World Water Day at Expo 2020 Dubai: Slovakia attracts attention with unique ocean cleaning project
Water is the most valuable resource on the planet: it’s essential for a healthy life, and the functioning of the economy and society as a whole. At the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, Slovakia presented itself as a water power with extensive water resources and a country with one of the largest drinking water reserves in Europe.
We presented water and sustainability innovations to an international audience, with a great response to 8th Continent – the award-winning ocean research station and purifier designed by young Slovak architect Lenka Petráková. She is personally part of the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic (MŽP SR)’s delegation. During Water Week, innovative Slovak green sector start-up companies were also presented at the Slovak Pavilion under the auspices of the business mission of the Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic (MIRRI SR).
On the occasion of the water-focused mission, the Minister of the Environment of the Slovak Republic Ján Budaj and the MŽP SR delegation attended the Slovak Pavilion. There they prepared a thematic professional programme with MIRRI SR.
The official programme of the final mission focused on water was ceremoniously opened by the Minister of the Environment Ján Budaj, together with the General Commissioner of the Slovak exposition Miroslava Valovičová, during a tour of the Slovak Pavilion. The world exhibition was accompanied by a delegation, which included the MŽP SR State Secretary Juraj Smatana, the Ambassador of Slovakia to the UAE Michal Kováč, experts, students, and civic activists. During the water-focused mission, the Minister participated in international meetings and bilateral negotiations in order to open important discussions on the protection of water resources and natural ecosystems.
The Ministry of the Environment, which is organizing its second mission to the Expo, aims to inspire state officials, entrepreneurs, and individuals this week and encourage them to contribute to the protection of water and nature, and also develop the economy and business activities in accordance with sustainability.
“During the past six months of the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, which focuses primarily on sustainability
and mobility, we have been increasingly confident that Slovakia is an innovative country and Slovak entrepreneurs can navigate state-of-the-art technologies,” said Minister Budaj.
The MŽP delegation attended the Water Business Forum, where world leaders discussed water-related business opportunities and cutting-edge technologies, with a focus on protecting the world’s most precious resource.
“Focusing on sustainable and renewable energy sources is more important than ever in today’s alarming geopolitical situation. That’s why we thank everyone who came to discuss what a sustainable water policy means for Slovakia, and how Slovak innovators can contribute to the global water economy and ecological future,”said Miroslava Valovičová, Commissioner General of the Slovak Expo 2020 Dubai.
At the Sustainable Talks panel discussion, in addition to the architect Lenka Petráková and her unique
8th Continent ocean cleaning project, companies such as driving.digital, Simplicity, and Sensoneo also presented their innovative technologies. They offer solutions to global environmental problems in areas such as sustainability, ocean cleaning, waste management, and urbanization. Slovenský vodohospodársky podnik š.p. and Vodohospodárska výstavba š.p. presented water transport solutions based on green hydrogen propulsion.
“The largest garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean is about 28 times the size of Slovakia. And all the estimated waste below the water surface could be up to 64 times the size of Slovakia. Plastics comprise the majority of this garbage. These greatly endanger the life and existence of marine animals and ecosystems. I strongly believe that the dialogue 8th Continent has initiated will continue. In so doing, it will motivate us to clean up the oceans and reduce plastic use,”said Lenka Petráková, architect and creator of the 8th Continent project.
After the panel discussion, Slovak entrepreneurs and members of the delegation of the MŽP SR and MIRRI SR attended a networking business cocktail organized by the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO). There they could engage in dialogue to address global issues, while also getting new contacts and exploring potential business partnerships.
MIRRI SR also contributed to the Water Week international dialogue by presenting Slovak natural resources at the SLOVAKIA TRAVEL exhibition. This highlighted Slovakia as a water power with numerous lakes, rivers and springs, and as a country with one of the largest drinking water supplies in Europe. These are at risk unless we take steps to conserve natural resources. On the occasion of Water Week, a MŽP SR delegation visited the Pavilions of Ukraine, Japan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia; and established new diplomatic relations that it also plans to continue developing after the World Expo.