UNDP Sri Lanka launches the 2011 Human Development Report (HDR)

22 Nov 2011

imagePresenting the Human Development Report to the Hon. Minister

The Sri Lanka launch of the 2011 HDR titled, “Sustainability and Equity: A better Future for All,” was held on November 22, 2011 at the Auditorium of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in the presence of Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Environment who delivered the keynote address.

The Report was launched globally in Copenhagen by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. With H.E. President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphasizing on the importance of environment in the context of rapid economic development, findings of this report has direct relevance to Sri Lanka.  
This year’s report focuses on the challenge of sustainable and equitable progress, and shows how environmental degradation intensifies inequality through adverse impacts on already disadvantaged people and how inequalities and human development amplify environmental degradation.
The 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. It identifies indoor air pollution, climate change and inadequate access to clean water and sanitation as some of the key environmental threats to human development.
The report ranks Sri Lanka at the 97th position out of 187 countries in terms of human development and first in South Asia. Sri Lanka’s Human Development Index (HDI) has progressively increased up to 0.691 in 2011 compared to 0.658 in 2010. The HDI of South Asia as a region increased from 0.356 in 1980 to 0.548 this year. India ranked 134th while Pakistan was two positions below in their HDI, while Bangladesh (146), Nepal (157), Bhutan (141) and Afghanistan (172) were also featured in the Report.
Mr. Subinay Nandy, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka noted that mitigating environment risks of the future, while ensuring that today’s poor are not adversely affected will be a key priority in the future. Sri Lanka has shown a clear commitment to environment sustainability. Yet, ensuring environment sustainability, which is Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015, is the MDG most at risk of not being met due to issues such as deforestation. As such, there is a need for different stakeholders to unite for Sri Lanka’s future, he added.
The findings of this report come at a significant juncture with world leaders preparing for the UNFCC Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa from November 29 to December 9 this year and the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012, both of which will provide an opportunity for the world community to put sustainability and equity concerns at the heart of the post-2015 international development agenda.
In his introduction to the report, Mr. Douglas Keh, Country Director of UNDP highlighted patterns, trends, progress and prospects of human development, noting that in most cases the most disadvantaged people will bear the repercussions of environmental deterioration, even if they contribute little to the problem.
Three eminent speakers, Dr. B. M. S. Batagoda, Director General of the Department of National Planning, presented a review of sustainability aspects in relation to Sri Lanka, while Dr. Dileni Gunawardena, Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Peradeniya presented an insight into the equity aspects of poverty and human development and Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, Institute of Policy Studies shed light on their economic implications and also deliberated on the proposed currency transaction tax with regard to Sri Lanka.
For more information on the event:
Welcome Address by Dr. Subinay Nandy
Introduction to the Human Development Report 2011 by Mr. Douglas Keh
Part 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yinvb_szvSo
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iam5x08FbKk
Keynote Address by Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa
Review of Equity Aspects in Relation to Sri Lanka by Dr. Dileni Gunawardena
Part 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSyUfmbhPrg
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2_7q4uG428
Review of Economic Implications of Equity and Sustainability Aspects by Dr. Saman Kelegama
Part 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwxl37gevH8
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-wNr49xP-8
Review of Sustainability Aspects in Relation to Sri Lanka by Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda