Published: 23 October 2019 at 16:00
Chaos Map shows the devastating effects of food, water and fuel insecurity
The number of deaths due to conflict and rioting caused by food, water and fuel is likely to soar in the next decade, according to the authors of a new interactive tool that maps fatalities linked to price rises and resource shortages.
The Chaos Map, produced by Dr Davide Natalini and Professor Aled Jones of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), shows that over 1,300 deaths between 2005-2017 have been the result of violent unrest directly attributable to either food, water or fuel insecurity.
By scanning reports covering food, water, and fuel insecurity shocks published since 2005, the authors have plotted data for violent deaths – including riots, looting, armed conflict and demonstrations – and suicides on the Chaos Map.
This research is important to help understand the escalating instability and chaos that can occur when pressures caused by limited resources are compounded by factors such as climate change and rising populations.
By examining trends around past events, the Chaos Map can also help to predict and inform early responses to resource insecurity and social unrest, which could prove useful for governments and NGOs. For example, the deaths over the last few months linked to rising fuel prices in Ecuador follow previous, similar patterns where austerity measures imposed on the government takes precedent over medium term planning for access to food and fuel across poor populations.
Professor Jones, Director of the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: