Environmental changes are increasingly influencing migration journeys and migrant’s activities in both the country of destination and origin. However, only few studies exist as to how migration could actually work for adaptation to environmental changes, and none of them addresses migration in Belgium.
MIGRADAPT focuses on recent migrations to Belgium from three different ‘climate hotspot’ countries: Morocco, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). By connecting migrants in Belgium with their communities of origin, the transnational and multi-sited study’s goal is twofold.

First, the researchers analyse the role of environmental factors influencing traditional migration drivers throughout migrants’ fragmented journeys (with a particular attention to perceptions).

Second, they try to understand under which socio-economic and political conditions migrants in Belgium can support the adaptation and resilience of their communities of origin, through different types of remittances and initiatives.

MIGRADAPT includes four partners: ULB – Edwin Zaccai (supervisor) and Samuel Lietaer (researcher, ex-CEDD, now SONYA, IGEAT, Faculté des Sciences), l’ULg (Hugo Observatory), University of Antwerp (CeMIS) and the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA-MRAC).


Belspo-BRAIN (2017-2021)


15/04/2017-15/04/2021 (extended to 15/10/2021)


Université de Liège (Hugo Observatory)
Universiteit Antwerpen (CeMIS)
Musée Royal d’Afrique centrale (MRAC)
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB, ex-CEDD, now SONYA)


Migration as an adaptation strategy; international mobilities; adaptation to environmental changes; Belgium, Senegal.



  • See the final MIGRADAPT project report (Belspo-BRAIN).
  • Van Praag, Lietaer, S. & Michellier, C. (tbd), "A qualitative study on how perceptions of environmental changes are linked to migration in Morocco, Senegal and DR Congo", submitted to Human Ecology.
  • Lietaer, S., Durand-Delacre, D. (2021), “Situating ‘migration as adaptation’ discourse and appraising its relevance to Senegal’s development sector”, Environmental Science and Policy, issue tbc.
  • Lietaer, S., Bruening, L. & Faye, C.N. (2020), « Ne pas revenir pour mieux soutenir ? Perceptions de la migration comme stratégie d’adaptation face aux changement environnementaux dans trois régions du Sénégal », Emulations- Revues de sciences sociales, Numéro 34 (2020), 97-113. DOI:
  • Lietaer, S. (2020), De Senegalese diaspora als motor voor klimaat -en milieu-adaptatie : gemeende Europese hoop?, Publication en ligne: 01/12/20192019-12-01
Updated on January 3, 2022