World Environmental Day

The Theme for World Environment Day this year is ‘Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level’, which encourage us to speak up for those living in Small Island Developing States who are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Environmental Challenges to Peace

Where people live, their access to resources, and their relationships with neighbours all have a significant impact on peace.

Often discussion between the environment and peace focuses on conflict studies. Whilst there appears to be a connection between climate variability and conflict, our investigations show there are many other reasons for caring about the environment to promote peace. Environmental factors can challenge attitudes, institutions and structures which, when strengthened, lead to a more peaceful society. This can ultimately lead to less peaceful societies, even without traditional conflict.

Challenges to Peace

The increase in global demand for natural resources and growing population sizes poses a significant threat to peace. An increase in global demand for finite resources could result in less equal distribution of resources both globally and locally, which is one of the causes of tension and conflict.

The Pillars of Peace, a research framework which identifies 8 key factors that underpin peaceful societies, highlights the impact of equitable distribution of resources. Societies with more equal distribution of resources tend to be more peaceful.


World Environment Day first began back in 1972 when the General Assembly issued a Resolution which “urges Governments and the organizations in the United Nations system to undertake on that day every year world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment with a view to deepening environmental awareness and to pursuing the determination expressed at the Conference”.


Join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #WED2014 or #WorldEnvironmentalDay and use the handles @GlobPeaceIndex and @UNEP to talk about peace and the environment.

Want to find out more about why climate issues are relevant to our work? Have a look at the articles we published earlier this year on Earth Day and Peace and Earth Hour and Peace, in which we elaborate the relation between environmental care, sustainable development and peace. 


Related Articles

Chile, Peace and Resilience

The recent earthquake and subsequent Tsunami off the coast of northern Chile was terrifying, however it does highlight a very positive story of peace and resilience.

Peace and the Environment

To celebrate World Environment Day, we take a look at the relationship between peace, the environment, climate change, sustainability and resilience.

Earth Hour and Peace

The world’s largest blackout is happening this Saturday, as environmental activists around the world turn out the lights to raise awareness about climate change.

Contact us

Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.

Data request:

Sydney office

PO Box 42, St Leonards,
NSW 1590,
Tel: +61 2 9901 8500

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New York, New York 10022
Tel: +1 (646) 963-2160

Job opportunities and internships are listed on the Institute for Economics and Peace website. See them.

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