Ecological Threat Report

This is the fourth edition of the Ecological Threat Report (ETR), which analyses ecological threats in 221 independent states and territories. Produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), the report covers 3,594 sub-national areas which account for 99.99 per cent of the world’s population. The ETR assesses threats relating to food insecurity, water risk, natural disasters, and demographic pressure.

The research takes a multi-faceted approach by analysing ecological threats at the national, subnational, and city level, while also assessing the threats against societal resilience and levels of peace. To assist the international community in prioritising its focus, IEP has identified the countries, administrative districts and cities which have the most severe threats and lowest coping capabilities. These are the countries most likely to suffer from increased levels of ecological threat related conflict.

The Ecological Threat Report also looks at the future, with projections out to 2050.

Download the Ecological Threat Report 2023

Get data, insights and rankings for 221 independent states and territories.

Key Findings from the Ecological Threat Report 2023

The main finding from the 2023 ETR is that without concerted action, current levels of ecological degradation will worsen, intensifying existing conflicts, and becoming a catalyst for new conflicts, thereby resulting in increases in forced migration.

  • • Ecological threats, such as rapid population growth, water risk and food insecurity will be compounded by climate change, causing mass displacement of people and conflict.
  • • A 25% rise in food insecurity increases the risk of conflict by 36%
  • • Similarly, a 25% increase in the number of people without access to clean drinking increases the likelihood of conflict by 18%
  • • 1 billion people are living in 42 countries that currently face severe food insecurity
  • • 1 in 4 people globally do not have regular access to safe drinking water
  • • By 2050, 2.8 billion people will reside in countries facing severe ecological threats, compared to 1.8 billion today
  • • More than 60% of the world’s megacities are growing rapidly and are in countries with high levels of violence or conflict. These cities lack the financial resources to cater for their population growth.

Read the full 2023 Ecological Threat Report. 

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