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HomeZayed Foundation garners support for UAE Expo 2020 bid

A World Expo in Dubai in 2020 would be the first to be held in the MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) region.

As hundreds of environment ministers, decision makers, scientists, civil society representatives and business leaders gathered at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters last month to galvanize a new era of stronger action on pressing environmental issues, the delegates made a small but significant piece of history by attending the first ever meeting of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF) under universal membership as a result of the Rio+20 Summit held last year.

This prestigious event served as a venue to highlight the long-term national initiative to build green economy in the UAE under the slogan “A Green Economy for Sustainable Development” that was launched last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Speaking at one of the events, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Bin Fahad, Chairman of the Higher Committee of the Zayed Foundation also underscored the UAE’s serious and innovative approach towards understanding and managing its Ecological Footprint through collaboration between the public and private sectors and its efforts in helping tackle related issues such as climate change.

Prof. Bin Fahad also utilized this platform to bolster support for Dubai’s bid to host the World Expo 2020. Unlike countries that bid for a World Expo to build new infrastructure such as airports, ports, rail and road transport systems, Dubai and the UAE have a ready platform on all fronts, he said.

“Dubai’s strategic global location in the centre between the East and the West makes it the most sought after destinations for the Expo,” he said. “There are approximately 200 nationalities living in the UAE making the country truly global.”

World Expos transform the cities hosting them and impact positively their economic development. “Today, World Expos remain a key meeting point for the global community to share innovations and make progress on issues of international importance such as the global economy, sustainable development and improved quality of life for the world’s population,” he commented. “For our bid to host the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, the UAE has selected the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’,” he explained. “In today’s highly interconnected world, a renewed vision of progress and development based on shared purpose and commitment is key.

While a single human mind, an individual country, or a specific community is both unique and remarkable, it is by working collaboratively that we truly advance.” A World Expo in Dubai in 2020 would be the first to be held in the MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) region. As the global community faces ever more complex, and increasingly interconnected challenges, the links between people, societies and ideas have never been more important, he added.

“Dubai Expo 2020 will be a platform for connectivity to help pioneer new partnerships for growth and sustainability for the future.” When the Bureau International des Expositions’ (BIE), the international body responsible for overseeing the selection and organisation of World Expos, ends their Enquiry Mission in the UAE, it will mark the beginning of the next phase in the UAE’s bid to host Expo 2020.

Through its 161 member states, the BIE seeks to ensure that the expos must provide not only a benchmark for human progress but also propose a road map for the future, he added. Dr. Bin Fahad also expressed his gratitude and thanks to the support received by the delegation of the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment in Nairobi, Kenya.

As part of the delegation under the umbrella of the Ministry of Environment & Water in the UAE, Dr. Bin Fahad said that participation in the UNEP forum highlighted the UAE’s focus on driving forward the Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. “Under the stewardship of the UAE Minister of Environment & Water, Dr. Rashid Bin Fahad, and following the directives laid down by the Federal Government in the UAE, emphasis has been placed on reducing the ecological footprint of the UAE,” said Dr. Bin Hahad. “The example of the UAE was demonstrated at the high-level round table entitled ‘Green Economy: the Path to Reduce Ecological Footprint in Arab Countries’ as the nation has embarked on a National Footprint Initiative and endorsed a Green Economy Strategy.

The Minister explained the seven components of the UAE’s Green Economy Strategy, covering green energy, green investment, green cities, climate change, green living and green technology as he led discussions on how the transition to a green economy can help achieve better resource management and thus reduce the ecological footprint of Arab countries.

” The UAE has always stressed on the need to embrace green economy and balance between the needs of today’s development with the right of future generations to resources. Indeed, it is this commitment to meeting its environmental goals and targets by integrating them with Sustainable Development Goals that has helped garner greater support for the UAE’s Expo 2020 bid, he added.

“By sharing concrete experiences of using a green economy approach, models of creating new employment and income opportunities and addressing challenges in shifting public and private investment towards green activities, the UAE has motivated worldwide action towards meeting the multiple global challenges for food, energy, water and air pollution, climate and health.”

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