Environmental security is increasingly dominating national and international agendas, shifting defense and geopolitical paradigms.
- Worldwide, the number of displacements associated with natural disasters is considerably higher than that of those associated to conflict. Exceptions are some conflict-torn regions in Africa and Middle-East. This is a trend since 2018.
- Of the estimated 971 million people -- over 12% of the world population -- living in areas with high or very high exposure to climate hazards, 41% reside in countries with already low levels of peacefulness. Asia-Pacific and South Asia -- the regions with the higher risk to natural hazards and weaker coping capacities -- are home to over 66% of those at high environmental risks.
- Exposure to six major natural hazards -- earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, tropical cyclone winds, and sea level rise -- doubled over the past 40 years. Currently, some 33% of world population is exposed to earthquakes, around 1 billion people in 155 countries are exposed to floods and 414 million live near one of the 220 most dangerous volcanoes.
- The UN estimates that 40% of the internal conflicts over the past 60 years were related to natural resources. Additionally, conflicts related to natural resources and/or environmental degradation are twice as likely to return to violence or become “re-wars” within five years. Since conflict and environmental degradation exacerbate each other, their spectrum and severity could expand unless they are addressed together, as a system.
| Related Megatrends: Natural resources; Migration; Climate and environmental
- The UN Security Council’s focus on the environment-security-development nexus is increasing, with several countries urging that climate change be addressed as a global security threat; issues are ranging from loss of livelihoods and illegal exploitation of minerals to the impacts of climate change on national sovereignty.
| Related Megatrends: Natural resources; Migration; Climate and environmental; Natural resources; Migration; Climate and environmental
- Globally, some 108 million people suffered of crises-level food insecurity in 2016 (pdf), a considerable increase compared to 80 million in 2015, and the outlook for 2017 indicates that the situation might get worse in some regions.
| Related Megatrends: Natural resources; Migration; Climate and environmental; Natural resources; Migration
- Future effects of climate change could create 25 million to 1 billion environmental migrants by 2050, moving either within their countries or across borders, on a permanent or temporary basis, and 1-2 billion by 2100, which could increase existing conflicts or even create new ones.
| Related Megatrends: Climate and environment; Natural resources