2. Jyotsna: Nepal HDI Updates...
A PAPER ON
HDI CONCEPTS AND DERIVATIVES FOR NEPAL, UNDP
Prof. Amulya Ratna Tuladhar
Population and Development
Population and Development
The title of this paper is HDI derivatives for Nepal, UNDP. The Human Development Report (HDR) has been produced by UNDP. This report has successfully presented human development since 1990 through the annual human development reports.
The objective of this report is to advocate human development. The concept of human development has become widely accepted and is being used as a comprehensive measure of development performance on account of the conceptual and practical work supported by UNDP both at the global and national levels.
My study objective is to find the linkage between Human Development, Population, Natural Resources, and Development. And also find other theoretical linkages with contexts discussed in this report,
This paper contains these main topics:
i. Conceptualizing Human Development Index in general and in context of Nepal
ii. Linkages of Human Development with different concepts (BAU and OTB)
iii. Criticisms and conclusion
I shall be focusing on following areas: paper context, theoretical and analytical category, theoretical lens analysis, Judgment and Synthesis from this learning.
After reading the report I have been to broaden my knowledge regarding Nepal in terms of human development, where it stands, its improvements. Along with these, I have also been able to broaden my understanding about the relationship and linkage between population, natural resources and development with human development.
Table of Contents
1. Summary ………………………………………………………….. 1
2. Institutional Author ……………………………………………….. 3
3. Subject paper context ……………………………………………… 5
4. Theoretical and analytical category of the paper ………………….. 6
5. Multiple theoretical lenses analysis ………………………………. 14
6. Judgment ………………………………………………………….. 20
7. Synthesis …………………………………………………………… 21
8. Conclusion …………………………………………………………. 22
9. References ………………………………………………………… 23
The concept of human development has been evolving and expanding since the 1980s, when it was launched by the eminent economists and philosophers, Mahabub ul Haq and Amartya Sen.
The Human Development Index (HDI) was first released as part of the United Nation’s Human Development Report 1990. It signaled a move towards a more holistic view of development which had previously focused almost exclusively on income per capita. Related indices soon emerged—among these, the gender-related development index (GDI), the gender empowerment measure (GEM), and the human poverty index (HPI).
The HDR report stated: “development is much more than just the expansion of income and wealth… it is the process of enlarging people’s choices” (UNDP, 1990, p. 10)
Nepal has produced four human development reports to date. The first report in 1998 introduced human development into the public domain and planning process in the country. Subsequently three thematic reports were produced: one in 2001 and the other in 2004 and 2009. The 2001 Nepal Human Development Report (NHDR) dealt with poverty reduction and governance while the 2004 report was on empowerment and poverty reduction and 2009 report on State Transformation and Human Development.
My paper will be based on data of NHDR 2004 and NHDR 2009.
Nepal is among those countries of the world that are characterized by low level of human development. Nepal ranks 138th out of 169 countries with 0.428 HDI. HDI throughout the country varies widely by urban-rural divide, by ecological belt, and by development region and sub-regions. Urban areas in general have higher HDI than their rural counterparts for obvious reasons – better access to health care, education and also income opportunities.
There is some indication of the fact that the trend is one of declining rural-urban differences with time. Among the three ecological regions in Nepal the highest HDI has consistently been in the hill region, with the lowest in the mountains. Among the districts, Kathmandu and Mugu stand at the two extremes of the HDI scores in Nepal (HDR, 2009).
Human development has improved over time, but the trend of spatial inequality generally continues to be roughly the same. The central hills have a consistently high HDI throughout mainly because of the highly urbanized capital region of the Kathmandu Valley with the provision of services and facilities unmatched by any other region in Nepal. This shows that Development focuses on Kathmandu and that those who could afford to do so moved from the rural areas to Kathmandu during the conflict. It also implies shortcomings in the government’s policy on growth with equity.
In this paper human development has been looked upon through different perspectives. And an effort of linking it is also done. Human development is a product of natural resources, population and development. And absence of any one component will degrade the human development.
An attempt to find out the limitations regarding HDI has also been done. Environment which is a crucial aspect all human beings for survival has been not yet included in the human development approach.
2. Institutional Author: UNDP
UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.
The annual Human Development Report, commissioned by UNDP, focuses the global debate on key development issues, providing new measurement tools, innovative analysis and often controversial policy proposals. The global Report's analytical framework and inclusive approach carry over into regional, national and local Human Development Reports, also supported by UNDP.
2.2 UNDP Nepal
UNDP first established its office in Nepal in 1963 to support the Nepalese in their struggle against poverty. Since 1963, UNDP has worked at building linkages that address effective design and implementation of 'poverty alleviation' programmes in Nepal.
2.2 Role and Influence In our country
UNDP in Nepal concentrates its efforts for greater impact in the most remote, poor, and/or conflict-affected areas of the mid- and far-western development regions and the Terai, where its rights-based interventions are targeted towards the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. The UNDP programmes seek opportunities for joint programming with other United Nations organizations and engage in joint planning and monitoring of development activities in selected districts.
The UNDP programmes are prepared in consultation with the Government, civil society organizations, United Nations organizations and other development partners, and appraised at a joint strategy meeting. As the Government coordinating agency, the Ministry of Finance heads the Country Programme Board, which guides the implementation of the Programme and the cross-sectoral linkages are ensured through outcome boards. The implementation guidelines are revised in line with the results management guidelines, to support national ownership and accountability. UNDP and the Government exercise flexibility in implementing sensitive activities critical for the peace process.
2.3 The Current Thematic Areas of UNDP Nepal are
• Transitional Governance
• Inclusive Growth & Sustainable Livelihood
• Peace Building and Recovery
• Energy, Environment and Natural Disaster Management
2.4 Operation Area
UNDP's activities span almost 75 districts and 1,000 out of 4,000 villages. The number of projects ongoing was 2010 is 32. Of the $43 million spent in 2010 an almost equal proportion came from UNDP sources and bilateral/multilateral agencies. The main donor partner was DFID, which funded 23% of programme expenditure.
2.5 Fund and Aid
In 2010, the expenditure reached $ 43 million across the five thematic areas such as HIV/AIDS, Transitional Governance, Peace Building, Energy, Environment and Natural Disasters and Livelihoods.
The highest proportion of expenditure went on slowing the spread of HIV and AIDS as UNDP is managing multi-million dollar funding from DFID and the Global Fund. The second largest expenditure went on Constitution making project. In 2010, the administrative and central management costs accounted for 7.85% of this expenditure.
3. Subject Paper Context
The Human Development Approach (HDA) emerged as an attempt to put people back at the centre of development discussions and action plans. The approach is complex and it is associated with a number of characteristics, such as those of peoples’ choices, capabilities, improvement of peoples’ basic positive freedoms, etc.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is the instrument towards which HD became known worldwide. The HDI is an attempt to represent human well-being and allow comparisons among different countries/regions. From an operational sense, the HDI is the first broad-ranging representation of the Capability and Basic Needs Approaches. Its empirical relevance has proved to be very meaningful to UN agencies and governments all over the world. And yet, the HDI has been extensively criticized mainly for its choice of indicators.
In spite of the income gaps existing between the developed and the developing countries, there is room for optimism with respect to the achievements in the area of human development. Economic growth matters, but growth does not automatically translate into higher levels of human development; redistribution policies and equality of opportunities are important. Poverty alleviation is an intrinsic part of human development.
Earlier HDRs concentrated only in HDI but after 1995 other indices like GDI, GEI and HPI were also introduced. HDI reports covers issues in inequality, life expectancy, income, education, gender, in different contexts which are backed up by data. For example, Nepal has HDR reports written focusing in different thematic areas.
In case of Nepal, HDI has improved in the last 30 years and is ranked 3rd in “top movers” in UNDP report 2010. Nepal’s impressive advancement in HDI, according to HDR 2010, is due to remarkable progress in health and education. The report cites major public policy efforts as the reason. Nepal’s impressive progress in health and education can be traced to major public policy efforts. Substantial remittance inflow from migrant workers was also a reason. Therefore Nepal needs to learn from its own success in health and education and apply the same determination to tackle the areas in which it is still lagging behind.
4. Theoretical and analytical category
4.1 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX (HDI)
The HDI is a composite index aggregating three basic dimensions into a summary measure, which is published annually, using country level information, in the HDR. The motivation behind the structure of the HDI was powerfully expressed in the 1990 HDR in the following terms:
“Human development is a process of enlarging people's choices. In principle, these choices can be infinite and change over time. But at all levels of development, the three essential ones are for people to lead a long and healthy life, to acquire knowledge and to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living. If these essential choices are not available, many other opportunities remain inaccessible.” (UNDP. 1990. p. 10.)
• HDI represents three dimensions:
1. living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy),
2. being educated (measured by adult literacy and enrolment at the primary, secondary and tertiary level) and
3. having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income).
4.2 HDI in context of Nepal
Nepal’s HDI value for 2010 is 0.428—in the low human development category—positioning the country at 138 out of 169 countries and areas but looking at the HDI of different years from 1980 to 2010 we can see that:
• Between 1980 and 2010, Nepal’s HDI value rose from 0.210 to 0.428, a 104 percent jump.
• Nepal’s life expectancy between 1980-2010 grew by 19 years, expected years of schooling by close to five years and mean years of schooling by almost three years
• A child born today in Nepal can expect to live 19 years longer than a child born in 1980
• More than four of every five children of school-age in Nepal now attend primary school, compared to just one in five 30 years ago.
Since 1980 Nepal has made the greatest strides in improving human development is Nepal, according to the UN’s annual Human Development Index (HDI). Report states that Nepal is the fastest movers in the Human Development Index (HDI) since 1970 and is 3rd among the ‘Top Ten Movers' list in terms of progress in health and education. Between 1980 and 2010, Nepal’s HDI value increased from 0.210 to 0.428, an average increase of 104 percent, while Nepal’s Gross National income per capita increased by 94 percent during the same period.
I have looked upon HDI only for the following areas and groups:
• the whole country;
• urban and rural Nepal;
• 3 ecological belts;
• 5 development regions
HDI throughout the country varies widely by urban-rural divide, by ecological belt, and by development region and sub-regions. On average, urban dwellers have much higher human development than their rural counterparts: 0.630 vs. 0.482; those who live in the Hills enjoy the highest standards, while those of the Mountains have the lowest. Among the development regions, the Mid-Western region has the lowest level of development.
This implies shortcomings in the government’s policy on growth with equity
4.3 The HDI over time
Human development has improved over time, but the trend of spatial inequality generally continues to be roughly the same. In particular, the HDI value increased by 8 percent from 0.471 in 2001 to 0.509 for the whole country in 2006, an annual rate of 1.6 percent. Yet there has been no change in the status of rural or urban areas and ecological regions, as the HDI ranking shows. However, there is a change in the ranking of development regions. In 2001, the Central Development Region stood third; by 2006, it had moved up to the first place. This derives in part from the fact that development centers on Kathmandu and that those who could afford to do so moved from the rural areas to Kathmandu during the conflict. By contrast, as in 1996 and 2001, the people of Far- and Mid-Western development regions still rank lowest. Insecurity in the last ten years has further affected public services and private activities more in rural than in urban.
4.4 GEM /GDI
In most nations of the world, women – who comprise half of humanity – are systematically deprived of opportunities to enhance their capabilities by cultural and religious sanctions, traditions, and legal systems and face various forms of exclusion from participating in the economic and political life of the nation. The exploration of this theme (UNDP 1995) introduced the GDI and GEM as measures of gender inequality and showed the enormous disparities that exist between females and males with respect to the basic indicators of human development.
GDI measures gender disparity to reflect inequalities between female and male in the three dimensions as of HDI. The values of GDI lie between 0 and 1. (I.e. GDI - higher, higher the inequality, GDI –low, lower the inequality.
The Gender Empowerment Measure (GEI) is a composite indicator that captures gender inequality in three key areas:
(i) the extent of women's political participation and decision-making,
(ii) economic participation and decision making-power and
(iii) the power exerted by women over economic resources.
• In case of Nepal, Women are much less empowered than men in the political, economic and professional domains.
• Women’s share of earned income is about one half of that of men, while their participation in the political process is only one fourth of that of men.
• The gap widens in their participation in professional and administrative jobs.
• Not only among men and women but there seems to be disparity between rural and urban women as well
4.5 Human Poverty Index (HPI)
Poverty is a multi-dimensional concept. It indicates lack of access to resources and opportunities, illiteracy, poor health, lack of sanitation, deprivation of basic rights and security, and powerlessness. Poverty, when perceived or measured in economic perspective, is known as income poverty, and the incidence of poverty (poverty rate or head count ratio) is the most commonly used measurement. By contrast, poverty when perceived or measured from a socio-political perspective – health, education, and political freedom – is known as capability poverty.
Introduced in 1997 HPI is a composite index measuring deprivations in the three basic dimensions— a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living — and also capturing social exclusion.
The HPI-1 measures the average deprivations in three basic dimensions of human development – a long and healthy life, knowledge and economic provisioning. In addition to three dimensions, HPI-2 takes account of one more dimension – social inclusion - and measures the average deprivations in four basic dimensions. The values of both measures lie between 0 to 100 per cent. The higher value of HPI-1 or HPI-2 corresponds to higher average deprivation in the three or four basic dimensions of human deprivation.
4.6 HPI overtime in Nepal
HPI fell from 39.6 in 2001 to 35.4 in 2006 for the whole country. Although the decline was found across all geographic divisions, its magnitude varies significantly with ecological belts and regions. Between 2001 and 2006, the larger decline took place in the Mountain and Hills rather than the Tarai; among development regions, the decrease was higher in the Far-Western and Mid-Western Development Regions.
These findings imply that despite the government policy of balanced regional development, the regions and areas most deprived in the past remain deprived today. This suggests a need for renewed emphasis on their development. This failure stems in part from the lack of fair representation and participation of people from the poor and deprived areas, and the rule by the centre and the more advantaged regions.
1. HD and Development
Human development Index (HDI) is a concept which comes under development theory.
As our course is divided into three parts namely;
(ii) Natural resources and
The concept of HDI directly links with the third part i.e. development. So, in this section I will try to link HDI with development theory i.e. Human Development Approach
The main aim of Economic Development theory was to improve quality of life. The problem with that was to believe that economic growth was the main, and the only way to reach this goal. From the criticism related to the economic development theory emerged the idea of Human Development. This conception brings intrinsically a deep concept of human life, which is closely related to poverty and well-being discussions. Human Development is a wider concept, which put people back to the centre of the aims. In this sense the human development is a concern to all human beings not exclusively to those who are under economic deprivation.
The philosophy of the human development approach stresses freedom of choice by developing and strengthening human capabilities and by an emphasis on all human rights. Though freedom of choice is important to neo-liberals, it lies in increasing utility and satisfying preferences; they therefore place primary stress on civil and political rights, traditionally known as the “negative rights” as opposed to the “positive” economic, social and cultural rights. In the human development approach, the objective is the expansion of human opportunities and capabilities, while for neo-liberalist is the maximization of economic welfare
The Human Development Approach emerged as an attempt to put people back in the centre of the discussions and actions related to economic and social policies. The HD paradigm is defined as a process that covers all aspects of development – whether economic, international trade, budget deficit, fiscal policy, savings, investments in basic technology, social services or safety nets for the poor. “No aspect of the development model falls outside its scope, but the main advantage is the widening of people’s choices and the enrichment of their lives” (Ul Haq, 1998: 20).
The HD assumption and principles are rooted as a combination result from the previous approaches such as Economic Development, Basic Need (BN) and the Capability Approach (CA). In general terms, the HDI was the main instrument through which the HD approach became known. The belief among the HDI creators is that the index is an alternative to the GNP and income based measures and development which was led by economic growth. In such a sense, the HDI has the responsibility to be a multidimensional index.
Streeten’s (1994) says that human development is important for 6 reasons:
(1) First and above all because it is an end in itself that needs no further justification;
(2) Human development is a means to higher productivity;
(3) It slows human reproduction by lowering the desired family size;
(4) Human development is good for the physical environment;
(5) Reduced poverty contributes to a healthy civil society increased democracy and great social stability;
(6) Human development has political appeal, and so it may reduce civil disturbances and increase political stability.
The above highlighted points show that HD is in one way or the other related with population and environment (natural resources) which I will be dealing in the next section.
2. Human Development and Population
Linking HD with population has been done using the Malthus theory of population
Malthus theory population growth in geometric ratio, food supply in arithmetic ratio shortage of food supply famine, hunger, natural resources depletion, death, adverse impact on livelihood( income, life expectancy,) result low HD
Malthus in his theory has stated that the population grows in a geometric ratio and food in arithmetic ratio. His theory explains that with population exceeding the food supply, people will have to face the consequences of famine, hunger, natural resources depletion and even death (life expectancy). With such penalties the livelihood of people will be adversely affected. Especially poor people with few livelihood assets will suffer the most. Which indicates that people’s standard of living is reduced, their income source decreases. All these factors have an overall effect on the HD i.e. low HD.
The idea that there is a relationship between population growth and development was first postulated by Thomas Malthus who wrote an Essay on the Principles of Population whose main assumption was that food production for subsistence is growing at arithmetic progression that is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 while population growth was increasing in a geometric progression that is 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and so on. Hence in whatever constant the increment of the arithmetic series the geometric series will outrun them with time (Malthus, 1798). In this case Malthus applied directly the relationship between population growth and food production especially in countries which live at subsistence level like in most developing countries. These poor countries would never be able to raise much above subsistence level of per capita income unless they initiated preventive checks on their population growth such as abstinence from marriage either for a time or permanently. Later these control measures of population were extended to include contraception, abortions and infanticides in some societies like the hunters and gatherers. If little resolves were given in controlling the population the country will fall into misery such as diseases and famine (Todaro, 1992).
The optimistic approach on the relationship between population and development was later produced by Boserup in 1965 who postulated the view that increasing population densities will lead to corresponding increase to agricultural production because of more intensive use of land and development of market forces. This view was further confirmed by URT (2003) who stated that population pressure alone does not degrade land resources but it creates a situation that requires good land management to enhance suitable production.
As a whole the Marxists viewed that the population problem in the world was not population growth per se but the economic structure of the society or country. The relationship between population growth and development hinges on the fact that each person should produce more than what he consumes, more people should equal to more wealth and increased poverty and inequality is the result of the capitalist economic system (Umalele, 1989; Stone, 2000).
However, the Neo-Malthusians have reaffirmed the relationship between population and development by stating that population poverty prevents the adoption of new technology and access to land and deep ocean marine resources. Therefore, it is important to strengthen the fight against poverty in order to empower people to adopt and sustain resource management both locally and at global level. This stand was emphasized by environmentalist like Ehrlich and Ehrlich (1990) who produced an I=PAT model which stressed the link between population, affluence and technology (I= Impact, P= Population, A= Affluence and T=Technology). The main assumption of this model is that the more people there are, the greater is the turn on remaining resources. On the other hand this model shows that population growth and distribution can have an impact on the quality and quantity of critical natural resources. It is the concern of the environmentalist which led to the ratification of several conventions such as Agenda 21 in 1992 and the Kyoto Convention 2005 which emphasized sustainable use of resources in order to avoid disasters like global warming.
5. Multiple theoretical lenses analysis
In this section, analyzing human development through different lenses is done
1. Human Development (HD) And Economic Growth (EG)
I will try to find out the link between HD and EG because these two are totally different concepts. HD focuses people in the center while EG which focuses economic aspect other than people. Yet there is a strong link between them. Therefore, I have tried to find out the links between economic growth and human development, in two ways; one from economic growth to human development, and the other, conversely, from human development to economic growth.
Human development has recently been advanced as the ultimate objective of human activity in place of economic growth (UNDP Human Development Reports, 1990). Its intellectual antecedents may be traced to the earlier basic needs approach of the ILO and the World Bank, as well as Sen's concept of capabilities. Human development has been defined as enlarging people's choices in a way which enables them to lead longer, healthier and fuller lives (UNDP, 1990). There exists a strong connection between economic growth (EG) and human development (HD).
Here I have viewed HD as the central objective of human activity and economic growth as potentially a very important instrument for advancing it. At the same time, achievements in HD themselves can make a contribution to economic growth.
There are thus two links: one runs from EG to HD, as the resources from national income are allocated to activities contributing to HD; the other runs from HD to EG, indicating how, in addition to being an end in itself, HD helps increase national income.
Link from EG to HD
GNP contributes to HD mainly through household and government activity. GDP has a strong effect on literacy and health outcomes, both through private expenditures at micro level and government programs at macro level
In general, poor households spend a higher proportion of their incomes on HD items than those with higher incomes. If poor households receive extra income, they increase their expenditure on items which contribute directly to HD, e.g. food expenditure and calorie consumption significantly, potable water, education and health. Therefore, at the micro level individual and household consumption can be an important element in increasing human development and may respond more closely to the real needs of the population than do government
At a macro level, the distribution of the increased income from economic growth will also have a strong impact on human development. Since poorer households spend a higher proportion of their income on goods which directly promote better health and education, economic growth whose benefits are directed more towards the poor will have a greater impact on human development, via increased food expenditure as well as on education.
The government must identify priority sectors such as primary education and health that have the highest potential for HD improvement. Government expenditures for HD should be distributed predominantly to low income groups and areas since it is here that the highest marginal impact will be had. Government must also have the institutional capacity to efficiently allocate these expenditures. Studies by Rajkumar and Swaroop (2002) have demonstrated that the effectiveness of public expenditure is conditional on the quality of governance, with government accountability likely to play an important role.
Link From HD to EG
As people become more healthy, well nourished and educated they contribute more to economic growth. Higher levels of HD, in addition to being an end in themselves, affect the economy through enhancing people's capabilities and consequently their creativity and productivity. Clearly, the health and education of a population represent one of the main determinants of the composition and growth of output.
For example: a) health, primary and secondary education and nutrition raise the productivity of workers, rural and urban; b) secondary education, including vocational, facilitates the acquisition of skills and managerial capacity; c) tertiary education supports the development of basic science, the appropriate selection of technology imports and the domestic adaptation and development of technologies; d) secondary and tertiary education also represent critical elements in the development of key institutions, of government, the law, the financial system, among others, all essential for economic growth.
1. Human Development and Natural Resources
Human development indicators Link to the environment
Life expectancy at birth Lack of adequate access to natural resources for food, clean air and safe water as well as vulnerability to natural disasters affects the health and life span of an individual.
Adult literacy rate
Enrolment ratio Scarcity of natural resources in rural areas often means that family members (particularly females) are required to help in time-consuming household chores (e.g. collecting fuel wood or water) rather than educational activities or school.
GDP per capita Lack of healthy natural resources (e.g. fertile land) means less income from agricultural activities. Natural disasters also have a major impact on GDP.
Environment and well being: the environment comprises a diversity of ecosystems from forests grasslands and agro economy to fresh water systems. Each provides a set of benefits to human health, well being, and livelihood from the direct provisioning of goods to more indirect benefits, such as through regulating or supporting ecosystem services. The world’s poor depend disproportionately on natural resources to provide for their systems of small scale agriculture, grazing, harvesting, hunting, fishing, without access to infrastructure of safe drinking water, electricity, fuel and transportation, poor people rely on natural resources to meet their needs.
Environment and poverty: Environmental degradation is a product of the activities of both rich and poor. Deforestation is partly done by local demand for agricultural land, construction materials, but even more fundamentally driven by the industrialized world’s demand for timber and the growing international trade in forest products. Green house gas emissions in world’s developed countries have largely driven global climate change which threatens human well-being, ecosystem functioning and biodiversity.
Ecosystem and food Security: all food ultimately is derived from the ecosystem (natural resources). For an agricultural country like its importance is more. Inappropriate intensive and extensive agricultural techniques cause loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, and loss of soil fertility etc. These forms of environmental degradation can cause irreversible losses in food availability on land and in rivers as well.
Environment and Health: Natural resource degradation adversely affects human health through polluted air, water, bacteria, and parasites. Many of today’s emergent or resurgent disease, such as encephalitis, dengue fever and malaria are on rise because of human disruption of environment and natural resources.
The figures below show how low HDI of country like Nepal is closely bonded with natural resources and environment.
Rethinking Development and the Role of the Environment
Nature resources and environment provide essential goods and services for human development. Human well-being and quality of life depend crucially on the quantity and quality of food, water, energy and biodiversity available to man. Malnutrition, inadequate water supply and environmental pollution pose serious problems to human health. From an environmental perspective shortage of arable land and water stress are important drivers for food vulnerability. Unsafe drinking water and indoor air pollution are the most serious environmental culprits, in view of current loss of human health. Biodiversity, crucial for delivering ecosystem services, is deteriorating at an unprecedented rate. Africa and Asia face the highest loss rates currently. The most important pressure factor is agricultural expansion. In the future, climate change could be a very important pressure on biodiversity as well. Further increasing protected areas, reducing land conversion by intensification of agriculture and putting a halt to piecemeal encroachment along roads may be helpful actions.
To guarantee the important role of environment for development, it is crucial that environmental concerns are integrated much better in the development agenda. This has to be carried out on local and national levels and be enhanced by international policy making. Without an integrated approach to social and economic development and environment, human development cannot be reached in a sustainable manner.
Linkage between Population, Natural Resources and Development with Human Development
As shown in above diagram, Human Development (HD) is the product of 3 components i.e. population, natural resources and development. Absence of any one component will result in low human development.
Population, environment and development are central facts and values of human existence and experience. Actually their qualities and relations combine to shape the human prospects in all times and all places. Proper utilization of environmental resources has a big impact on the development of any community because sustainable utilization of resources leads to sustainable development (Ehrlich & Ehrlich, 1990; Yanda & Madulu, 2003). On the other hand, deep-rooted poverty leads to an overdependence on a single resource for livelihood and undermines the capacity of the population to have sustainable resource management. This problem is more critical in developing countries where rapid population growth leads to the invasion of marginal lands that in turn encourages environmental degradation and poverty.
But why is there no conceptual human development approach to the environment? Have the linkages between human development and the environment been taken for granted?
“An indicator quantifies and simplifies phenomena and helps understand complex realities.” If HDI does not include environmental indicators, then essentially we may be saying that environment is not a reality of human development. But in examining all of the indicators used to form the indices it is apparent that the state of the environment has a direct impact on many of these indicators. The environmental dimension is as critical an aspect of human development as health, income and education.
After reviewing literatures on HDI, certain limitations were recognized in it like:
• It is a crude index which attempts to catch in one simple number a complex reality about human development and deprivation, according to Prof Amartya Sen.
• The choice of variables used in the HDI is not satisfactory. The aspects of well-being included in the HDI (which we refer to in what follows as the core HDI dimensions) obviously excludes other dimensions, such as equity, political freedoms, human rights, sustainability and happiness, corruption – just to name a few.
• HDI “ignores the environmental dimensions of development, especially the relationships between the performance of countries on the environmental and human development dimensions.” This point can be justified with link between HD and environment as presented in the above section.
Since its introduction in the first Human Development Report in 1990, the Human Development Index (HDI) has attracted great interest in policy and academic circles, as well as in the media and national audiences around the world. Its popularity can be attributed to the simplicity of its characterization of development - an average of achievements in health, education and income – and to its underlying message that development is much more than economic growth.
Yet the HDI’s very simplicity prompted critiques from the start, with some contending that it was too simplistic, while others who accepted its self-imposed limitations still questioned its choice of indicators and its computational methodology.
From the linkages between environment (natural resources) and HD it is evident that environment is a crosscutting issue in human development. Yet there are very few, if any, HDRS and NHDRs that use environmental indices or even indicators.
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