Deputy Resident Representative, Mr Edward Vrkic, briefing the media on the 2020 Human Development Report at the UNDP Conference Room


Traditional models of development have come at an unprecedented price for our planetary systems, our way of life and the future of humanity according to the 2020 Human Development Report.

In its 30th year of publication, the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report addresses the impacts of human activity on our environment, our ecology and the world’s resources.

The report, The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene, highlights the stark choice we all face – to take bold steps to reduce the immense pressure that is being exerted on our environment and the natural world or face a stalling in humanity’s progress and growing inequalities.

In announcing the report’s launch, UNDP’s Resident Representative to Papua New Guinea, Mr. Dirk Wagener said, ‘The impacts of human activity on the planet are undeniable. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, our actions are not without dire consequences. This report challenges the long-held belief that sustainability and development are mutually exclusive. It is time to pursue a different trajectory, one that addresses the root causes of inequality and exploitation.’

In addition to the report’s usual measures of health, education and standard of living are the introduction of two new measures, these being greenhouse gas emissions and material footprints. By adding these two new metrics, this year’s index shows how the global development landscape changes when the wellbeing of people alongside planetary pressures are considered.

This year’s report relies on data collected from countries over 2019 and prior to the current global COVID pandemic. The values and measures are relative with countries ranked across bands ranging from high human development to low human development. The report provides a wealth of information offerings details on things such as life expectancy, health and well-being, levels of education, gender disparities and a range of inequalities.

Papua New Guinea remains ranked at 155 of the 189 countries and territories considered. When viewed incrementally over the last three decades, Papua New Guinea has enjoyed modest gains against a range of indicators. For example, life expectancy from birth has increased by 8 years. Papua New Guinea does however continue to face significant challenges among them, reducing material death rates, improving literacy levels and addressing among the worst gender disparities in the region.

Read the 2020 Human Development Reports

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