The concept of Environmental Migration has been broadly discussed by the
international scientific community. Especially developing countries will have to develop
strategies to cope with a rising number of people migrating at national and international
levels due to climatic changes and environmental degradation. This paper will critically
analyze the term Environmental Migration and sets it in relation to a case study conducted
in northwest Benin in August/October of 2013 with Bialaba, analyzing their temporary
migration pattern to Nigeria. The aim is to reveal current discussions on the term “Environmental
Migration”/“Environmental Migrant” and to discuss its conceptual limits. The qualitative
study in this working paper was conducted in the form of 36 interviews with farmers in the
Dassari watershed North of Benin and surrounding villages as well as with stakeholders of
the local government and NGOs active in the research area. Research results are presented
in the following paper to clarify migration motives for the Bialaba of northwest
Benin towards Nigeria aiming to stimulate discussions on the topic and to promote new
research pathways.