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Dubai Expo 2020

Celebrating Climate and Biodiversity Week at Expo 2020 Dubai

October 07, 2021

As Expo 2020 Dubai’s Theme Weeks is underway with “Climate and Biodiversity Week”, we look at how the megaevent is tackling this important subject as well as showcase a few ‘must-visit’ highlights.

It is only befitting that the Greatest Show in the World kicks off its series of Theme Weeks with a global issue of the greatest importance: Climate and Biodiversity. Climate and Biodiversity Week seeks to highlight the urgency of managing climate change and protecting biodiversity.

Walking the Talk: Sustainability drive an integral part of the Expo 2020 Dubai

Indeed, Sustainability is very front and centre of Expo 2020 Dubai. It is one of the three thematic pillars of the event and manifest very physically at the venue over 4.38 sq. kms. encompassing the infrastructure, pavilion designs, and event operations. The Expo 2020 Dubai website identifies the following measures:

  • Energy: Renewable energy systems with a total capacity of 5.5 megawatts on all permanent building projects across the Expo site

  • Water consumption: Reducing and reusing water consumption : 52.4% reduction of water demand in site buildings in 2019 versus baseline of the Dubai Electric and Water Authority (DEWA), amounting to 102,835,000 litres per year

  • Construction & building infrastructure: 90% of key materials used procured in accordance with the Sustainable Materials Guidelines

  • Green plantation: 50% of plants during Expo 2020, and 95% after the event, come from native and adaptive species. Targeting 95% of the landscape area to be managed without chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilisers

  • Natural solutions programs: Various programs including the relocation of a colony of bees and harvesting their honey

  • Lower carbon footprint: Lower carbon footprint drive through quantification of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the event, and review of construction materials and onsite construction activities, transport of people and materials, energy and water use, and waste generation of waste

  • Carbon offset procurement: Carbon management plan includes procuring carbon offsets to further reduce carbon footprint. The “Seeds of Change” programme is an innovative, crowd-solving programme that lets visitors vote for which C-offset the Expo should purchase by donating ‘seeds’. Expo will then support inspiring carbon offset projects from around the world.

  • Sustainability compliance for suppliers: Expo suppliers need to fulfil the requirements specified in its RISE Guidelines for Sustainable Operations

  • Waste minimization: Expo is diverting waste from landfill – 85% of waste is segregated into different waste streams, during construction, operation, and decommissioning. Under the ‘Planet Over Plastic Pledge’ initiative, international participants and commercial partners are asked to reduce packaging and single-use materials, and recycle on site.

  • Sustainable tourism: Undertaking a sustainable tourism longitudinal research in collaboration with the CSRE at MODUL University Dubai and UAE tourism authorities. This research study will enable key tourism stakeholders to monitor and plan around sustainable tourism.

  • Partner collaboration projects: Encouraged by and in line with the Sustainability theme, several Expo partners have their own sustainability initiatives and commitments, such as the planting of 100 million trees, clean ups, reduced emission commitments, and many others.

Complementing these Sustainability-based physical infrastructure and initiatives are a series of events encompassing various aspects of climate and biodiversity:

  • Climate and Biodiversity Business Forum- 4th Oct: Business opportunities, technologies, and progress achieved by the UAE, global participants and Expo partners in climate change and biodiversity, global responses of governments, the private sector and civil society.

  • Women’s World Majlis | Mother Nature’s First Defenders– 4th Oct: how women are leading the fight against climate change and how to drive that further

  • Transforming Energy in Small Island Developing States– 5th Oct: How Small Island Developing States (SIDS) overcome barriers to clean energy and building greater climate resilience

  • Dignified Storytelling | Working Together to Safeguard our Collective Future– 5th Oct: How culture connects people in working together for a safe future; includes a Poetry Slam

  • World Majlis | Sustainability for All, Rewriting our narrative for sustainable living– 5h Oct: Discussing policies, technologies, and lifestyles for a sustainable, with-nature future

  • Conversation for Hope: Advancing Best Practice in Wildlife and Biodiversity– 6h Oct: Experts speak on effective intervention to protect global biodiversity

  • Reaching for the Stars: Sustainable and Climate Resilient Mountain Development– 7h Oct: Local knowledge and best practices to preserve mountain ecosystems

  • World Majlis | Earth 2.0: Reengineering Planet Earth– 7h Oct: Discussing technologies for altering the biosphere and the ethics, politics, and economics of deploying them

  • Sustainability @ Expo | Restoring Balance– 9h Oct: Highlighting Expo 2020 and partners’ sustainability initiatives as well as Expo 2020’s broader sustainability legacy

  • Cultures in Conversation | Climate Change in the Classroom, Living Room, Street, and Beyond– 9h Oct: How global consciousness plus political will can together make a difference

Key Sustainability Pavilion Sights

  • TERRA– The Expo’s Sustainability Pavilion is the No. 1 ‘Must-See’ showpiece! This display of futuristic architecture has as its roof a giant solar canopy with over 1000 solar panels, and 18 ‘energy trees’ in the gardens that rotate to follow the path of the sun. Cutting edge technology collects water from the air, and a greywater recycling system reduces water use by up to 75%. It is a net-zero energy and net-zero water building, i.e., 100% self-sufficient. Attractions include a ‘tour’ through forest roots and an exploration of the ocean depths

  • Slovenia Pavilion: Visitors learn how to become part of the solution in the areas of equitable development, nature conservation and technological advances

  • Singapore Pavilion: The net-zero energy, rainforest-inspired Singapore Pavilion explores our journey towards livability and resilience in a pavilion whose self-sustaining ecosystem encourages people to foster stronger relationships between nature and the built environment

  • New Zealand Pavilion: The pavilion empowers visitors to experience a true reflection of the Maori value of 'kaitiakitanga' (guardianship of the land) as they explore the oneness of people and the environment on the country's promise to preserve its natural wonders for generations to come, offering visitors a time-spanning tour of its future, present, and past. Visitors will be able to write a pledge to the environment as a final promise to respect nature for future generations.

  • Maldives Pavilion: A captivating journey through the Maldives Pavilion highlights the Maldives’ unique natural environment and its people who are intrinsically linked with the sea, the pavilion promotes climate change awareness and sustainable practices to achieve a sustainable future

  • Seychelles Pavilion: Taking visitors on a treasure hunt, the Seychelles Pavilion focuses on the steps being taken to safeguard the natural beauty and history of the nation’s islands and the opportunities to take part in their preservation. Find clues to a hidden treasure and discover art made from recycled materials, shedding light on the increasing problem of plastic pollution

  • Germany Pavilion: Blend creative environmental ideas with real-life results at Campus Germany at the Germany Pavilion, exploring themed areas including The Energy Lab, The Future City Lab and The Biodiversity Lab

  • Al Wasl Plaza: A spectacular way to end the journey, Expo 2020’s Nature Showcase takes place every evening at Al Wasl Plaza. Behold the rhythms of Earth and the pulsating force that emanates through all life, from a drop of water to the beating of a butterfly’s wing, in a stirring performance that encourages us all to find our balance in the natural world

  • Austria Pavilion: This pavilion features a start-up that collects food waste and repurposes it into gourmet food and other edibles, underlining the need for reusability

  • Bulgaria Pavilion: Visitors to the Bulgaria Pavilion can sample coffee from edible cups, and see the innovation of biodegradable laminating foil

  • Finland Pavilion: The country is making waves with its vertical farming system and zero waste agricultural technologies, based on the principles of circular economy, which will be showcased at the Nordic country’s pavilion

Climate & Biodiversity and Business

Business is at the centre of the debates and discussions on climate, biodiversity, and sustainability today. With economic activity and the push for economic growth seen as the primary cause of climate change and bio-environmental damage, there is mounting pressure on governments, economies and businesses as responsible members of societies and communities to act to limit and offset that damage. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) responsibility is key today and will increasingly be more important in the future. Businesses are responding and ESG is now a key part of corporate governance.

At MBG Corporate Services, we provide critical business advisory in Legal, Risk, Mergers & Acquisitions, Tax, Strategy, Technology and Audit services, including high quality corporate governance advisory. With decades of experience, MBG caters to more than a hundred Fortune 500 companies and over 3,000 clients across the globe. We have offices across the Middle East, Singapore, Germany, China, India, and Japan.

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