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Ecological Threat Report 2021

Ecological Threat Report 2021:

The Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), an international think tank released the Ecological Threat Report (ETR) 2021: Understanding ecological threats, resilience and peace.

  • This is the second edition of the ETR, which covers 178 independent states and territories.
  • The ETR includes the most recent and respected scientific research on population growth, water stress, food insecurity, droughts, floods, cyclones, and rising temperature.

Conflict and Ecological Threats:

  • 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, leading to mass displacement.
  • As many as 13 countries 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

Food Risk:

  • Global food insecurity has increased by 44% since 2014, affecting 30.4 % of the world’s population in 2020, and is likely to rise further.
  • As a region, south Asia is the worst-placed, with water and food risks driving the average ETR score in the region.
  • Covid-19 has amplified food insecurity further and will likely have a long-lasting negative impact on world hunger due to stagnant economic growth.

Water Risk:

  • 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, which will be compounded by high population growth.

Rapid Population Growth:

  • 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% respectively.

Temperature Anomalies and Natural Disasters:

  • From 1990 to 2020, a total of 10,320 natural disasters occurred globally. Flooding has been the most common natural disaster, accounting for 42% of the total disaster count.
  • In 2020, 177 countries and territories recorded a warmer average temperature compared to their historical average temperatures.