Expo Live: Grassroots climate solutions from around world to pitch for funding

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Forty-three short-listed social enterprises from 37 countries began presenting their innovative solutions to climate-related challenges in the hope of receiving backing from the Expo Live Innovation Program at Expo City Dubai on Wednesday.

The grassroots organizations from Tonga to Sierra Leone, Finland to French Polynesia, have been chosen from more than 1,200 applications from 123 countries. They will present ideas spanning biodiversity and ocean restoration, air quality, transport and carbon, as well as food security, waste, energy, water, finance, and vulnerable communities to the three-day pitching event running till May 12.

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Expo Live was initiated under Expo 2020 Dubai and continues as part of Expo City Dubai, helping innovators from around the world develop solutions to pressing challenges and backing projects that improve people’s lives or preserve the planet.

Following interviews and presentations to Expo Live’s panel of expert judges, successful projects will receive access to funding, technical guidance, support and partnership opportunities, along with the prospect of showcasing their solutions at the COP28 climate conference, which Expo City Dubai will host from November 30 to December 12.

Yousuf Caires, Executive Director, Expo Live Innovation Program, said: “The volume and calibre of the environmental, conservation and climate solutions we have seen from around the world clearly demonstrates the global community possesses the creativity and innovation to address the urgent issue of climate change.

“Every idea that has made it through to this final stage has the power to improve people’s lives and have a tangible, positive impact on the future of our planet. We are looking forward to hearing more about their inspiring solutions, to welcoming the selected projects to our community of Global Innovators, and to proudly sharing these ideas with climate decision-makers from around the world when we host COP28 later this year.”

Pitching entrepreneurs include a UAE-based organization that is turning carbon dioxide into rock; an Indian company producing a carbon-negative building material known as ‘Agrocrete’; a Burundi-based venture that is transforming banana waste into eco-friendly packaging; and a women-led, regenerative organic ‘Turba Farm’ in Lebanon capable of producing three times more food while mitigating climate change.

To date and across five cycles, Expo Live has supported 140 Global Innovators from 76 countries, with around one-third related to sustainability issues. The program has positively impacted 5.8 million people worldwide, restoring 36 million hectares of land, offsetting 190,000 tonnes of CO2, and saving 6.3 million liters of water.

In line with the UAE’s ‘Year of Sustainability’ in 2023 and a reflection Expo City Dubai’s long-term commitment to deliver positive social, economic and environmental change, this sixth edition launched in February and continues Expo Live’s purpose to provide an invaluable platform for accelerating entrepreneurial spirit, demonstrating the power of collaboration and innovation to further human progress.

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