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Ecological Threat Report 2021

  • 12 Oct 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

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

Key Points

  • 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.
  • Recommendations:
    • 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.

Internal Displacement in India

  • According to report titled The 'Lost at Home' published last year by the United Nation Children's Fund (UNICEF), more than five million people were internally displaced in India due to natural disasters, conflict and violence in 2019, constituting the highest number of new internal displacements in the world during the period followed by the Philippines, Bangladesh and China.
    • Almost 33 million new displacements were recorded in 2019 - around 25 million were due to natural disasters and 8.5 million as consequence of conflict and violence.

Source: DTE

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