Climate change is the most important global challenge facing the world, especially Latin America and Africa, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.

In the survey, conducted in 40 countries in March, 46 percent respondents were concerned about climate change, while 42 percent were concerned about economic instability, and 41 percent about the jihadist Islamic State, or IS.

The threat of climate change and its effects are perceived more direct in Latin America, with a regional average of 61 percent, and in Africa, with a regional average of 59 percent.

The IS threat in the United States and Europe features at 68 percent and 71 percent respectively.

"And more than half in every Latin American nation surveyed, report substantial concerns about climate change," says the report, which questioned 45,435 people with a margin of error of five percent plus or minus.

In Peru and Brazil 75 percent were concerned over climate change; India with 72 percent and Philippines with 73 percent - both countries more directly affected by climate change - were worried about global warming.

In Africa, the climate issue is a huge concern in Burkina Faso (79 percent), Uganda (74 percent) and Ghana (71 percent).

In the United States and Europe, only 42 percent appeared to perceive climate change as a serious threat, behind the IS and economic instability concerns.