Nairobi/Yaounde, 22 September 2021 – UN-Habitat and the Government of the Republic of Cameroon have announced that the Global Observance of World Habitat Day will take place in the capital Yaoundé on Monday 4 October 2021. The theme this year is Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world.

The announcement follows the virtual signing of an agreement between Cameroon’s Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Madam Célestine Ketcha Courtès, and UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif of UN-Habitat on 31 August 2021. 

World Habitat Day has been observed across the globe on the first Monday of October since 1986, highlighting a range of issues around sustainable urbanization. The Global Observance, hosted by a different city each year, is the main focus with attendance at the highest level.

“The fight against climate change will be won or lost in cities and towns,” said UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif. “The future of the planet depends on the actions of our urban residents. Without urgent action to halt climate change and deal with its impacts, we will not achieve any of the Sustainable Development Goals including SDG 11.

“Climate change presents the single biggest threat to sustainable development and has a disproportional impact on the poorest and most vulnerable.”

The Global Observance will bring together high-level representatives from national and local governments, UN agencies, development partners, the private sector, civil society organisations, academic institutions, and the media to explore ways to reduce the carbon footprint of cities through urban planning, renewable resources, transport, waste disposal and other key actions to address climate change. 

“The celebrations under the High Patronage of His Excellency Paul Biya, President of the Republic, will be watched by the whole world,” said Cameroon’s Minister of Housing and Urban Development Célestine Ketcha Courtès.

“Hosting the Global Observance will position Cameroon within the United Nations as a champion on the issue of sustainable quality of life in urban areas, attracting partners to support sustainable urbanization and support the implementation of Africa 2063 – the master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.”

The Global Observance will begin with the official ceremony addressed by high level speakers, the presentation of the prestigious UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour awards and the awarding of the prizes to the cleanest cities in the national hygiene and sanitation competition across Cameroon.

In the afternoon there will be a series of Roundtables on subjects related to the theme looking at Renewable resources for cities: Clean cities for everyone, Moving to a zero carbon and waste world, Urban Climate Action through Low-Carbon Planning and Mobility and Climate Change Financing in African Cities: Bridging the Financing Gaps for Climate Resilient Urbanization in Africa.

The Global Observance will be in a hybrid format and will be live streamed.

Register now to attend the whole day in person or online and ask questions in the Roundtables here . The day’s events will be streamed live here.

More information is available World Habitat Day 2021 | Urban October ( and Semaine de l'Habitat 2019 - World Habitat Day 2021


Susannah Price, UN-Habitat Chief of Communication

+254 722 719867

UN-Habitat and Cameroon to host Global Observance of World Habitat Day 2021 in Yaoundé, Cameroon