The Human Development Report 2007/2008: “Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World,” was released by the UNDP in November 2007. At first, there were a flurry of articles about the report and then it faded from notice. But the issues discussed in the report haven’t gone away. They’ve simply been pushed away. What most people don’t understand is that the crises presented in the report are becoming the foundation for unimaginable human misery, a misery that will eventually be unstoppable. So if you haven’t taken a look at this research, please do so now.
The Human Development Report (HDR) was first launched in 1990 with the goal of putting people back at the center of the development process in terms of economic debate, policy and advocacy. Since the first report, four new composite indices for human development have been created - the Human Development Index, the Gender-related Development Index, the Gender Empowerment Measure, and the Human Poverty Index. Each Report also focuses on a highly topical theme in the current development debate, providing path-breaking analysis and policy recommendations.
The HDR is translated into more than a dozen languages and provides an amazing example of how the web can be used to provide a clear understanding of the findings of scientific research. The entire searchable current report is online at http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2007-2008/. There is also a summary of the report and nine different language editions available, including Arabic.
The 2007/2008 HDR is supplemented with tools that allow users to compare national carbon footprints as well as that of regions and countries all around the world. The UNDP has prepared visual and interactive presentations of carbon emissions data related to the theme of climate change. There are also indicator tables extracted from the HDR on carbon emissions data and measurement issues. Plus, to share the information with others in a simple manner and make them aware of the report, the UNDP created “Climate Change Advocacy Posters” using data from the 2007/2008 Report. All of these may be accessed through http://hdr.undp.org/en/climatechange/.
The UNDP allows users worldwide to customize the information presented in the report. Compare the human development statistics from one country with another or with the entire world. Gain a general view of information quickly through a color-coded world map and then drill down to individual statistics on a country basis with a few mouse clicks. The report is comprehensive. It tells everything about a nation from “Technology: Diffusion and Creation” to “Structure of Trade” to “Gender Inequality in Economic Activity.” The report presents statistics, which many governments would like to keep hidden. Check out the numbers at http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/.
Users looking for quick access to HDR country fact sheets will find them in a separate section — http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/. The fact sheets present more than simple statistics. They show the country being examined in terms of how it compares regionally and globally with other nations. There are charts, which provide an idea of how a nation is performing with a focus on global trends. And of course, since this report is emphasizing climate change, there is commentary on how much the population of each nation is damaging our planet. In regards to Saudi Arabia, the report notes: “With 0.4 percent of the world’s population, Saudi Arabia accounts for 1.1 percent of global emissions — an average of 13.6 tons of CO2 per person.” Not as bad as the USA, the worst in the world, but with all the sunshine available to us, the Kingdom should be doing better.
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