UNDP launches annual human development report

21-12-2020 10:57 AM

Ammon News - The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), on Sunday, launched the 2020 Human Development Report in the Aqaba governorate.

The launch, hosted by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), coincides with the report's 30th anniversary. Environment Minister Nabil Masarweh, UNDP Resident Representative in Jordan Sara Ferrer Olivella, and Chief Commissioner of the ASEZA Nayef Bakhit attended the event.

Addressing the gathering, Masarweh said that true human development is concerned with providing health and educational services, a decent standard of living, and maintaining freedoms and human rights. Natural resources, he added, play a key role in guaranteeing the sustainability of food supply through land resources thereby providing a standard of living for citizens.

The minister pointed out that this year's report included new elements for assessing human development, including the burden on natural resources and carbon dioxide emissions produced by each country, in addition to the previous elements pertaining to health, education, poverty, inequality and living standard.

The report also includes an experimental global guide that provides a new tool for measuring human progress, highlighting the challenge of alleviating the pressure on natural resources and reducing poverty and inequality, the minister added.

The 2019 Human Development Index showed that Jordan's value was at 0.729, ranking at 102 out of 189 countries.

When comparing Jordan to countries in the category of "high human development", the report indicated that those countries, as a group, declined by 8.6 percent, and the "very high human development" category declined by 15.4 percent, while the "medium human development" category declined and "low human development" category dropped by 2.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

These figures show the extent to which the ranking of countries on the Human Development Index is affected by carbon dioxide emissions and the unbridled use of natural resources.

The UNDP Representative explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to surface many problems that face societies and their economy. She warned that: "If we do not move and mind the way we deal with nature, then this will not be the last crisis we experience."

On this year's report, Olivella said that it focuses on critical issues such as climate change and growing inequalities, calling for charting new horizons for change. "As people and the planet enter a new geological era, we must redesign our paths, taking into account the great pressure that humans place on planet earth," she noted.

The launch of the report, she added, comes to underscore commitment to unifying efforts exerted to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and the importance of balancing development, preserving human resources and curbing climate change.

ASEZA Chief Commissioner Nayef Bakhit said that the initial reading of the global report highlights the possibility of using its outputs in the planning process at all levels in addition to using the indicators to measure commitment and maintain balance in the use of environmental resources, which are the basis for the progress and development of mankind.

Bakhit pointed out that, according to the report, alleviating pressure on earth in a way that enables all people to thrive in this new era requires addressing major imbalances in power and opportunities that hinder transformation. Afforestation and better care of forests before 2030 can contribute to preventing global warming from rising another two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, he added.

Bakhit pointed out that the launch of the report coincides with the approval of the Cabinet to establish the first marine reserve in Aqaba, with the support and implementation of the UNDP, the Environment Ministry, and the ASEZA so that the governorate can be a 'development engine' that boosts the standard of living, prosperity and well-being of society within the framework of achieving sustainable development goals.

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