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Towards Better Living

The World Habitat Day was celebrated on 7th October.

When was ‘World Habitat Day’ designated?

1. In 1985, the United Nations designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day.

2. The day is celebrated to reflect the state of towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

3. It is intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.

What is the theme of WHD 2019?

1. The theme for World Habitat Day 2019 is “Frontier technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth.”

2. This is in continuation with the World Habitat Day 2018 theme - ‘Municipal Solid Waste Management’ which focused mainly on managing garbage.

3. The theme is focussing on achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 11- Inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.

4. The term ‘Waste’ includes all waste produced by human activity such as solid, liquid, domestic, industrial and commercial.

5. Such waste continues to have a devastating impact on climate change, public health and the environment.

Which are the problems associated with waste?

1. Currently, the world produces 7-10 billion tonnes of waste in all forms annually.

2. Inadequate infrastructure for waste management in the least developed and developing countries has impacted the health of citizens adversely.

3. Lack of adequate waste management results in air, soil, water pollution which pose threats to public health, ecosystem, and biodiversity.

4. Large quantities of waste are accumulating in world oceans which is impacting the marine ecosystems adversely.

Why should frontier technologies be adopted?

1. Frontier technologies like automation, robotics, electric vehicles, renewable technologies, and artificial intelligence can transform environmental spheres.

2. They can offer better, cheaper, faster, scalable and easy to use solutions for every-day problems, including waste management.

3. They can be used in complex situations where the manual waste management isn’t possible.

4. Such technologies can innovate the waste management system through 5Rs,

a) Reduce

b) Reuse

c) Recycle

d) Recover

e) Residual Management

5. Adoption of such technologies can create employment opportunities, promote economic growth and improve the health ecosystem.

6. It can contribute to happier, greener, healthier cities. It can save enormous public money.

How is India promoting sustainable habitat?

1. According to the report, nearly half of the Indian population will live in cities by 2050. It will create a huge burden on urban infrastructure.

2. To meet this challenge, several states along with the Central Government have speeded up the urbanization process in the country.

3. Through ‘Housing for All by 2022 Initiative’, the Government is building affordable houses built on ecological standards in rural as well as urban areas.

4. Smart Cities Mission provides for adoption of high technologies such as ‘Internet of Things’, ‘Artificial Intelligence’ etc. These systems capture the data, the lifestyle of the users.

5. Several governments are promoting ‘Waste to Wealth Mission’ i.e. by giving waste, citizens can earn money.

6. Atal Mission For Rejuvenation And Urban Transformation Mission seeks to provide basic services e.g. water supply, sewerage to households and build amenities in cities to improve quality of life.