Endless opportunities – GulfToday

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Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri tours the Panama Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, toured the Panama Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, themed ‘An introduction to the endless opportunities in Panama’.

Any Lam Chong, Director of the Panama Pavilion, welcomed Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri and accompanied her on the tour.

Through a virtual reality cruise on the iconic Panama Canal, the Minister experienced a journey across the man-made wonder that links the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and connects the two Americas to the rest of the world. As a major water passage for international maritime trade, the Panama Canal provides an ideal gateway for UAE companies to Latin America.

The Minister discussed topics related to environmental protection with officials in charge of the Panama Pavilion. They briefed her on the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), in which it commits to reducing its energy sector emissions by 11.5 per cent by 2030 and 24 per cent by 2050 compared to business as usual.

These reductions represent savings of 10 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent accumulated between 2022-2030 and 60 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent accumulated between 2022-2050.

Moreover, Panama plans to restore 50,000 hectares of national forests, which will contribute to absorbing around 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050.

Almheiri learned about the nature-based solutions that Panama leverages to address climate change, and the country’s efforts to protect the environment in the Panama Canal Watershed and coastal and marine areas.

The discussion also involved marine waste management.

Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri praised the participation of Ramón E Martínez de la Guardia, Panama’s Minister of Commerce and Industries, and Erika Mouynes, Panama’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Visions and Journeys, a series of inspirational talks tackling gender stereotypes and presenting ideas for a gender-equal future at the Women’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) was established in February 2006 as the Ministry of Environment and Water. Under its redefined scope, the ministry has taken on a dual mandate.

On the national level, it aims to strengthen the UAE’s efforts in preserving the environment and promoting food diversity in accordance with the nation’s aspiration to emerge as a key benchmark for sustainable development.

On the global level, MOCCAE joins international stakeholders in combating climate change and profiles the UAE’s path-breaking achievements in the sector at thought leadership platforms worldwide.

Earlier on Thursday Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, delivered a keynote speech at the ABB Seminar on Innovation and Learning for Sustainable Solutions at the Swedish Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Co-hosted by the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland and the Swedish-Swiss multinational corporation ABB, the high-level event drew the participation of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, along with regional officials and Swiss and Swedish government representatives.

These included Anna Hallberg, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs, Liselott Andersson, Ambassador of Sweden to the UAE, Massimo Baggi, Ambassador of Switzerland to the UAE and Bahrain, and Jan Thesleff, Commissioner-General at the Committee for Sweden’s Participation at Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Almheiri said, “From climate change and water scarcity to air pollution and waste management, every challenge can be transformed into an innovation-led opportunity that unlocks substantial socio-economic and environmental benefits. However, to realise these benefits, we need to scale innovation ecosystems that involve multiple stakeholders at national, regional, and global levels. Because facing global challenges calls for global action and collaboration, sharing ideas and best practices, and basically learning from each other.”

She added, “We in the UAE believe in the instrumental role of innovation and technology in building a sustainable future. Our country ranks first regionally and 33rd out of 132 nations in the Global Innovation Index 2021.”

The Minister said, “We are using innovation to tackle every aspect of the climate crisis. One of the prime examples is the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate or AIM for Climate. This global initiative, led by the UAE and the US, seeks to mobilise investments in agricultural innovation and R&D that are critical to mitigating climate change and feeding the world’s growing population. With 35 member countries and four billion US dollars’ worth of increased investments to date, AIM for Climate is the kind of bold move we need to leverage innovation on a global scale to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

She noted that in the fight against climate change, developing and adopting emerging technologies to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency is the decisive factor for success.

She said, “In our drive to reach net zero by 2050, we will harness the combined expertise of our academic institutions and major industrial players to create practical innovative solutions that lower the carbon footprint of every sector.”

Sichuan Day AT China Pavilion: The “Sichuan Day” of the China Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Dec.15, 2021, was officially inaugurated. Sponsored by the Sichuan Provincial People’s Government of China, the event was successfully held simultaneously in Dubai, UAE, and Chengdu of Sichuan, China, both online and offline.

The opening ceremony was attended and addressed by Zhang Shenfeng, Commissioner General of China Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and Vice Chairman of CCPIT, Li Yunze, Vice Governor of Sichuan Provincial People’s Government, Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, the UAE Ambassador to China, Li Xuhang, Consul General of China in Dubai, Hamad Buamim, Chairman of World Chambers Federation and President of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI).

Officials from the Consulate General of Nepal, Republic of Korea and other countries in Sichuan, representatives of foreign business associations in China, heads of relevant government departments and business associations of the UAE, representatives of Sichuan and UAE enterprises and media all participated in this event, in Chengdu and Dubai.

At the opening ceremony, an unveiling of the Sichuan Chamber of International Commerce Representative Office in the UAE was held, along with the signing ceremony of 3 Cooperation Agreements between the Sichuan Chamber of International Commerce Middle East Market Professional Committee and Overseas Chinese Association in the UAE, Sichuan Chamber of International Commerce and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Representative Office in China, Huaheng Xintian Chengdu Industrial Co, Ltd. and UAE Bumur Commodities Co, Ltd.

Furthermore, several side events such as city promotions for Chengdu and Meishan in Sichuan Province, Sichuan special cultural shows, live connection to China Conservation and Research centre for Giant Pandas, Sanxingdui Museum and other famous sites were held, which were all aimed at showing an open, inclusive, cooperative and innovative Sichuan from multiple perspectives.

Other relevant events including Sichuan-Chongqing Competitive Industries Exhibition, Sichuan Culture and Tourism Week, and “Children’s Yearning for Expo” Painting Exhibition was held at the same time. Through the assistance of technology, culture, economic and trade, with the Expo platform to display the image of Sichuan, this event tells the success story of Sichuan, highlight the charm of Sichuan, and create a card of the city, vividly showing the real, stereoscopic and comprehensive Sichuan to the world.

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