Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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Similar inflection points can be observed with respect to social progress (Porter et al., 2014

Porter, Michael E., Scott Stern and Michael Green. 2014,Social Progress Index 2014, Social Progress Imperative. Washington, D.C.. .
), life expectancy (Jackson, 2009

Jackson, Tim. 2009,Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, London, UK and Sterling, VA: Earthscan Publishing.. .
) and perceptions of well-being or happiness. As with energy consumption and human development, the relationship between economic growth and social progress changes as income rises (Figure 13.2). At lower income levels, small increases in GDP are associated with large increases in social progress. However, as countries reach high levels of income, the quick wins in social progress arising from economic development are exhausted. For example, Costa Rica, an upper middle-income country with a GDP per capita of US$11,165, has achieved a level of social progress higher than Italy (GDP per capita: US$26,310).
Both of these examples highlight that achieving human development and social progress is not dependent on continuous economic growth and increasing energy consumption. In other words, sustainable development is possible.
There is now increasing momentum to transform development practices, many of which directly address the underlying risk drivers and contribute to reduced disaster risk. For example, reducing energy consumption and moving to renewable energy reduces the risk of catastrophic climate change; protecting and restoring regulatory ecosystems can reduce weather-related hazard; and climate-smart agriculture can enhance food security. All three previous editions of the GAR have consistently identified and highlighted such practices with co-benefits for disaster risk reduction. These practices range from green roofs and ecosystem approaches to flood management, to innovative approaches to social protection and participatory approaches to urban development. While currently still seeds, these incipient practices do show how new approaches to development transformation are addressing the underlying risk drivers and reducing risks.
Figure 13.1 The non-linear relationship between human development and energy consumption
(Source: Costa et al., 2011

Costa, Luís, Diego Rybski and Jürgen P. Kropp. 2011,A Human Development Framework for CO2 Reductions, Potsdam: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.. .
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