The UNDP Resident Representative in Costa Rica, José Vicente Troya Rodríguez, presented the results of the 2020 Human Development Report to the President Carlos Alvarado Quesada and the Governing Council of Costa Rica on Tuesday. The next frontier: human development and the Anthropocene, while reaffirming its commitment with a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery.

The Report innovates by incorporating a new metric, the Human Development Index adjusted for planetary pressures (HDI-P), which enhances the measurement of human development based on aggregating two key indicators: carbon dioxide emissions and the measurement of the material footprint (both per capita). This represents a fundamental change to the development paradigm established by UNDP 30 years ago.

The new Index shows the need to rethink/reevaluate the global development model to stop irreversible damage to planet Earth, including the very survival of human beings.

Under this measurement, Costa Rica is the country with the highest gain in positions worldwide, going from 62nd place in the HDI to 25th in the HDI-P, rising 37 places and confirming the result of the efforts that have been made to integrate economic development and environmental protection. In contrast, more than 50 countries dropped out of the very high human development group, reflecting their dependence on fossil fuels and their material footprint.

“National efforts to decarbonize the economy and take care of our environment allow us to make this international leap. The next frontier of human development requires working hand in hand with respect for nature; Costa Rica, faithful to its environmental tradition, has set out to be a world laboratory for sustainable development. The UNDP Report reaffirms that we are on the right path, thanks to the efforts of many generations”, said Carlos Alvarado Quesada.

For his part, José Vicente Troya Rodríguez, referred to the commitment of the international cooperation organization to support the path for a better and sustainable recovery from current socioeconomic problems, and highlighted Costa Rica's commitment to a socioeconomic recovery based on the green economy. He especially highlighted the green and positive image of Costa Rica in international markets.

“Focusing the development response on efforts for an inclusive and environmentally friendly recovery is crucial. The ambitious advances of this country, such as the National Decarbonization Plan, show the world that sustainability is synonymous with prosperity and human development and that is why we are proud to support Costa Rica. We recognize that the smart application of stimuli for the transition to a green economy, in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, offers an unprecedented opportunity to build forward better”, added Troya Rodríguez.


The Report shows at a global level, the actions carried out by Costa Rica, such as the extensive mapping of essential areas for the support of life, in which there are opportunities to protect, restore and manage the country's biodiversity through nature-based solutions, both in rural and urban areas. Similarly, a mangrove restoration project is highlighted in the Gulf of Nicoya, where 34% of these forests are threatened by agricultural expansion.


Mapping of national priorities for nature-based solutions, Costa Rica


For more information about the Human Development Report 2020 and UNDP's analysis of the new Human Development Index adjusted for planetary pressures, please go to


UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at or follow at @UNDP.

PNUD En el mundo

Estás en PNUD Costa Rica 
Ir a PNUD Global