In news-The Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) has released the Ecological threat report 2021: understanding ecological threats, resilience and peace, recently.
About the report
- For its second Ecological Threat Report, the IEP assessed 178 independent states and territories to find those most prone to ecological-threat-related conflict.
- The report looked at food risk, water risk, rapid population growth, temperature anomalies and natural disasters.
- It combined the data from above mentioned aspects with national measures of socioeconomic resilience such as well-functioning governments, strong business environments and acceptance of other people’s rights among others.
- The 11 countries with the worst ETR score are Afghanistan, Niger, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Guatemala, Mozambique, Pakistan, Angola and Yemen.
- The report recommended a policy to combine health, food, water, refugee relief, finance, agricultural and business development into one integrated agency in high-risk areas and empowering local communities.
Ecological threat and migration:
- As per the report, around 1.26 billion people across 30 countries are suffering from both extreme ecological risk and low levels of resilience.
- These countries are least likely to be able to mitigate and adapt to new ecological threats, which is likely to cause mass displacement.
- The number of people displaced by conflict has been steadily rising with 23.1 million people from hotspot countries living outside their home country in 2020.
- Europe was hosting the largest number of displaced people from hotspot countries, at 6.6 million.
- As many as 13 faced extremely high and 34 others faced high ecological threats.
- The most vulnerable countries are clustered in the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
- Ecological degradation and conflict work in a vicious circle, whereby one degradation of resources leads to conflict and vice versa.
- Climate change will have an amplifying effect, causing further ecological degradation and pushing some countries through violent tipping points.
- Since 2014, the number of people without access to adequate food globally has risen every year, increasing by 44%.
- Increases in food insecurity are associated with deteriorations in peace.
- By 2050, the global demand for food is expected to increase by 50%.
- As a region, south Asia is the worst-placed, with water and food risks driving the average ETR score in the region.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, the score is influenced by high levels of population growth, which will place increased pressure on existing food and water scarcity.
- The region has the highest proportion (66 per cent) of its population suffering from food insecurity, highlighting its severity of water and food risks.
- The report reveals that by 2040 over 5.4 billion people will live in countries facing extreme water stress.
- Lebanon and Jordan are the countries most at risk.
- Sub-Saharan Africa has the most countries with the lowest levels of social resilience combined with the highest population growth.
- 70% of its population suffer from inadequate access to safely managed water.
Other key findings of the report are:
- Eleven of 15 countries with the worst environmental threat scores are currently classified as being in conflict.
- Another four are classified as at high risk of substantial falls in peace, highlighting the relationship between resource degradation and conflict
- From 1990 to 2020, a total of 10,320 natural disasters occurred globally.
- Flooding has been the most common natural disasters, accounting for 42 per cent of the total disaster count.
- In 2020, 177 countries and territories recorded a warmer average temperature compared to their historical average temperatures.
- Eleven countries are projected to double their population between 2021 and 2050. They are all in sub-Saharan Africa.
- The three countries with the largest projected increases in population are Niger, Angola and Somalia, where the populations will increase by 161, 128 and 113 per cent, respectively.
The Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP)
- IEP is an international and independent think tank dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and progress.
- It has offices in Sydney, Brussels, New York, The Hague, Mexico City and Harare.
- IEP develops conceptual frameworks to define peacefulness, providing metrics for measurement, uncovering the relationship between peace, business, and prosperity, and seeking to promote understanding of the cultural, economic, and political factors that drive peacefulness.