Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa are the regions facing the largest number of ecological threats, according to the inaugural edition of the Ecological Threat Register (ETR).
The report, released by leading international think-tank the Institute for Economics & Peace(IEP), also says that over 1bn people live in 31 countries where the country’s resilience is unlikely to sufficiently withstand the impact of ecological events by 2050, contributing to mass population displacement.
The ETR, which covers 157 independent states and territories, combines measures of resilience with the most comprehensive ecological data available to shed light on the countries least likely to cope with extreme ecological shocks, now and into the future.
Other key findings covered by the report include:
- 19 countries with the highest number of ecological threats are among the world’s 40 least peaceful countries including Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Chad, India and Pakistan.
- By 2040, a total of 5.4bn people – more than half of the world’s projected population – will live in the 59 countries experiencing high or extreme water stress, including India and China.
- 3.5bn people could suffer from food insecurity by 2050; which is an increase of 1.5bn people from today.
- The lack of resilience in countries covered in the ETR will lead to worsening food insecurity and competition over resources, increasing civil unrest and mass displacement, exposing developed countries to increased influxes of refugees.
- The country with the largest number of people at risk of mass displacements is Pakistan, followed by Ethiopia and Iran.
- Many of the countries most at risk from ecological threats are also predicted to experience significant population increases, such as Nigeria, Angola, Burkina Faso and Uganda. These countries already struggle to address ecological issues. They already suffer from resource scarcity, low levels of peacefulness and high poverty rates.