Expo 2020 Dubai Explore | Climate Change and Biodiversity Week

Hi Peaches,

Happy to be back on my blog and reconnect with you after a long hiatus from my personal virtual space where I share sustainable lifestyle content and raise awareness on climate change through my travels and explorations. I am back with an exciting experience to share with you.

Expo2020dubai selfie

“The decisions you make to come out of any tough situations gives a route to your destiny.” Rahul Desai.

Through my lust for learning about sustainability, pondering creative ways to tackle this climate change challenge and feeling lost, I took a big leap of faith that landed me in a utopian wonderland of Alice; a real world of sustainability innovations, education, entertainment and out of this world technology. Mere words cannot describe how it felt when I stepped foot at the world’s first ever Expo in the MEASA region hosted in Dubai, UAE, Expo 2020 Dubai, this 2021 on the very 1st day of October 2021, programmed to last for 6 months until 31st March 2022. Hosting over 200 country pavilions, each country uniquely showcasing its own pavilion.

Expo2020Dubai photo

Expo 2020 Dubai is centered around the theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity are Expo 2020 Dubai’s main sub-themes. Check this post on Expo journey and essentials.

Expo 2020 Dubai holds much deeper meaning. Just how fortunate to have the golden opportunity to explore more than 200 country pavilions and meet world leaders and innovators in one site? Dare me to explore them all. Millions of people from all walks of life gathered to celebrate culture, heritage, innovation, technology and discuss actionable ideas. Tourists, Leaders, Youths, Entrepreneurs, Policy makers and Public Figures are all speaking one language; the language of humanity, in collaboration to mitigate actionable solutions that will heal our planet.

I spent the first week attending climate change talks, network and explore a few country pavilions.

Theme Weeks and Main Attractions

Expo Logo

Astonished as I was to learn about the history of the Expo Logo, founded by Vice President Muhammad Bin Rashid Al-Makhtoum, inspired by a golden ring treasure founded by scientists centuries ago underneath the soil of the United Arab Emirates. Symbolizing hope, history, heritage, pride, innovation and change.

Al-Wasl Plaza

Alwasl Plaza
Al-Wasl plaza the main attraction that connects the districts showcases the world’s largest dome. Beautiful performances graced the Al-Wasl Dome during the grand opening by universal celebrities like Ellie Goulding, displaying a fusion of culture. Stepping into the Al-Wasl dome gave me a magical experience of the flamboyant high-tech light work showcasing UAE heritage in explosion of colors, art, and smells of oud symbolising its feminity. Can you see how it connects to the Expo logo?

Culture Performances

Street arts, culture and dance performances livened up the Expo 2020 Dubai. From Arab, African, Asian and European cultural performances.

Country Pavilions

Sustainability, Opportunity and Mobility districts dominated the Expo streets; each district hosts different participating countries showcasing their culture, innovation, science, architecture and designs. The main aim of Expo 2020 is to raise awareness on the sustainability initiatives from all over the world and as an educational center to people through exploring the pavilions. I’m happy to share with you my photo gallery on my 1st week of Expo explore.

Of sustainability pavilions I visited, Bahamas, bangladesh, Central African Republic and Guniea had exhibitions of a range of sustainable art, tourism, products and women empowerment initiatives. Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and Newzealand, showcased their culture, science and Artifical Intelligence innovations. Germany and Terra had one of the largest pavilions and educational centers showcasing science initiatives, from vertical farming to ocean micro plastic solutions and games designed to engage us into creative thinking to change our behaviors towards creating positive impact in the world.

UAE Pavilion
The Falcon Eye
At the UAE Opportunity Pavilion shaped like a falcon eye, denoting UAE’s strength and heritage.
UAE Pavilion
The Falcon Eye
Inside of the UAE Pavilion falcon bird eye + expo golden ring logo design.

More opportunity pavilions I explored were the UAE, which was the biggest pavilion, including Belgium and Kenya. At the Kenyan pavilion, I met Mohamed (7th slide), young Egyptian guy, who looked forward to visit kenya. He showed me his stamps collected at each country pavilion in one page of his journal. I was impressed by his creativity and charisma. Expo 2020 offers a passport which you can collect stamps from each country you’d visit like a normal passport. The goal is to fill up the passport with all country pavilions as I enjoy my stay in Dubai. How’s that for a challenge? Subscribe to my Blog for country pavilion tours each week.

Expo 2020 App is the best guide for theme weeks, entertainment, events and country pavilions locations.

Live Meeting with Innovators

During the first week of climate change and biodiversity, I connected with innovators working towards sustainability and innovations were hosted at Expo Live pavilion whose presentations were impactful.

Recycled Plastic Art
Zelij Morrocan Innovator showcased recycled plastic art innovated into stunning tiles that contributes to aesthetically pleasing architectural designs of Morocco.
Edible straws
Edible straws presented by Russian Innovator, Ivan Zakharov, to replace single-use plastic straws. Stressing that biodegrable alternative isn’t sufficient enough to solve plastic pollution crisis.
Solid waste management
Siddharth Thande, explained how India is using ICT technology inventing smart bins to tackle solid waste management.

Other waste innovations involved food waste, future climate action projects presentations and biodegradable alternatives. Which I look forward to explore more on Waste Warriors tour at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Climate and Biodiversity week 3-9th October 2021.

Programme for People for Planet

Expo 2020 Dubai dedicated the first week for climate and Biodiversity Business Forums; the first of 10 Theme Weeks that anchor the Programme for People and Planet. Hosted at the DEC and DP World in Association with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), and Programme for People for Planet the United Nations’ Climate Conference COP26 international climate summit which will be hosted by the UK in Glasgow, in collaboration with Italy next month. UAE to host COP28 in November 2022. Key speakers Christiana Figueres, Co-Chair of UN Energy Damilola Ogunbiyi, Jake Norton, Sam Tim as well as former UN leaders, Youth Activists and Ministers from around the world.

This was a call to action for all; leaders, government, artists, public figures, youth activists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, innovators and technologists to come together in a discussion panel to create climate change solutions in favour of us, environment and wildlife, to advance the global sustainability agenda, aiming to achieve net-zero emissions in the UAE by 2050. To build sustainable partnerships, yield green business opportunities towards social, economic and culture transformation. Climate change is taking a toll on our planet due to global warming caused by human activities that negatively impact the environment.

In my country Kenya, drought, poverty, pollution, poor waste management and floods in some locations are the major climate change issues. Through my efforts at Trashion Kenya to raise awareness on plastic pollution effects campaigning against single-use plastic through trash, art and innovations and volunteering, partnering and collaborating with impactful local organizations and charities, we still have a long way to go. We need action from our leaders.

Liz Wathuti Larry Madowo Interview CNN
Larry Madowo, Kenyan Journalist and CNN International Correspondent Speaker interviewing Liz Wathuti, Kenyan Climate Change Activist, on climate Change in Kenya at CNN Live, Expo 2020 Dubai.

I was delighted to meet Liz Wathuti, Kenyan youth climate activist, founder of Generation Green Initiative and youth participant at Expo 2020 Programme for People for Climate.

Youth and Leaders for Climate Action during Programme e for People and Climate

Fellow youth climate activists, Nisreen ElSaim, Lara Rudar, Liz Wathuti, Clover Hogan and Sagarika Sriram, in a Youth-Led session presented their brilliant community projects and expressed their concerns on the future causing eco-anxiety, urging leaders to take action and policies that are in favor of the planet as they look forward to COP26.

CNN Youth Climate Activists Interview with Becky Anderson at Expo 2020 Dubai
Becky Anderson, International Journalist and Managing Editor of CNN Abudhabi, interviewing Youth Activists Lara Rudar, Nisreen Sagarika Sriram and Nisreen Elsaim (from left to right) on climate justice and COP26 Agenda.

I shall introduce each of the youths participants on my next blogpost to highlight their community work, projects and message on climate action next Thursday, on my blog.

I also attended a women empowerment workshop which was hosted by Alexandra Palt, Exec. Vice-President of L’ORÉAL. An inspiring session of women leading the fight in climate justice. It was also a great platform to connect with with like-minded women creating huge impact in the world.

Women Empowerment Workshop
Alexander Palt LOREAL
Women Empowerment Workshop with Alberta, Alexandra Palt, Exec. Vice-President Chief Corporate Responsibility officer of L’ORÉAL

Incase you missed climate change theme week which ended on Saturday, the week will return between 15 – 19 January 2022, Abudhabi Sustainable Week, The ADSW Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize awards ceremony will take place at the Dubai Exhibition Centre on Monday 17th January 2022.

The question is, what are you doing to tackle climate change? 

I hope my blogposts will spark inspiration.

Catch you on my next blogposts introducing youths participants and more adventures in the sustainability wonderland! 


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