December 16, 2020

Phnom Penh, 16 December 2020 –  As people and planet enter an entirely new geological age - the Anthropocene or the Age of Humans – a new report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) stresses that we are at a critical tipping point where countries must redesign their pathways to progress in order to ease the dangerous pressures humans put on the planet.

The latest Human Development Report released by UNDP includes a new experimental index on human progress that takes into account countries’ carbon dioxide emissions and material footprints in addition to measurements of health, education and standard of living. By adjusting the Human Development Index (HDI) to include these two additional elements, the index shows how the global development landscape would change if both the wellbeing of people and the planet were central to defining humanity’s progress.

With the resulting Planetary-Pressures Adjusted HDI – or PHDI - more than 50 countries drop out of the very high human development group, reflecting their dependence on fossil fuels and material footprint. No country in the world has yet achieved very high human development without putting immense strain on the planet.

Despite these adjustments, Cambodia moves upwards in the PHDI ranking, now needs to build on this momentum. Nature based human development offers an opportunity to leapfrog progress with innovation, efficiency and equity in Cambodia.

“Cambodia could be an example of how human development can go hand in hand with environmental sustainability. With new technologies, promoting investment in green economy, including expansion of environment-related infrastructure such as renewable energy, green transportation, climate-smart agriculture and community forest expansion, all these offer an opportunity for Cambodia to achieve higher levels of human development with an inclusive and sustainable economic growth.” commented Nick Beresford, UNDP Cambodia’s Resident Representative.

UNDP is a strong advocate for sustainable development and plays an important role as an integrator of the Sustainable Development Goals. In Cambodia, UNDP has supported the alignment and adoption of the Cambodian Sustainable Development Goals and promoted human development under the principle of leaving no one behind, while also supporting awareness on the use of renewable energy options, tackling plastic waste and transitioning towards a circular economy, among many other projects.


For media inquiries, contact Mr. Im Samruol, UNDP Cambodia’s Communications Analyst, at samruol.im@undp.org.

Full Human Development Report 2020: http://hdr.undp.org/en/2020-report

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 https://www.kh.undp.org/ or follow us at @UNDPCambodia.