On 4th November, CGLN Founder Sir David King and CGLN Fellow, and Executive Chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) connected with Dr Nazia Mintz-Habbib (Research Centre Director at the Centre of Resilience and Sustainable Development) and Mabingue Ngom (Director of the Regional Office for West & Central Africa, United Nations Population Fund) to discuss the connection between ecological threats, peace and resilience at the International Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Make Climate Action Everyone’s Business’ Forum.
Published in October, The Ecological Threat Report (ETR) 2021 is the second to be published by the IEP, ranking 178 countries – covering 99.9% of the population – combining ecological threats and societal resilience to forecast major falls in peace.
The report demonstrates the deep connection between ecological damage and conflict, with 11 of the 15 countries with the worst ecological threat index scores currently engaged in conflict.
It is because of this connection that Steve outlined the necessity to design systemic solutions, highlighting as an example, the problem with many UN programmes who are working in siloes and instead should be integrated around areas of interest and be systematically designed.
The report sets out that by 2050, the global demand for food will increase by 50% from current levels. Moreover, a conservative estimation is that the number of food insecure people is expected to increase by 43% to 3.4 billion people, up from 2.4 billion.
Sir David King in his comments highlighted the importance of recognising not only the connection between ecological threat, increased hunger and displaced people, but the effect changes will have on the global economy too. Sir David suggested that the likely failure of rice production in the South East Asian region will mean the end to the global economy, with countries resorting to putting up barriers so that no food is exported from their own countries.
Mr Ngom stated that in the global village in which we live today, nobody will escape from the effects of climate change and outlined that if climate issues are not addressed, not only will migration away from Africa for its young population continue to grow, but that as extreme weather limits land productivity, it is and will continue to push more families below the poverty line, which has even now begun to see families selling their daughters into marriage to survive.
Dr Habbib ended the discussion by telling the panel of the work she is currently doing with the Commonwealth to examine how they can improve the climate finance investment in youth and biodiversity, stating that we need systems-based thinking when we develop solutions, which will not be costly to the private sector.
The overall takeaway from the conversation is the importance of understanding that the threats posed by climate change have and will continue to have an effect on global peace and resilience. Not only is it crucial to understand such correlation, but to use systems-based thinking to develop integrated solutions.
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