JERUSALEM, June 3 (UPI) -- Growing climate change and lack of water could spur further conflict and security concerns in the Middle East, a Danish environmental report warns.
Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territories have suffered from more than 60 years of "bloody conflict", the International Institute for Sustainable Development, IISD, report states, noting: " Climate change -- by redrawing maps of water availability, food security, disease prevalence, population distribution and coastal boundaries -- may hold serious implications for regional security," if the situation is left unchecked.
The report lists six main threats the region will be forced to contend with because of the ever changing climate. The scarcity of water resources may complicate any peace efforts. The intensifying of food scarcity could spur "the return or retention of occupied land." Changes in the climate could slow down economic growth and worsen poverty, causing social instability. Climate changes could also lead to increased tensions over refugee populations, and the diminishing of natural resources in the region could increase militarization of strategic natural resources.
Failure to act could encourage further mistrust and resentment by Arab countries toward Israel and the Western world, the report warns.
The 42 page report dubbed "Rising Temperatures, Rising Tensions: Climate Change and the Risk Of Conflict in the Middle East" was published by the IISD, an independent environmental policy research institute.