Thirty-six grassroots social entrepreneurs from 34 countries have joined the Expo Live Innovation Programme. These bring creative climate-related interventions that span biodiversity and ocean restoration, air quality, transport and carbon, food security, waste, energy, water, finance and the protection of vulnerable communities.

Chosen from a pool of 1,200-plus applicants from 123 countries, the Global Innovators include a UAE-based organisation producing water to irrigate floating farms. Manhat was established in 2019 with a vision to provide sustainable water solutions for food security in coastal communities. Its innovative technology mimics the natural water cycle to sustainably produce water from open water surfaces with no carbon footprint or brine rejection, which can be used to irrigate crops on floating farms and provide a sustainable solution for coastal communities. In collaboration with Abu Dhabi Ports, it has successfully completed their first prototyping phase.

Other global Innovators include a forest restoration project in Nepal; a carbon capture solution from Finland that generates energy from waste; an Indian company producing a carbon-negative building material known as ‘Agrocrete’; a Burundi-based venture transforming banana waste into eco-friendly packaging; and an Iraqi organisation synergising solar power and cloud computing to build alternative energy sources.

The latest cycle of the programme will provide the 36 selected projects, known as Global Innovators, with funding and technical guidance and the opportunity to showcase their ideas at the COP28 summit to be held at Expo City Dubai later this year.

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and CEO of Expo City Dubai Authority, said: “When it comes to securing a sustainable future for our planet, we must act fast, and we must act now. As we saw first-hand throughout Expo 2020 Dubai, grassroots and community organisations are on the frontline of climate change, ripe with creative solutions that can make a real, positive contribution. In the UAE’s ‘Year of Sustainability’, Expo City Dubai is proud to continue supporting Expo Live Global Innovators, connecting them with climate decision-makers, spurring collaborative action and creating opportunities for even greater impact.”

To date and across all six cycles, Expo Live has supported 176 Global Innovators from 90 countries. The programme’s first five cycles positively impacted 5.8 million people worldwide, restoring 36 million hectares of land, offsetting 190,000 tonnes of CO2, and saving 6.3 million litres of water.

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