The planet is facing a climate crisis, but the sterling work of one UAE-based company, Desert Control Middle East, supported by Expo 2020’s Expo Live
initiative, is aiming to avert a frightening set of figures.
In six years’ time, the United Nations – marking its World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on 17 June – estimates that 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity and two thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. By 2045, some 135 million people may be displaced as a result of desertification.
Desert Control, however, aims to arrest that decline with its innovative liquid nanoclay technology – a clay sprayed on dry, sandy soils to create a water-retaining environment for plants to grow that uses up to 50 per cent less water than conventional agriculture techniques.
This clever solution has a direct impact on eight of the 17 UN Sustainability Goals, and Desert Control has made solid progress since being backed by Expo Live’s Innovation Impact Grant Programme in 2018. As well as building up its production capacity during the past six months and now being ready to go to market, it has been named one of the Top 100 Arab Startups shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution
by the World Economic Forum.
Desert Control now has more than 1 million square metres of possible opportunities in the UAE and GCC for 2019, including a localised test at Expo 2020 Dubai’s on-site Innovation Garden, while the potential for liquid nanoclay technology stretches way beyond the Middle East.
The sustainability and scalability potential of Desert Control makes it a good example of a best practice of the type being sought by Expo’s Global Best Practice Programme
. The Programme highlights projects that already provide real solutions at a community level while having the potential to be scaled globally.
The Programme is seeking submissions by 30 June 2019 and wants to hear ideas from anyone – individuals, businesses, academia, governments and international organisations.
Expo Live and the Global Best Practice Programme are just two of the ways that Expo 2020 Dubai – the first World Expo in the MEASA (Middle East, Africa and South Asia) region – will realise its theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ and work to create a better world for everyone.