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New regional formations

New regional formations: Rapid environmental change and migration in coastal regions of Ghana and Indonesia

Partner countries: Ghana, Indonesia
Duration: 2014 - 2016
Funding: Volkswagen Foundation
Status: Joint project coordinated by artec, University of Bremen. The ZMT participates in two sub-projects.

Coastal regions are at the centre of two closely related key challenges for today’s societies: environmental change and migration. They are traditionally both origins and destinations of migratory movements. At the same time, coasts are continuously transformed by geomorphological, climatic and other forces. This ongoing change is expected to increase with global warming and its secondary effects. The project focuses on two coastal regions: the region of Semarang in Central Java (Indonesia) is threatened by land subsidence and flooding; the district of Keta (Ghana) is experiencing ongoing, heavy erosion along the coast.

The research project asks how environmental changes and respective risk cultures intersect with evolving migrant trajectories, economic strategies of households and policy responses to create differing sets of constraints and opportunities for “new regional formations”. These are characterised by an array of differing actor sets, negotiation arenas, policies and concrete adaptation measures that are constituted along the environmental change. The concentration on the regional level reflects the now widely accepted idea that regions have significantly grown in importance as hubs of economic and political development and as interpretive frameworks shaping individual and collective identities.

The research is carried out in a fully integrated design. All subprojects will deal with the situation in both regions. Accordingly, the aim will be a high degree of consistence in methods and research design.


  • SP1 – Environmental changes
  • SP2 – Risk cultures
  • SP3 – Migrant trajectories
  • SP4 – Economic strategies
  • SP5 – Policy responses


Dipl.-Geogr. Johannes Herbeck
University of Bremen
artec - Sustainability Research Center
Phone: +49 (0) 421 / 218-61833
e-mail: johannes.herbecke-mail addressuni-bremen.de

Project flyer