Expo 2020 supports UAE’s efforts as a leader of green development - GulfToday

Expo 2020 supports UAE’s efforts as a leader of green development

Dubai Expo

An arresting view of the Sustainability Pavilion at the Expo 2020 site in Dubai.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

Sustainability, which is one of the themes of the upcoming Dubai Expo, is increasingly a core feature in several new initiatives across the Middle East. Notably, innovators and entrepreneurs cut across industries are forming partnerships, aimed at achieving a synergy that can induce sustainability in areas plagued by systemic challenges.

Expo 2020 aims to be one of the most sustainable World Expos in history and supports the UAE’s efforts as a champion of green development.

The mega event will empower visitors of all nationalities, ages and interests to make more sustainable choices in their own lives.”

The iconic Sustainability  Pavilion, designed by the world-renowned Grimshaw Architects, sets an example for sustainable building design. Built to be net-zero for both energy and water, it features 1,055 photovoltaic panels arranged on a 130-metre-wide roof canopy and atop a series of ‘Energy Trees’. The pavilion also uses cutting-edge water-reduction strategies, water recycling and alternative water sources.

From October1, 2021 to  March 31, 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai will bring the world together in a spirit of hope and optimism and with a shared purpose towards solving some of our greatest challenges.

It will showcase the greatest innovations, breakthroughs and ideas from around the planet, enabling action towards a better world under its theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’

Sustainability in deserts is a vast discipline, revolving around grazing practices, flora & fauna, water tables, etc. And with increasing population, urbanization, and human activity in such arid regions, sustainability has more challenges to reckon with. This is particularly pronounced in reforestation and desert greening. But hoping to defy the odds are sustainability advocates like Dake Rechsand, the Dubai-based company offering sustainable solutions in water conservation and desert farming, which has recently announced its ambitious plan to develop green cover in deserts using the innovative Miyawaki forest model. Dake Rechsand seeks to anchor this effort in the company’s ground-breaking technology: Breathable Sand.

The Miyawaki forest model Developed by renowned Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, the model named after him revolves around the regeneration of forests, using a multi-layer model that includes shrubs, trees, and – eventually - canopy trees. The Miyawaki model has been largely considered unviable in the Middle East due to arid/semi-arid climate, high soil salinity, acute water scarcity, and high initial resource-related costs. However, taking stock of the multi-fold value that these forests can unlock - and how the benefits correspond to the UAE’s larger vision of a sustainable, green, and carbon-neutral future - Dake Rechsand has unveiled its grand ambition of desert greening using the Miyawaki model.

Dake Rechsand’s confidence stems from the success of developing 2,000-square-kilometers of green cover in one of the world’s hottest deserts located in China. This project was powered by the company’s proprietary sand technology, which boasts a unique combination of water retention and air permeability properties. When applied to create a soil medium, it retains water for extended periods of time and reduces irrigation requirements by nearly 80% compared to conventional practices.

Sand technology has delivered visible positive outcomes in many agri-based projects across the Middle East, indicating its potential to develop Miyawaki forests.

Chandra Dake, CEO and Founder of Dake Rechsand, said, “The Miyawaki model holds the answers to some of the pressing issues in the Middle East and the world at large. It will enable a sustainable expansion of green cover, at a previously unimaginable scale. And, in doing so, it will make a massive contribution to offsetting GHG emissions, and addressing climate change. Our goal for this year is to plant 200,000 trees, and follow up with another two million trees by 2022. With increased investor participation and multi-stakeholder engagement, we can scale up to ten million trees, which will have a profound effect on regional and global sustainability parameters.”

Recognizing the need for multi-stakeholder participation and to make this endeavor financially sustainable for all stakeholders, the drive which is titled “Ghaba” - Arabic for forests - is accompanying an asset ownership and carbon credits model. This first-of-its-kind model is being helmed by Dake Rechsand, in partnership with management consulting firm Investment Hub, which is holding an investor presentation called “Ghaba: Miyawaki Forests can grow in deserts with Breathable Sand” on September 8.

Commenting on the presentation and the green drive, Roy Malmberg, Founder of Investment Hub, said: “Dake Rechsand’s “Ghaba” drive using the Miyawaki model is an attractive alternative investment avenue, which has great long-term growth prospects. Investors have an option to buy the assets, retain direct ownership, generate carbon credits, and rake in returns or diversify their holdings.”

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