Climate and Biodiversity Week will feature speakers Christiana Figueres, Damilola Ogunbiyi, Jake Norton and Sir Tim Smit. Above: Terra - The Sustainability Pavilion Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Mobilising the world for the health of our planet, Climate and Biodiversity Week will take place October 3 to 9, 2021, at Expo 2020 Dubai, just a month ahead of United Nations’ vital Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

Expo’s first Theme Week – in association with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and DP World, Global Trade Partner of Expo 2020 – aims to generate new ideas, inspire different perspectives and build a clear roadmap towards immediate action.

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Recognising that the world is at a crucial moment when the global community must take decisive and collective steps to protect the planet, Expo 2020 will provide a powerful platform for people’s voices to be heard in policy circles. Events and discussions during Climate and Biodiversity Week will focus on mitigating climate change, disaster risk management, advancing the circular economy, protecting vulnerable regions and conservation.

Notable speakers to take stage

Key speakers include the internationally recognised leader on global climate change Christiana Figueres, Co-Chair of UN Energy Damilola Ogunbiyi, filmmaker and climber Jake Norton, and Eden Project founder Sir Tim Smit, as well as environment ministers from around the world.

Nadia Verjee, Chief of Staff, Programme for People and Planet, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Now, more than any time in human history, it is essential we give our undivided attention to protecting our planet for future generations. For us to succeed, these crucial issues must be addressed by initiating a two-way conversation – bridging people-centred grassroots ‘bottom-up’ approaches, with high-level policy and partnership initiatives.

We have the opportunity to take our place in history as the generation who stopped climate change.

- Nadia Verjee, Chief of Staff, Programme for People and Planet, Expo 2020 Dubai

“We are confident that by bringing together people, policy-makers, NGOs and business leaders from 192 countries for Climate and Biodiversity Week, we can inspire the world to take positive steps towards a more sustainable future. We have the opportunity to take our place in history as the generation who stopped climate change.”

Co-curated with MOCCAE, DP World and the UK, Climate and Biodiversity Week’s flagship event, The People’s Promise for Climate Impact, takes place October 3 to 4. It aims to catalyse youth-led action across the globe, inspiring and empowering people to play an active role in tackling climate change.

Eng Aisha Al Abdooli, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Green Development and Climate Change Sector at MOCCAE, said: “As the world witnesses more frequent and intense extreme weather events, putting billions of people at immediate risk, fighting climate change has become a moral obligation. This has been highlighted in a recent report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is nothing less than a code red for humanity. The report warns that the continuous global warming and sea level rise are triggering an increasing number of natural disasters, and emphasizes that dealing with this threat is urgent.”

She added: “The UAE is fully committed to tackling climate change, and we are proud to partner with Expo to amplify the momentum at the Climate and Biodiversity Week. The event will offer a wealth of opportunities for collaboration on advancing swift, bold actions to address this challenge ahead of COP26.”

Mohammad Al Hashimy, Deputy Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, DP World, said: “Preserving our planet and building a sustainable future for everyone is something that can only be done collectively, not individually. Which is why the upcoming Climate and Biodiversity Week is so important. It will bring together leaders from multiple sectors across the world to find and create solutions.

“DP World has always been committed to protecting our planet, from combatting illegal wildlife trafficking to preserving biodiversity. We are proud to partner with Expo 2020 Dubai to help facilitate its key message of “Connecting minds, Creating the Future”, and help foster the dialogue and cooperation needed to heal our planet.”

A week of dedicated events

Expo 2020’s World Majlis series, bringing together voices from all over the world to imagine a brighter future for our planet, will host four sessions during Climate and Biodiversity Week. Each will explore different facets of the following question: If we have so much power to alter the planet, can we instead put our knowledge, skills and efforts at the service of Earth for future generations?

The Climate and Biodiversity Business Forum, held in Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai, on October 4, and co-curated with Dubai Chamber and Estonia, will highlight business opportunities and cutting-edge technologies while providing showcasing progress in sustainability achieved by the UAE, participating countries and Expo partners.

The Women’s Pavilion on October 4 will host an inspiring session on Women Leading the Fight to Save our Planet, focusing on the disproportionate impact of climate change on women, and how women can play a greater role in climate-related decision-making.

Advancing Best Practice for Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation (October 6), co-curated with DP World, Mozambique and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), will highlight effective, replicable and scalable interventions and solutions to protect global biodiversity.

Curated visitor journeys

All visitors to Expo can further explore the issues with two climate- and biodiversity-related visitor journeys available on the Expo 2020 app. The People for Planet journey introduces visitors to the different ways countries and organisations are responding to key environmental issues we face as a global community, while the Waste Warriors journey explores the innovations leading the movement against overconsumption and overproduction.

Climate and Biodiversity Week is the first of the 10 Theme Weeks anchoring the Programme for People and Planet, an extraordinary schedule of events, experiences, thought-leadership and public conversations running throughout Expo 2020’s six months, aiming to find solutions for some of the most pressing problems facing our world.

Designed with and for the global community, the programme will harness the connecting power of World Expos to accelerate a legacy of transformative change. Participants will investigate solutions to critical global challenges, ranging from mitigating climate change and biodiversity loss and making human habitats more sustainable, to bridging the digital divide and ensuring equal access to education and healthcare.