Image of a rainforest or jungle, with mass vegetation, a river and trees.
calendar 20 Oct 2020

Climate and Biodiversity Week – Day 1 Recap

Delivered in collaboration with Expo’s Premier Global Trade Partner DP World, audiences are being taken on a virtual journey towards urgent, decisive action on climate change and preserving biodiversity.

DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS

Key Note Speeches

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau and UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World welcomed audiences with inspiring and thought-provoking addresses:

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau and UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation said: "We spent our last pre-Expo event looking at space and today we are back to Earth with a very firm purpose – to protect the richness and wonder of the natural world which we share with eight million other species, one million of which stand at risk of extinction.

"When more than 190 nations gather together in Dubai next year, for the first time in what we hope will be a post-COVID world, why would we not use that moment to collaborate for our shared future? Because, isn’t that one of the main purposes of a World Exposition? Showing us what we can do when we all come together with a shared vision and certain purpose."

His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World said: “DP World is committed to making a better future for everyone and addressing the Sustainable Development Goals. As a leading end-to-end smart logistics solutions provider, we have a responsibility to people, communities and the environment. We are committed to tackling today’s pressing environmental challenges through our carbon strategy, educating young people, ocean restoration projects and by implementing robust and secure global supply chains to stop the illegal wildlife trade. Together we can tackle today’s issues and be ready to adapt to those around the corner to ensure a world where wildlife thrives and the environment is protected."


Terra – Expo 2020’s Sustainability Experience

Terra, The Sustainability Pavilion is one of Expo 2020’s three Thematic Pavilions. Its purpose is an embodiment of its name, with the building a showcase of cutting-edge sustainable design. The Pavilion’s emotive visitor experience tells the enchanting story of humankind’s relationship with nature, while addressing negative environmental impacts, caused in large part by human behaviour. It will help visitors understand their impact on the environment and how they can become agents of change.

John Bull, Director – Terra, The Sustainability Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai said: "When we consider what is happening in the world, the message behind The Sustainability Pavilion’s visitor experience could not be more timely or important, especially in the context of declining biodiversity across the globe and the impact of climate change. We are running out of time, but we still have the opportunity to work together and find solutions that will alter the course of history. Through innovative storytelling, theatrical exhibitions and experiences that connect individuals with the issues, the Pavilion’s aim is to encourage positive action and a lasting behaviour change among visitors to Expo 2020.


Expo Family Updates

In a series of inspiring and informative talks, Expo International Participants and Official Partners discussed their approaches to sustainability. This included an overview of Dulsco’s state-of-the art Waste2Resource facility, which will support Expo's mission to reduce, reuse, recycle and repurpose; learning how scientists in Peru are working to protect the country’s incredible biodiversity; and a call to action from Accenture that focused on the role that cloud technology can play in sustainability.

Joelle Saab, Head of the Expo 2020 Project, Dulsco said: “As the official waste management partner of Expo 2020, we have adopted the circular economy model focused on recycling and repurposing waste with the aim of diverting it away from landfill and ensuring an optimal and sustainable use of resources. This approach not only focuses on economic benefits, but also equally serves as a catalyst for environmental innovations and the conservation of biodiversity.” 

Peruvian Environmental Engineer, Marino Marikawa (PhD), said: “We are using technology in a series of projects that demonstrate that all natural habitats can be restored. For example, we regenerated a wetland located in the city of Chancay, Peru, using technologies such as biofilters and a nano-bubble system to vastly improve the quality of the water. It took three years to recover this wetland, but we managed to revive its biodiversity, leading to the return of migratory and sedentary birds.”

Justin Keeble, Managing Director for Sustainability, Accenture said: “Technology is, and will continue to play, an essential role in our response to the current crisis, and it will be crucial in unlocking the sustainable business models that we need to develop over the next 10 years. Harnessing the cloud for example, will drive reductions in carbon intensity and enable new opportunities for more resource-efficient supply chains, more intelligent manufacturing and smarter products.”


United Nations Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group

The concluding panel discussion for Tuesday focused on the Youth Advisory Group, launched by the UN’s Secretary-General to engage young people in an open and transparent dialogue as the UN raises ambition and accelerates action to address the climate crisis. With young people on the front lines of climate action, showing us what bold leadership looks like, this talk asked: How can we best build on this momentum?

Nisreen El Saim, UN Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change said: “Biodiversity is one of the most affected and most vulnerable areas of climate change. We are already losing a lot of species. We were in a very balanced world and now that equilibrium has shifted. Things are not as they were in the past and, of course, things will not remain the same in the future if we continue the way we are.”

Paloma Costa, UN Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change said: “It is imperative that from now on we really work with the agreements we make among ourselves that respect the continuity of life for this and for future generations. We must adhere to the trade agreements that we are implementing to safeguard the environment for our communities and for our youth's future.”