We are at an unprecedented moment in the history of humankind and in the history of our planet. Warning lights – for our societies and the planet – are flashing red.
Even before the COVID-19 turned our world upside down, every day we had reports of disasters on the news headlines – tsunami, forest fire, earthquakes that ravaged millions of lives. The COVID-19 is the biggest pandemic our generation has ever experienced at this scale, but it need not be the last one. While it has emerged as a global humanitarian crisis, it has also forced us to pause and reflect and offered us a chance for a new beginning.
We are possibly the only generation that is given a second chance to build back our lives, make better choices and regain our balance with nature.
Last month, UNDP released the 2020 Human Development Report globally that highlights how our high human development has been putting strain on the planet.
For the first time in our long, 300,000-year relationship, instead of the planet shaping humans, humans are shaping the planet – this is the age of the Anthropocene. There lies a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to choose to change – a new way forward for the people and the planet.
We at UNDP argue whether human development can be seen as ‘progress’ if it destroys the planet.