Water will underpin Expo 2020 Dubai’s final Theme Week, the Expo News Service announced on Friday. Public and private sector change-makers will unite from March 20-26 to explore how to better preserve and protect a finite, precious and threatened natural resource that sustains all life on Earth.
Covering more than two-thirds of the planet’s surface, water is an essential developmental pillar, its conservation critical to building a safe, clean and healthy future for people and the planet, as enshrined in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Today, one in four people (two billion) worldwide also lack safe drinking water, half (3.6 billion) lack safe sanitation and 2.3 billion go without basic handwashing facilities at home, according to official figures.
Water Week is a collaboration between Expo 2020 Dubai; the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure; and the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. The event will comprise a series of purposeful and action-orientated events to explore water in all its facets, including the global community’s collective responsibility to better manage and preserve it in the face of climate change, plastic pollution, over-fishing, and other threats.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director-general of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Water is a prerequisite for all life on earth, but we simply do not value it enough. Access to safe drinking water, sanitation and the effective management of our planet’s oceans and freshwater resources is a matter of justice, fairness and equity.”
She added, “By exploring the role of water and how to better value and preserve it for future generations, Water Week honours this essential resource that underpins all our efforts to address the opportunities and most critical challenges facing both people and planet.”
Meanwhile, Suhail Bin Muhammad Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said, “The UAE Government firmly believes that Water Security is a prerequisite for sustainable development efforts and a stimulus for the country's efforts towards achieving its aspirations for the next fifty years.”
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said, “We say water is life because water is indeed the base of all life forms on planet Earth. As we move towards a global population of 10 billion in 2050, current ecosystems face immense pressure to meet the growing demand for this life-sustaining resource without putting further strain on our environment.”
She added, “In line with the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036, the UAE Government follows an integrated approach to address water scarcity at home and abroad. Expo’s Water Week fits perfectly into our efforts, as it will raise public awareness of water conservation and spur the conversation among stakeholders to drive sustainable water management.”
Water-focused projects supported under Expo Live, Expo 2020 Dubai’s global innovation and partnership programme, and the Global Best Practice Programme – spotlighting tangible solutions to the SDGs for greater global impact – will also feature across Water Week.
From a Pakistan-based project helping water-stressed rural communities barter livestock for solar energy, to the world’s largest fog-collection installation in Morocco and a foot-operated hand wash solution to stop the spread of COVID-19, these Expo 2020 Dubai-backed projects are transforming lives in the communities they operate.
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