UNCCD's Land for Life Award

UN Bonn meets to Discuss Human Development in the Anthropocene

The COVID-19 pandemic is the most recent crisis facing the humankind, but unless we ease the pressure on nature, it might not be the last, warns the new report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that includes a new experimental index on human progress that takes into account countries’ carbon emissions and material footprint.

This 30th anniversary edition of the Human Development Report, The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene, introduces an experimental new lens to its annual Human Development Index (HDI) that measures nations' health, education and standards of living, to show how the global development landscape would change if both the wellbeing of people as well as the planet were the focus of measuring humanity’s progress.

Following the launch of the report, the UN organizations in Bonn joined their host city and the new Mayor Katja Dörner for a virtual dialog to discuss the report's key findings and what they mean for the future of each agency's work. Making a business case for putting land restoration at the center of human development efforts in the anthropocene, UNCCD Executive Secretary Tina Birmplili emphasized that nature-based solutions such as land restoration have the power to transform economies, so that planet and people can thrive together. 

Public and private investment in land restoration is the most cost-effective way to create nature-positive food production, a cooler planet, healthy biodiversity and economic growth post-COVID, with potential financial returns of up to 30 times the original investment. Over 120 countries have already committed to the restoration of one billion hectares of land over the next decade – an area approximately the size of China. 

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