Exploring the dynamics of migration, armed conflict, urbanization, and anthropogenic change in Colombia

Peer Reviewed
23 November 2020

Guibor Camargo, Andrés Miguel Sampayo, Andrés Peña Galindo, Francisco J. Escobedo, Fernando Carriazo, Alejandro Feged-Rivadeneira

Anthropogenic change has been associated with population growth, land use change, and changing economies. However, internal migration patterns and armed conflicts are also key drivers of anthropogenic and demographic processes. To better understand the processes associated with this change, we explore the spatial relationship between forced migration due to armed conflict and changing socioeconomic factors in Colombia, a country which has a recent history of 7 million internal migrants. In addition, we use remote sensing, Google Earth Engine, as well as spatial statistical analyses of demographic data in order to measure anthropogenic change between 1984 and 2013—a socio-politically important period in Colombia’s armed conflict. We also analyze spatiotemporal relationships between socioeconomic and anthropogenic changes, which are caused by forced migration. We found that forced migration is significantly and positively related to an increasing rural-urban type of migration which results from armed conflict. Results also show that it is negatively related to interregional displacement. Indeed, anthropogenic change pertaining to different regions have had different correlations with forced migration, and across different time periods. Findings are used to discuss how socioeconomic and political phenomena such as armed conflict can have complex effects on the dynamics of anthropogenic and ecological change as well as movement of humans in countries like Colombia.

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Publication reference
Camargo, G., Sampayo, A. M., Peña Galindo, A., Escobedo, F. J., Carriazo, F., & Feged-Rivadeneira, A. (2020). Exploring the dynamics of migration, armed conflict, urbanization, and anthropogenic change in Colombia. PLOS ONE, 15(11), e0242266. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0242266
Publication | 21 December 2020