Expo 2020 Dubai marks a crucial step for the sustainable development goals: five years after the approval of the 2030 Agenda, Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase the measures that the 190 participants in the Universal Exhibition intend adopting to shape a safer and fairer future. All this will take place in the heart of the world’s least sustainable area: the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia region (Me.Na.Sa), home to 3.2 billion people, which, over the forthcoming years, will witness the planet’s highest population growth, besides serious ecological and environmental risks, and also the most serious water resource crisis.
‘Connecting minds, creating the future’: the theme of Expo Dubai captures the essence of this challenge aimed at generating the shared value of sustainability:
- a holistic vision of economic, scientific and cultural aspects;
- a circular approach to industrial and technological production chains;
- a multidisciplinary and multi-sector approach to new skills.
The Italy pavilion will be a large experiential hub of innovation, reflecting the most advanced forms of sustainability.
The space will not only be plastic-free, but will be made with our best sustainability-related expertise and animated daily by students, teachers, entrepreneurs, managers, professionals and artists, who will illustrate the transformations taking place in their respective sectors.
The pavilion, entitled ‘Beauty unites people’, will be a model of sustainability and circular economy, an avant-garde prototype in terms of integrated design and the use of durable and natural recycled materials, and in terms of the technologies implemented to minimise energy and water consumption, including systems used to save, collect and recycle water, dispose of waste and reduce noise and light pollution.
In this perspective, the transition from Expo 2015 Milan to Expo 2020 Dubai is of crucial importance. Whereas Milan tackled the issue of food safety as a factor for growth and development, Dubai will focus on sustainability, which requires connections and connectivity to plan a future in which the solutions relating to health and the environment, the fight against climate change and the exploitation of natural resources, and the growth of new digital skills for social and economic development are tightly integrated.
Italy will bring educational sustainability to Dubai, with hundreds of upper secondary school students and a broad education package from over 40 universities. It will also bring cultural sustainability, by promoting orchestras, choruses, film industry professions and design by the new generations of artists, musicians and production designers. It will bring the agri-food sustainability of the country’s production chains, which operate according to the most advanced integrated and organic farming and fishing standards, while safeguarding biodiversity on land and in the sea, and ensuring the nutritional and health-related properties of precision agriculture. It will bring space sustainability thanks to the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and companies operating in the aerospace sector involved in monitoring ecosystems, safeguarding the seas and coastlines, and experimenting medicines and new foodstuffs in extreme conditions. It will bring health-nutrition sustainability with nutraceutics and innovative medicine of the pharma and agri-food clusters linked to ‘Alisei’.
The 15 million people expected to visit Expo 2020 Dubai will be able to witness an entire national economic system which, for many aspects, is at the forefront of these innovations.
We’ll be going to Dubai with the National Research Council (CNR) and its projects for the Mediterranean’s blue economy. We’ll be going to Dubai with CREA and its projects for the fertilisation of arid lands. We’ll be going to Dubai with jurists and lawyers who, together with the National Forensic Council (CNF), will launch the first international network of bar associations to discuss the new environmental rights in the Mediterranean Sea, a highly fragile system with sustainability problems due to its extreme juridical fragmentation. We’ll be going to Dubai together with PRIMA, of which Italy is currently the European head, with the new observatory on innovation of the Italian and Mediterranean agricultural produce.
Over 60 Italian universities, part of the Italian University Network for Sustainable Development (RUS), will be participating in this effort.
I am convinced that in 510 days’ time, Italy will show to the world its important contribution to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda goals, once again as a major player.
by Paolo Glisenti – General Commissioner Generale for Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai
Source: Sole 24 Ore of 30th may 2019