In the era of the Anthropocene, humans are the most powerful trigger for global development and crisis, says recent UNDP study

June 9, 2021

Dripping irrigation water access in the south of Kyrgyzstan. Photo: Dmitry Motinov / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

Human Development Report (HDR) released by the United Nations Development Programme urges countries and people to implement sustainable solutions to the development and prevent future crises such as COVID-19

Bishkek, 9 June 2021 in 2020, unprecedented health, economics and humanitarian crisis has emerged in the form of the global pandemic, and unless people release their grip on nature, it won’t be the last, said in a landmark report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report includes a new experimental index on human progress that considers countries’ carbon dioxide emissions and material footprint, or so-called “human pressure on the planet”. The report argues that in the era of the Anthropocene – or the “human’s era” people are the driving changes for both global development and socioeconomic and environmental crises.

The report’s content was reviewed and discussed yesterday at the presentation conveying representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economics of the Kyrgyz Republic, other government bodies, representatives of the diplomatic missions, international organizations and the donor community, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations and the expert community, academia, teachers and university students.

Video presentation of the Human Development Report 2020.

The report “The next frontier: human development and Anthropocene” synthesizes key human development indicators along with an experimental indicator of carbon dioxide emissions and material footprint that countries release, affecting both nature, flora and fauna, earth resources and lays out a stark choice for world leaders - take bold actions to reduce the immense pressure that is being exerted on the environment and the natural world, or humanity’s progress will stall.

“Despite making up only 0.13% of the world’s territory, Kyrgyzstan is a unique and important ecoregion on the planet. Some of its ecosystems have suffered extreme changes: The tugai and wetland complexes in the Chui valley and the Issyk-Kul basin and the dry steppe, semi-desert and desert ecosystems in the Fergana zone have already practically disappeared, while riverine ecosystems are degraded due to heavy pollution and lack of attention to climate smart irrigation. Climate action and conservation action are mutually reinforcing, because Kyrgyzstan is highly dependent on the most climate-sensitive economic sectors,” said Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic in her welcoming speech.

Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan.

Mr. Daniar Imanaliev, First Deputy Minister of Economic and Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic stressed: “There are big risks for the sustainable development of Kyrgyz Republic. In this regard, the Ministry of Economic and Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic is working are working on several areas taking the sustainable development and green economy principles as centric to our efforts. I would like to highlight that with the cooperation with the United Nations we are working on integration of green economy principles as well as taking efforts to decrease the greenhouse emissions within the process of discussion of Nationally Determined Contributions”.

Daniar Imanaliev, First Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Economics of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Anna Kirilenko, Chair of the Board of Global Forest Coalition, representative of BIOM ecological movement speaking about the era of humans and its impact on Kyrgyzstan highlighted “The report shows that warning lights are flashing red. The average speed of temperature rises in Kyrgyzstan accounts for 24% in a decade. This drastically affects forests, pastures and overall environment and livelihoods. Further, this trend aggravates rising inequality in the society”. 

Trends of temperature rise in Kyrgyzstan for the past century.

Furthermore, the report shows that Kyrgyzstan has made good progress in human development and is poised to join the groups of countries belonging to the “high human development” category.  In addition to highlighting the importance of reducing Kyrgyzstan’s per-capita greenhouse gas emissions and material footprint, the report suggests a number of areas – including modernizing waste management, reducing fossil fuel subsidies, and promoting ecotourism – that could be drivers of Kyrgyzstan’s transition to a greener and more prosperous future.

The event went along with the panel speeches of Mr. Bekmamat Djenbaev, Chief Scientific Secretary of the Academy of Science, Mr. Roman Mogilevskii, Director of School of Public Policy at the University of Central Asia and a Statement by Miraida Almazbekova, Sustainable Development Goals Youth Ambassador in Kyrgyzstan.

Background information

Human Development Report is a landmark publication released by the UNDP Human Development Office each year, applying complex means of measurement of development in immense cooperation with the UN organizations and entities, Member states, global data centers, scientists and development partners, and many other parties.

The first report was published in 1990, and this year’s report marks its 30th anniversary, demonstrating the progress of humanity over the 30 years and its drawbacks, as well as drawing policy recommendations to world leaders. The report can be downloaded from below:

Online Report in English

English Full Report

English Overview Report

Russian Full Report

Russian Overview Report

Kyrgyz Overview Report

Materials from the presentation can be reviewed and downloaded here.

Media contacts

Ainagul Abdrakhmanova

UNDP Communications Officer