09/12/2020, 09.55
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By 2050 one billion displaced due to natural disasters and lack of resources

According to a study by Economics and Peace (IEP) at least 1.2 billion people will live in areas at risk. Food insecurity and lack of water are accompanied by natural disasters. Critical situation in Central Asia and the Middle East. At the nation level, Pakistan and Iran face a toxic combination of threats.

Bangkok (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The rapid growth of the global population, the lack of access to food and water, the increasingly frequent phenomenon of natural disasters could lead to the record number of one billion displaced by 2050.

The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) has published its latest study on global ecological and environmental threats based on the data made available by the United Nations and other independent bodies. Its report outlines eight “ecological threats” and warns about which regions and countries are most at risk.

With the current prospects pointing to an increase in the global population, which should reach 10 billion in 2050, conflicts over natural resources are destined to intensify. In this context, at least 1.2 billion people will live in areas of particular risk and survival risk, particularly in sub-Sharian Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, where people are more likely to be forced to migrate.

To understand the extent of the phenomenon, the report points to the fact that in 2019 alone ecological, environmental and conflict factors led to the displacement of 30 million people. “This will have huge social and political impacts, not just in the developing world, but also in the developed, as mass displacement will lead to larger refugee flows to the most developed countries,” said Steve Killelea, IEP’s founder.

According to the researchers, the threats fall into two groups: food insecurity, water scarcity and population growth on the one hand; on the other, natural disasters, including floods, cyclones, rising sea levels and rising temperatures. The result shows the risk that each of the 150 nations in the world takes into consideration in this research and their ability to react.

India and China are among those most in danger from lack of water in the coming decades; others like Pakistan, Iran, Mozambique, Kenya and Madagascar will face a toxic combination of threats, accompanied by a diminished ability to deal with them. "Today they are nations with a stable situation - states the 90-page IEP report - but they are very exposed to ecological threats" and their "collapse" is not excluded for the future.

Steve Killelea recalls that today, compared to 50 years ago, there is 60% less water resources available while food needs are destined to grow up to 50% in the next 30 years, also and above all due to the exponential growth of the middle class in Asia. These factors, combined with natural disasters that are set to increase in frequency due to climate change, will lead to a much more unstable planet in 2050.

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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”