10 Things to know about World Habitat Day

By | October 7, 2019
Things to know about World Habitat Day

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The article discusses the 10 things we should know about World Habitat Day.

“Shelter is my Right”[1]

“We have something to hand over to our children. Today. This is a global agenda, and we must leave a legacy”[2]

  1. History Of World Habitat Day

The United Nations General Assembly designated the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day through Resolution 40/202 in 1985 “to reflect on the state of human settlements and the basic right to adequate shelter for all”.

It is the basic right of all to have a decent place to live. The intention of this day is to remind the world that we all have the collective responsibility and power to shape the future of the human habitat.[3] Every year, World Habitat Day takes on a new theme to promote and advance sustainable development that guarantees adequate shelter for all.

NameWorld Habitat Day
OriginUnited Nations
First Celebration Date1985
Celebration TypeGlobal Observance
Kind OfSocial issue holiday
Date TypeFirst Monday of October
  1. World Habitat Day Celebration

World Habitat Day is not a public holiday but a global observance. This is celebrated as an important day all across the world including India. Different activities on World Habitat Day are organized so as to watch the troubles of destitute and homeless, issues of fast urbanization and its effect on the environment and human poverty.

It was intended to make accessible the adequate shelter, sanitation, water, health, other fundamental services, good education, work prospects and etc.

  1. Purpose Of Celebrating World Habitat Day

The United Nations saw a need to help and improve how shelters are managed and how individuals can get access to the most ideal homes for their lives. The UN made World Habitat Day help individuals comprehend that they have a key obligation to help improving how shelters can be built to sustain safe and healthy houses for all individuals in society.

The global observance was designed to encourage people to learn about how their tiny steps can help someone to get their shelter. Few essential objectives of World Habitat Day are mentioned here :

  • To give a major consideration of the requirement for better shelter everywhere throughout the world.
  • To share the need for reasonable and affordable housing all over.
  • To acquire the constructive changes in the system and its frameworks including policies and attitudes of individuals causing poverty housing.
  • To reflect on the states and towns and focus on the essential human rights for adequate shelter.
  • To expand the awareness worldwide of joint obligation regarding the future generation’s habitat.
  1. Statistics

There is a global housing crisis according to the last global survey which was attempted by United Nations in 2005, approximately 1.6 billion people worldwide are living in substandard housing or lacked adequate housing and almost 100 million people are homeless.

It demonstrates that it is very important to take some serious steps otherwise there will be a continuous increase in the number of slum inhabitants throughout the world. The World Habitat Day expects to draw the individual’s attention towards the need of needy and poor individuals for adequate housing.

  1. Habitat Scroll Of Honour

A significant feature of the day is the “Habitat Scroll of Honour” award, which was propelled by the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UNHSP) in 1989. It is accepted to be the world’s most prestigious human settlements award and aims to recognize activities and acknowledge initiatives that make commendable contributions in such areas as creating and improving the human settlements and the nature of urban life.

  1. 2018 Theme: Municipal Solid Waste Management

The theme for World Habitat Day 2018 was “Municipal Solid Waste Management”, which concentrated on making a move to address the municipal solid waste management challenges of the society. The slogan of the campaign was “waste-wise cities”. Solid waste management is a worldwide issue that influences and affects everybody.

The measure of waste created by people is growing day by day and often costs a large proportion of their pockets. Poor collection and disposal of solid waste can prompt serious health problems and medical issues. It additionally prompts polluted water and air.

  1. 2019 Theme: Frontier Technologies As An Innovative Tool To Transform Waste To Wealth

This World Habitat Day will concentrate on advancing all levels of government and every single pertinent partner and stakeholder to think about how to actualize the concrete initiatives to guarantee affordable and adequate housing with regards to the implementation and usage of the New Urban Agenda[4] at all levels, as well as the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The theme for 2018 was focusing mainly on managing the garbage while the focus of current year’s World Habitat Day is advancing the commitment of innovative and imaginative frontier technologies and advancements to sustainable waste management to accomplish Sustainable Development Goal 11: inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.

The major focus is not only on solid waste but also includes all waste produced by the human being and his activities (solid, liquid, commercial and industrial, domestic), which keeps on devastatingly affecting climate change, human health, and the earth.

  1. Frontier Technologies

Technologies and innovation hold immense potential to improve how individuals work and live, also to significantly accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change.

Frontier technologies, for example, robotics, automation, biotechnologies and artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, renewable energy technologies, can change the social, economic and ecological circles. They can offer better, less expensive, quicker, versatile and simple to use solutions for day to day problems including waste administration.

They additionally present opportunities for developing nations to jump towards less effective advancements and execute social developments. In accordance with these possibilities, the New Urban Agenda calls for enhanced cooperation and knowledge trade on science, technology, innovation and advancement that will influence the development and improvement of present and future urban territories on the planet.

The main task ahead is to harness the frontier technologies to accomplish sustainable waste management while mitigating all possible adverse social, economic and political consequences. The plan to alter the frameworks which focus on poverty housing as well as planning adequate and affordable housing is all that the celebration day involves.

  1. UN-HABITAT’s Strategic Plan For 2020-2023

UN-Habitat’s new Strategic Plan has put a strong emphasis on sustainable waste management and reinforces the global agendas. Improving waste management is contributing to all its four domains of change which are

  • reduced spatial inequality and poverty
  • enhanced shared prosperity
  • improved urban environment and climate action
  • effective urban crisis prevention and response

Complimentary to the Strategic Plan, one of UN-Habitat’s five flagship projects will concentrate on “Frontier Technologies and Urban Innovation for Inclusive, Sustainable, Safe, Resilient and Smart Cities” – plainly reconfirming UN-Habitat’s faith in and promise to the technological advancement and frontier technologies.

  1. Upcoming World Habitat Day Celebration Dates

  • October 7, 2019
  • October 5, 2020
  • October 4, 2021
  • October 3, 2022
  • October 2, 2023

[1] Theme of World Habitat Day in 1986

[2] UN-Habitat’s Deputy Executive Director Dr Aisa Kirabo Kaycira.

[3] https://www.un.org/en/events/habitatday/

[4] Agenda  adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development