DUBAI, UAE - Malaysia held a ground-breaking ceremony on Monday, to kick-start construction of it's pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai, which will launch in a year's time, on 20 October 2020.
Malaysia's Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change (MESTECC) is in charge of developing the "Rainforest Canopy" pavilion, which is being housed in the 4.38km2 World Expo site's Sustainability District.
Earlier this month, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad revealed that construction of "Malaysia's Net Zero Carbon Pavilion," has been designed to offset carbon from the pavilion and an important and conscious step towards ensuring that building the structure will be sustainable in the long term. The offsetting actions will be done in Malaysia through tree-planting initiatives which will also ensure that the nation will reforest more land areas, apart from the current programmes being conducted by various national agencies, including the ASEAN Framework for Climate Change agenda. Malaysia's current forest cover is at 55.3 percent, or 18.3 million hectares of its total land area, exceeding the country's initial commitment to the Rio Earth Summit, which was 50%.
"Malaysia aims to attract USD2.5 billion in potential trade and investments, capturing 1,000 business leads with 20 memorandums of understanding or partnership agreements signed in our six-month long participation at Expo 2020 Dubai," Dr. Mohd Nor Azman Hassan, Deputy Commissioner-General for Malaysia in Expo 2020 Dubai, who is also Deputy Secretary General, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTECC) said Monday. "Malaysia Pavilion provides excellent opportunities for world business communities and calls for business partnerships with our 200 organisations/businesses ranging from Sustainable Agriculture and Agricommodity to energy, STI, environment and climate change, culture, tourism and youth, e-commerce and ICT, trade and 4IR, women and community development," he said.
The country has been actively involved in the international expos since the first World Expo in London in 1851.
As a symbol of sustainability, Malaysia's Deputy Commissioner General, Dr. Mohd Nor Azman Hassan, presented on behalf of the Commissioner General, Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd Azhar Hj. Yahaya, a Rajah Brooke Butterfly frame to Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau. Rajah Brooke, a species of Malaysia's butterfly unique to Borneo is used in #MyButterflyEffect Campaign, resonating from Malaysia's participation in Expo Astana 2017 to Expo 2020 Dubai to encourage and empower Malaysia in inspiring a sustainable world for all.
The Rainforest Canopy Pavilion, detailing Malaysia's theme "Energising Sustainability", spans 1,234.05 square meters, comprising four segments - Energising Today, Energising Tomorrow, Energising Harmony and Energising Business. While "Energising Today", focuses on how agri-commodities have shaped the socio-economic development of the country; "Energising Tomorrow", showcases Malaysia's commitment to becoming a high-income nation, while reducing carbon emissions. In addition, "Energising Harmony", encapsulates how Malaysians of diverse cultures, traditions and races are working together towards the nation's progress; and "Energising Business," portrays the role of the private sector, state-owned enterprises and government initiatives in promoting sustainable development across all industries.
Designed by Hijjas Architects and Planners, based in Kuala Lumpur, 'The Rainforest Canopy' was inspired by Malaysia's oldest rainforests which include its prehistoric rainforest Taman Negara, in Pahang. Estimated to be over 130 million years old, Taman Negara is Malaysia's premier national park and one of the world's oldest rainforests.
The structure will use energy efficiency features including heli-fans to enhance airflow, self-shading and green landscaping with vertical gardens, solar panels and water harvesting. The pavilion itself will consume 20% less energy throughout the 6 months of operations. Materials used in building the structure will also be reused, once the pavilion is dismantled.
Malaysian builder Qube Integrated and local partner, RAQ Contracting LLC have been tasked with the construction, which is expected to be completed in July next year, allowing three months for it to be fitted out.
"Expo 2020 Dubai, themed 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future', the first World Expo ever held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, is an excellent opportunity for us to connect and share ideas with more than 190 participating countries and millions of visitors from across the globe," Malaysian Ambassador to the UAE, Mohd Tarid Bin Sufian said Monday.
Tuan Syed Ahmad Syed Mustafa, Acting CEO/COO of GreenTech Malaysia added: "Malaysia's participation at Expo 2020 Dubai is an important avenue for GreenTech Malaysia to take the lead in expanding our role in innovation and sustainability across all sectors through strategic initiatives at international platforms."