The 2011 Human Development Report casts light on the links between sustainability and equity

08 Nov 2011

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How sustainability is inextricably linked to basic questions of equity is one of the main messages of this year’s Human Development Report entitled “Sustainability and Equity: A better Future for All”. 

One day after its global launch, the long awaiting report was launched in Beirut on the 3rd of November 2011 under the auspices and in the presence of H.E. Mr. Nazem Khoury, Minister of Environment, UNDP Country Director, Mr. Seifeddine Abbaro, and Dr. Kamal Hamdan, Managing Director of the Consultation and Research Institute. 

Ambassadors, representatives of international organizations, private sector, civil society and academia were briefed by Dr. Hamdan on the main messages of the report and the rank of Lebanon between the Arab world and the globe according to the index of Human Development Report 2011. 

This year’s report argues that environmental sustainability can be most fairly and effectively achieved by addressing health, education, income, and gender disparities together with the need for global action on energy production and ecosystem protection.
The Report proposes an emphasis on four country-level sets of tools to take this agenda forward such as low-emission, climate-resilient strategies, public-private partnerships to catalyze capital from businesses and households, climate deal-flow facilities to bring about equitable access to international public finance, and coordinated implementation and monitoring, reporting and verification systems to bring about long-term, efficient results and accountability to local populations as well as partners.

The new HDR emphasizes the human right to a healthy environment, the importance of integrating social equity into environmental policies, and the critical importance of public participation and official accountability. 

In his speech, H.E Minister Khoury stressed on the importance of this report as an “opportunity for governments and civil society to review the work that has been done so far concerning the environment. “ The biggest developmental challenge is to guarantee the right of future generations to a healthy and decent life” he added. 

The Report notes that human development advances in the Arab region are at risk from widespread gender and generational inequalities which are at the heart of grassroots discontent in many Arab countries. Major ecological challenges including polluted cities, spoiled land and severe water shortages could worsen expected hardships associated with climate change, the Report argues.
Concerning Lebanon, Mr. Abbaro explained that Lebanon’s HDI value for 2011 is 0.739—in the high human development category—positioning the country at 71 out of 187 countries and territories. The rank of Lebanon’s HDI for 2010 based on data available in 2011 and methods used in 2011 is 70 out of 187 countries.
Between 2005 and 2011, Lebanon’s HDI value increased from 0.711 to 0.739, an increase of 4.0 per cent or average annual increase of about 0.6 per cent.

Between 1980 and 2011, Lebanon’s life expectancy at birth increased by 6.1 years and expected years of schooling increased by 2.8 years. As for Lebanon’s GNI per capita, it increased by about 89.0 per cent between 1990 and 2011.

The report offers important data on Gender equality in Lebanon, said Dr. Hamdan showing that 3.1 % of parliamentary seats are held by women, 32.4 % of adult women have reached a secondary or higher level of education compared to 33.3 % of their male counterparts and female participation in the labor market is 22.3 % compared to 71.5 for men.

In 2012, world leaders will gather in in Rio de Janeiro to seek a new consensus on global actions to safeguard the future of the planet and the right of future generations everywhere to live healthy and fulfilling lives. 

“Providing opportunities and choices for all is the central goal of human development, said Ms. Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. “ We have a collective responsibility towards the least privileged among us today and in the future around the world—and a moral imperative to ensure that the present is not the enemy of the future. This Report can help us see the way forward” she said.