Expo 2020 Dubai: Sustainability Pavilion receives more than 50,000 visitors

The huge eco-friendly structure is the first to open to the public

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The Sustainability Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has had more than 50,000 visitors since it opened to the public on January 22.

Visitors pledged to  make better choices, protect the world's resources and conserve energy.

The massive canopy, also called Terra, is covered by 1,055 solar panels to generate electricity and is designed to convince residents and tourists to change their consumption habits to save the planet.

Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation, said the message hit home with the thousands of people who toured Terra.

“So far, we have welcomed more than 50,000 visitors to Terra, and we’ve been asking them what impact this unique experience might have on their everyday behaviour,” she said.

“To our delightful surprise, almost 97 per cent of all visitors confirmed that they will change their behaviour and be more cognisant of the fragile environment in which we live.”

Ms Al Hashimy, who is also director general of Expo 2020 Dubai, spoke on Tuesday at Global Goals, an online, Expo-led call to action bringing policymakers and the public together to tackle global challenges.

She said another structure, the Opportunity Pavilion, would show how one person  could be an agent of change.

“Titled Mission: Possible, the pavilion experience imagines a world in which our finite resources might be turned to infinite uses, through smart and innovative solutions,” she said.

The three themed pavilions – Sustainability, Opportunity and Mobility – are intended to help visitors understand how to reach the UN's 2030 goals for a better future for all.

“While Covid-19 set us back from our pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, it has also reinforced their necessity, and their urgency,” Ms Al Hashimy said.

“We need to start doing things differently and we need to start right now.”

Ms Al Hashimy also spoke of how the UAE was one of the world's largest donors of development aid and at the forefront of coronavirus vaccine delivery and logistics.

She spoke on the importance of collaboration, inclusion and how countries could build partnerships when the six-month Expo opens later this year.

“This principle will underpin our gathering at Expo 2020 Dubai in October,” Ms Al Hashimy said.

“More than 200 nations and international organisations, and millions of visitors, will convene at a site that is effectively a city of the future, today.”

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