Ulaanbaatar, 19 January 2021 - The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest crisis facing the world, but unless humans release their grip on nature, it won’t be the last, according to the new United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report , which includes a new experimental index, Planetary-pressure adjusted Human Development Index. The report assesses human progress taking into account environmental factors, in particular countries’ carbon dioxide emissions and material footprint. Furthermore, the report highlighted that the social and economic consequences of the pandemic are exacerbating the existing inequalities across the world.

The report argues that as people and planet enter an entirely new geological epoch, the Anthropocene or the Age of Humans, it is time to for all countries to redesign their paths to progress by fully accounting for the dangerous pressures humans put on the planet, while at the same time dismantling the gross imbalances of power and opportunity that prevent change.

“As this report shows, no country in the world has yet achieved very high human development without putting immense strain on the planet. But we could be the first generation to right this wrong. That is the next frontier for human development,” said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.

Mongolia ranked 99 out of 189 countries and territories in the report with a Human Developmen Index (HDI) value of 0.737, an increase of 27.5 percent since 1990. Between 1990 and 2019, Mongolia’s life expectancy at birth increased by 9.6 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.6 years and expected years of schooling increased by 4.0 years while gross net income per capita1 increased by 2.3 times as per the report.

However, when HDI is adjusted with the country’s planetary-pressures through carbon dioxide emissions per person and material footprint per capita, Mongolia’s HDI value drops 10.9% and loses 10 positions in the ranking.

Countries, including Mongolia, are still subsidizing fossil fuel at an estimated more than US$5 trillion a year, or 6.5 percent of global GDP, according to International Monetary Fund figures cited in the report. Despite its low density of population, over 70% of Mongolia’s land is degraded due to combination of natural and human induced factors such as overgrazing and mining. The report highlighted that the right incentives are critical in encouraging positive change. UNDP Mongolia is piloting Sustainable pasture management initiative in Mongolia experimenting with several different incentives and mechanisms supporting herders to reduce their herd size to support the Government Mongolia combat the formidable environmental issue of degraded pasture land.

“As Mongolia also faces rising environmental and climate challenges that require urgent and timely solutions, UNDP is focused on supporting the Government and people of Mongolia in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, building forward better from the pandemic, by supporting inclusive, greener, and sustainable human development for every Mongolian woman, man, girl and boy.” said Elaine Conkievich, UNDP Mongolia Resident Representative.



To learn more about the 2020 Human Development report, visit: https://bit.ly/38Q92dF

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at mn.undp.org or follow at @UNDPMongolia.


For media inquiries:
UNDP Mongolia | Erdenesukh Otgonbayar, Communications Analyst | erdenesukh.otgonbayar@undp.org

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