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Ghana Global Human Development Still Needs Improvement

Posted by Lindy on November 25, 2011


A summary by an article by Helena Selby

23 November 2011

http://allafrica.com/stories/201111240800.html

The development of people or humans in the world is expected to increase as the years goes by, however, due to environmental issues, and how people choose to live their lives, bearing in mind that with every action they take concerning the environment, it has a future consequence on people around them. Human development is all about expanding the livelihood of people, in terms of freedom, to cope with the environment in a positive manner.

If people of the world really want to make the world a better place to live for generations to come, there is the need to understand the link between environmental sustainability and equity. According to the United Nations report on human development for 2011, there have been remarkable progresses in human development over recent decades. The report aims at taking a bold step towards the reduction of environmental risk and inequality in the world.

According to the Administrator of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, as a way of the UN achieving its aim on human development, the report identifies pathways for people, local communities, countries and the international community to promote environmental sustainability and equity in mutual reinforcing ways.

What is Human Development?

The report defines human development as the expansion of people’s freedom and capabilities to lead lives that they value and have reason to value. It is about expanding choices. But promoting human development requires addressing sustainability. Locally, nationally and globally, this should be done in ways that are equitable and empowering. By means of sustaining human development, there was the need to expand the substantive freedom of people today, while making reasonable efforts to avoid seriously compromising those of the future generation.

What is Human Development Index (HDI)

HDI is a combined measure of life expectancy, access to education and the standard of living.

Even though good progress has been made in basic education and health, the standard of livng in many countries is still lagging behind.

Unfortunately, much development has taken along side increasing environmental degradation – globally, nearly 40% of land is degraded due to soil erosion, reduced fertiliser and overgrazing. Land productivity is declining, with estimated yield loss at 50% in most cases. Agriculture accounts for 70-85 percent of water use, and an estimated 20 percent of global grain production uses water unsustainably, imperilling future agriculture growth. Desertification threatens the dry lands that are home to about a third of the world’s people, and some areas like the sub Saharan Africa are particularly vulnerable.

Today, around 350 million people, many of them poor, live in or near forests, on which they rely for subsistence and income. Around 45 million people, at least 6million of them women, fish for a living, and are threatened by over fishing and climate change. To the extent that women in poor countries are disproportionately involved in subsistence farming and water collection, they face greater adverse effect of environmental degradation, the report stressed.

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