The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) highlighted on Tuesday the rise of 37 places that Costa Rica has made in this year’s Human Development Index, thanks to the incorporation of environmental parameters in the measurement.
The UNDP resident representative in Costa Rica, José Vicente Troya, commented in a statement that “the devastation caused by COVID-19 is the most recent sign that humanity has reached the edge of a cliff” and it is necessary to implement changes, in which he highlighted Costa Rica as an example to the world.
“We need a total transformation in order to move towards the next frontier of human progress. This change begins by rejecting the idea that we must choose between people or the environment. Costa Rica is showing the world that it is possible to take care of both because human development at the expense of the planet is not sustainable,” said Troya.
In the Human Development Index adjusted for planetary pressures (HDI-P), launched this week, more than 50 countries drop out of the very high human development group, reflecting their dependence on fossil fuels and their material footprint, while, countries such as Costa Rica, Moldova and Panama rise at least 30 positions, explained the UNDP.
Costa Rica, internationally recognized for its environmental policies, was the one that rose the most positions (37) in the index, going from place 62 to 25, although the report warns that the country faces great challenges in areas such as poverty, education, and employment.
The Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, Andrea Meza, said that it is a “pride” for the country “to once again be an example to the world for its solutions based on nature”, but acknowledged that “we must not lower our guard”.
“We have to transform our societies and economies towards a just, decarbonized, and resilient model. After this difficult 2020, sustainable recovery work in the next decade should focus on improving the health of people and ecosystems,” said Meza.
The UN released the new Human Development Index that takes into account the impact on the planet that each country has and that, therefore, significantly lowers the ranking of some of the richest states in the world in this annual classification.
The study, prepared by the UNDP, adds on this occasion aspects such as greenhouse gas emissions and the use of natural resources to the usual ones, such as life expectancy, years of education, and per capita income. According to the UNDP, the aim is to make it clear to governments that if decisive measures are not taken to alleviate pressure on the environment, humanity’s progress will be slowed.