How many countries are on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015? How many countries are off target, and how far are they from the goals? And what factors are essential for improving the odds that off-target countries can reach the goals? This year’s Global Monitoring Report: Improving the Odds of Achieving the MDGs, examines these questions. It takes a closer look at the diversity of country progress, presents the challenges that remain, and assesses the role of growth, policy reforms, trade, and donor policies in meeting the MDGs.
Two-thirds of developing countries are on target or close to being on target for all MDGs. Among developing countries that are falling short, half are close to getting on track. For those countries that are on track, or close to it, solid economic growth and good policies and institutions have been the key factors in their success. With improved policies and faster growth, many countries that are close to becoming on track could still achieve the targets in 2015 or soon after.
The Global Monitoring Report 2011 is prepared jointly by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
The importance of biodiversity for development is recognized by Millennium Development Goal 7, which includes targets to ‘reverse the loss of environmental resources’ and ‘reduce biodiversity loss’. In this respect, the World Bank report included various conclusions from a global assessment with the GLOBIO model, as published in the Rethinking Global Biodiversity Strategies report.
Firstly, it is unlikely that the rate of biodiversity loss will be reduced in the coming decades without new policies. Traditionally, policies to reduce biodiversity loss focus on area protection measures. However, these measures have no effect on the unprotected surrounding areas. These require structural changes in agriculture, forestry, energy production, climate change, fisheries and alternative consumption patterns.
Secondly, expanding protected areas and reducing habitat loss by conversion would impose limits on agricultural land expansion, pushing land and food prices upward. This would especially affect urban people who depend on the market for their food. Therefore, additional measures should include smarter and better managed land use and the development and application of technologies to increase production efficiency per hectare. Measured by food prices, these routes would provide relief for urban poor, increasing food security and affordability. However, rural poor people are often particularly vulnerable to changes in land values and uses. Potential increases in natural rents could affect rural poor for whom land entitlements are not adequately arranged, making them vulnerable for displacement by larger landholders with access to technology and markets. In conclusion, policies to reduce biodiversity loss and enhance human development require a concerted approach.