2023 Topical Reporting: Climate Change winner

Climate, migration and the far-right: How the ripples of climate change are radiating outward

About the Project

Climate change, geopolitics and xenophobia are at the heart of difficult migration decisions for many Senegalese people. Senegal’s eroding coastline is a constant threat. Overfishing is exhausting fish stock and a fishing agreement between Senegal and the European Union is putting local fishermen at odds with neighboring Mauritania as well as their European counterparts. Many people are leaving, taking dangerous routes to find prosperity in Europe and elsewhere. But the countries they arrive in don’t always let them in with open arms.

Our main story follows Serigne Mbaye’s migration story from Senegal to Spain, with stops along the way to understand the heart-wrenching decisions to leave, the harrowing journey, and the challenges awaiting migrants.

In a separate explainer, we do a deep dive into the disappearing coastline of the iconic island town of Saint-Louis, Senegal, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rising tides are increasingly forcing residents to relocate, both elsewhere in Senegal and more drastically, to the European Union.

Both visual narratives offer a compelling mix of prose, photography, data visualization, satellite imagery and illustration — a truly ambitious effort.

Judges Comments

The team took a complex issue and broke it down through the people directly impacted, using thoughtful reporting and visuals. The judges were hooked as every new angle was revealed. From overfishing off the coast of Senegal to the border fence in Morocco, the story took you on a journey that drove home how climate change is leading to personal decisions to migrate into unfriendly political areas.