Sustainable Development Current Affairs

October 2: World Habitat Day

The World Habitat Day was observed all over the world on 2 October 2017. The purpose of day is to reflect on state of cities and towns and basic human right to adequate shelter. It also aims to remind world of its collective responsibility for habitat of future generations.

The theme for this year was ‘Housing Policies: Affordable Homes’. It focuses on promoting implementation of concrete initiatives to ensure adequate and affordable housing in context of implementation of New Urban Agenda, as well as achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

New Urban Agenda

It was adopted at UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (also known as “Habitat III” conference) held in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. It sets global vision of sustainable urbanization for next 20 years.  It is set of 175 commitments that countries need to adhere to tackle challenges of urbanization.

It is considered as roadmap for building cities that can serve as engines of prosperity and centres of social and cultural well-being while protecting the environment. It provides guidance for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and provides the underpinning for actions to address climate change.

Background

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day. The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 40/202 in 1985 and was first celebrated in 1986. Since then it is observed each year with new theme to promote sustainable development policies that ensure adequate shelter for all.

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Government launches Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana

The Ministry of Science & Technology has launched Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana to formulate and implement appropriate S&T interventions for sustainable development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand.

Key Facts

Under the scheme, Department of Science and Technology (DST) will adopt few clusters of villages in Uttarakhand and transform them to become self-sustainable in time bound manner through tools of S&T. Local resources and locally available skill sets will be utilised using S&T under the scheme for substantial value addition for local produce and services which can sustain rural population.

The areas selected under these clusters will process and add value to milk, honey, horticulture and local crops, herbal tea, mushroom, forest produce, medicinal & aromatic plants and traditional craft and handloom. This project will also ensure, stringent product and process control interventions for energy and water conservation.

The project will also give emphasis to practice of agriculture, agro-based cottage industries and animal husbandry in an eco-friendly manner. It will mainly undertake post-harvest processing of Kiwi, Cherry, Strawberry, Tulsi, Adrak, Badi Elaichi through solar drying technology, extraction of apricot oil using cold press technology.

Benefits

It will directly or indirectly about a lakh of people in four identified clusters of 60 villages in Uttarakhand. It will help in creating models that are appropriate for different altitudes and could be replicated in other hill states. It will promote sustainable employment and livelihood options within the clusters such as eco-tourism, naturopathy and yoga, are also planned to be promoted. Further, it will ensure that local communities are not compelled to migrate from their native places in search of jobs and livelihoods.

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