October 7: World Habitat Day
The World Habitat Day is organized by the United Nations. The organization has designated the first Monday of every October to commemorate the day.
Theme: Frontier Technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth.
The theme is built based on last year’s theme “Municipal Solid Waste Management”.
The focus of this year World Habitat Day (WHD) is to promote contribution of FRONTIER TECHNOLOGIES towards sustainable waste management that helps to achieve SDG 11.
The SDGS 11 is about building inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.
- The 2019 WHD is to be observed in Mexico
Significance of Frontier Technologies
- The Frontier technologies include robotics, automation, renewable energy technologies, Artificial Intelligence and bio technologies. Some of the top frontier technologies are Big Data Analysis, Sustainable polymers, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, Nanotechnology, renewable energy technologies, drones and customized satellites.
- They are technologies that offer potential for cheaper, faster, scalable and easy to use solutions for every day problems. It includes waste management as well.
Significance of the WHD
- The world’s cities produce 7 to 10 billion tons of waster per year.
- Low income countries spend around 20% of their budget on waste management. In most of the countries this allocated budget is not sufficient to finance waste and sanitation management systems.
- In most of the urban areas of developing countries, around 16% of urban dwellers lack access to basic sanitation services.
The lack of waste management has led to air, soil and water pollution that in turn threaten public health. Another biggest challenge is dumping of waste in the oceans. The plastics from these wastes are killing around 100,000 marine animals annually.
The SDG goals 6, 11, 12 and 14 and the Paris Agreement all focus on waste management and considers it as an urgent and issue to be addressed.
How can Frontier technologies help?
- The use of sustainable polymers reduces waste generation and also reduces the need of recyclable wastes
- The technology of 3D printing has the potential of creating less waste during production.
- Smart bins using AI can help in garbage sorting.
UN Habitat Strategic Plan 2020 – 2023
The plan reinforces all the global agendas on waste management. Under the plan the UN is to focus on Frontier Technologies that help in safe, resilient, sustainable and smart cities.