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Promoting Healthy, Resilient and Carbon-neutral Cities – The 16th Global Forum on Human Settlements Opened Successfully
Source: GFHS | Author: gfhsforum | Published time: 2021-10-27 | 1065 Views | Share:

(October 27, 2021) The 16th Annual Session of Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS 2021) saw a successful virtual opening on October 27. As an observance of World Cities Day, the forum is taking place from October 27 to October 29, with the theme being “Accelerate Green Transformation and Innovation towards Healthy, Resilient and Carbon-neutral Cities”.  

The opening was addressed by Dr. Elena Manaenkova, Deputy Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (on behalf of Prof. Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of World Meteorological Organization), Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Chairman of Global Forum on Human Settlements, Former UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative, Dr. Bambang Susantono, Vice President for Knowledge Management & Sustainable Development at Asian Development Bank, Kazushige Endo, Director of United Nations Centre for Regional Development, and Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International. At the opening, the large-scale academic literature – "The Collection of Global Forum on Human Settlements" was officially launched.

The distinguished speakers at the opening session

GFHS 2021 aims to unite world cities to tackle climate change towards sustainability. 25 leading organizations joined the forum as co-organizers and collaborators, including 10 major UN agencies, such as World Meteorological Organization, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and United Nations Centre for Regional Development, as well as the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and a number of well-known international institutions.

Other important speakers at GFHS 2021 include Dr. Kevin Kanina Kariuki, Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, African Development Bank Group, Dr. Awni Behnam, Fmr. United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Hon. President of International Ocean Institute, Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director General of Global Green Growth Institute, Dr. Nuki Agya Utama, Executive Director at ASEAN Centre for Energy, Dr. Robert Andrén, Director General of Swedish Energy Agency, Dr. Rodolfo Lacy, Director of the Environment Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Dawood Abdul Rahman Al-Hajri, Director General, Dubai Municipality, United Arab Emirates, Ramon Torra, Chief Executive Officer, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, Spain, among others.

The distinguished keynote speakers

At the three-day forum, more than 110 outstanding individuals, including heads of international organizations such as the United Nations, senior government officials, mayors of leading cities, renowned experts and scholars, and well-known business leaders will deliver speeches and share their insights. The forum is projected to reach out to over 100,000 professional audiences through live streaming and remote participation. Participants from different countries on six continents will conduct in-depth discussions on 10 key issues, put forward scientific solutions and policy recommendations, reach a consensus on a set of outcomes and recommend a batch of outstanding sustainable development practices and innovations. The forum is expected to make positive contribution to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be opened in Glasgow 4 days later.

A green transition is sweeping the world. 2021 is the beginning of the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and is also a year of global action towards carbon neutrality. The first part of UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) has just been successfully concluded in Kunming, China. Cities are the home ground for reaching net zero emissions and achieving sustainable development. While being mired in the intertwined threats of extreme climate events, pollution, nature loss and the pandemic, the world is facing tougher challenges in meeting the sustainable development goals. In this context, the forum called for prioritizing cities, accelerating innovation and green transition, and improving urban safety, resilience, inclusiveness and sustainability. The forum also urged to galvanize efforts to address the climate crisis, notably through mitigation and adaptation, and to accelerate actions towards carbon-neutral cities, thus achieving sustainable development and carbon neutrality, and building a shared future for all life on Earth.

The Collection of Global Forum on Human Settlements Successfully Launched

The Collection of Global Forum on Human Settlements is an innovative program celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Global Forum on Human Settlements and contributing to the global commencement of the Decade of Action on the SDGs. With 15 years of accumulation and 3 years of painstaking effort, the 3-million-word Collection was published by China Environmental Publishing Group and is considered a corpus of research achievements and practices on sustainable cities and human settlements. Contributed by approximately 180 authors representing more than 50 countries, the Collection will help strengthen the knowledge and capacity building of relevant urban stakeholders and make significant contribution to the post-pandemic recovery, reconstruction and green transition of human society, and will play an important role in supporting cities in achieving carbon neutrality. Senior officials from international organizations, notably the United Nations, government officials, well-known experts and scholars, business leaders and many other professionals from across the world saw the successful launch of the Collection.


By the Department of Public Information, GFHS