MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    Social consequences of planned relocation in response to sea level rise: impacts on anxiety, well-being, and perceived safety

    Abu, Mumuni and Heath, Stacey C and Adger, W. Neil and Codjoe, Samuel Nii Ardey and Butler, Catherine and Quinn, Tara (2024) Social consequences of planned relocation in response to sea level rise: impacts on anxiety, well-being, and perceived safety. Scientific Reports, 14 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

    Download (1MB) | Preview
    Official URL:

    Share your research

    Twitter Facebook LinkedIn GooglePlus Email more...

    Add this article to your Mendeley library


    Governments globally are adapting to sea level rise through a range of interventions to improve everyday lives of communities at risk. One prominent response is planned relocation, where people and communities are enabled to move from localities exposed to coastal erosion and inundation as a result of sea level rise. Managed retreat has significant social consequences including under-reported impacts on health, well-being and social identity. Here we adopt well-established measures of well-being and document the outcomes of planned relocation on well-being in the Volta Delta region of Ghana. Data from a bespoke survey for individuals (n = 505) in relocated and non-relocated communities demonstrate that planned relocation negatively impacts well-being and anxiety of those relocated when compared to a community that is equally exposed but has not moved. Individuals in the relocated community reported significantly lower levels of overall wellbeing, significantly higher levels of anxiety, and lower perceptions of safety, compared to non-relocated community members. These outcomes are explained as being related to the disruption of community connection, identities, and feelings of efficacy. Relocated community members reported significantly lower levels of attachment to the local area and home, significantly lower levels of community-based self-efficacy, and significantly lower levels of overall community-based identity. The results demonstrate that planned relocation to address sea level rise has multiple social consequences with outcomes for well-being that are not straightforwardly related to risk reduction.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: We thank Karyn Morrisey, Richard Smith, Conor Murphy, Csaba Horvath and Ruby Grantham for discussions and inputs and participants at presentations at Adaptation Futures 2023 conference, Montreal, October 2023, and a lecture at Regional Institute for Population Studies at the University of Ghana, November 2023 for feedback and comments. This version remains our sole responsibility.
    Keywords: sea level rise; communities at risk; social identity;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 18174
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Corinne Voces
    Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2024 15:29
    Journal or Publication Title: Scientific Reports
    Publisher: Springer Nature
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: This research is funded by the Wellcome Trust (Grant Number 216014/Z/19/Z).
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

    Repository Staff Only(login required)

    View Item Item control page


    Downloads per month over past year

    Origin of downloads