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The Philippines Has a High Risk of Unrest Due to Climate Change, According to Study

It's high time to act.
ILLUSTRATOR Roland Mae Tanglao
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If ranking low in peace wasn't enough, a new study also found that the Philippines, and most of Asia, has the highest risk of climate hazards.

The Global Peace Index, a report by Sydney-based non-profit think tank Institute for Economics & Peace, has created a comprehensive data-driven analysis to shift the world's focus on peace. As the 13th edition of the index, the report is the world's leading measure of global peacefulness. Along with its findings on peace, however, the study includes findings on life satisfaction, the economic cost of violence, and how climate change affects peace.

According to the report, global peacefulness improved for the first time in five years but the world continues to be alarmingly less peaceful than it was a decade ago.

Iceland remains at the top as the most peaceful country in the world as it has since 2008. The other countries that follow are New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark. At the bottom, are Afghanistan, South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq. Meanwhile, the Philippines ranks 134 out of 163.

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Aside from the ranking, other studies made with the factors of climate exposure and natural hazard risks were also reported. Asia Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa, specifically, were cited as most at-risk due to its vulnerability to climate-induced risks such as cyclones, floods, wildfires, and low-elevation coastal zones.

In Asia, the Philippines ranked the highest followed by Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, and Pakistan. Out of all, the Philippines was among the few which was also at risk as a single climate hazard as well as being low peace.

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But what does peace have to do with climate change? "Climate change can indirectly increase the likelihood of violent conflict through its impacts on resource availability, livelihood, security, and migration," said the report.

It's not just the environment we have to blame, however, as the study reasons that "high peace countries tend to demonstrate stronger coping capacities than low peace countries with similar risk levels."

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Paolo Chua
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