fact, current policies limit the amount of government support and funds available to these communities for relocation and instead channel assistance and funding toward the existing at-risk areas.

In response to the inadequate levels of assistance, the authors propose creating a unified federal agency and relocation policy to coordinate resettlement efforts. This new approach should advocate for the rights and desires of Indigenous people and maintain their tribal rights to determination and preservation. If successful, this approach can serve as a model for relocation policy globally.

Potential of Climate-Smart Agriculture in Reducing Women Farmers’ Drudgery in High Climatic Risk Areas

This case study examines the potential for climate-smart agriculture to reduce the labor burden on women farmers in Rupandehi and Chitwan, two Nepalese districts affected by climate change.


This case study analyzes the potential for climate-smart agriculture (CSA) to reduce women farmers’ labor burden in Nepal. CSA practices seek to improve agricultural productivity, build resilient food production systems, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CSA, in addition to reducing labor hours, has a significant role in expanding women’s access to agricultural resources and inclusion in decision-making processes. Therefore, CSA is an important tool in the transformation of global food systems in response to climate change.

Nepal was selected because of its low rank on gender-related development indicators, its increasing feminization of agriculture due to male out-migration, and its increasingly frequent extreme weather events. Rupandehi and Chitwan were randomly chosen as focal areas from a list of predetermined hotspots that have high levels of climate risk, poverty, and women’s participation in agriculture. The study sought to determine which CSA practices most reduced women’s labor burden in agriculture. The authors identify direct-seeded rice, zero-tillage machines, laser land leveling, and green manuring as the most effective practices.