Rapid global urbanization arising from a population boom and the migration of rural dwellers to cities across the world is causing challenges and presenting opportunities to policymakers and businesses worldwide.
Cities across the globe are responding to this wave of urbanism by aggressively promoting solutions for sustainable development from improving transport, waste management and water systems, to adopting innovative approaches to reducing pollution and congestion.
Experts believe that while there are many challenges facing cities, urbanization also presents enormous opportunities for transforming the world’s infrastructure with innovative thinking and efficient technology.
Professor C.S.Kiang, chairman of the Sustainable Development Technology Foundation, a China-based non-profit, told Eco-Business in a recent interview: “The world is at a defining moment. The interdependency of human beings with each other, the environment as well as the society are very important elements for survival…We have to innovate, communicate, respect cultural diversity and collaborate in order to ensure sustainable cities.”
Professor Kiang said China, for instance, is embracing the concept of “new urbanism” where urban planners are taking an integrated approach to environmental sustainability, economic efficiency and human prosperity in cities.
These issues and more will be discussed at an upcoming conference on sustainable development in Macau from Mar 21 to 23, where Prof Kiang will be speaking.
The event, the sixth edition of the Macao International Environmental Cooperation Forum & Exhibition (MIECF 2013), brings together government leaders and business executives in a high-powered platform that promotes solutions for a low carbon future and sustainable urban development for cities.
As the host of the event, which this year has the theme “Sustainable Cities—The Way Towards a Green Future”, the government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) is seeking to promote sustainability through a series of green activities, including forums and seminars, an exhibition, business matching, among others.
The event is organized by Koelnmesse, one of the world’s largest trade fair companies. This year’s MIECF includes a green forum in which environmental protection experts, scholars and professionals will share their insights on a variety of environmental issues.
There will also be a Green Exhibition which will promote technology transfer and co-operation between environmental protection industry operators in Macao, the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region and the international market.
Apart from Professor Kiang, another keynote speaker at the Green Forum is Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Sachs also serves as the Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Both Professors will share their insights on the challenges facing cities who want to develop sustainably.
“Over the past few years, we have witnessed MIECF evolving and becoming an important platform for the Pan-Pearl River Delta and the international environmental industry. Both the international nature and variety of exhibitors and their product offerings have grown,” said a Koelnmesse spokesperson. “Most local Macau industry players have recognized MIECF as the business platform for them to launch their products, organize concurrent events and meet up with their clients.”
The event is attracting a growing number of international visitors, added the firm. Last year, there were more than 8,000 visitors compared to 2,000 visitors at its inception in 2008. There were 398 exhibitors from 28 countries at last year’s event.
“We will continue to work very closely with regional government bodies and industry associations to jointly build sustainable and low carbon cities, which will in turn drive Macao’s sustainable development. To achieve that, we will continue to organise and professionalize the show as an business platform,” said the spokesperson.
Aside from the presentations and discussions during the three-days event, forum participants will also have an opportunity to visit the Ecological Zone of Cotai which the government of Macao is promoting as an eco-tourism destination.
At the Green Forum, speakers to discuss energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building, sustainable mobility, waste and water management, financing and policies.
Some other MIECF highlights:
- A “Green Matching” service where exhibitors are able to access global enterprises using a matching service which helps them to promote their products and services and find suitable partners.
- Green Hotel Buyers’ Corner, in which the largest hotels in Macao are matched up with green suppliers, remains popular with business delegates.
- A ‘Green Showcase’ which will focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building, green transport, waste and water management solutions and environmental services.
- A ‘Green Public Day’ will also be held on the last day of the event, which includes a ‘Green Bazaar’ that will feature environmental-friendly products as a means to raise public awareness and encourage participation.
- Green Workshops on energy efficiency financing, and water and wastewater management. The workshops will feature experts such as Thomas K. Dreessen, chairman and chief executive of the Energy Efficiency Project Investment Company Limited, a Hong Kong-based investment firm , and John Poon, Principal Technologist, Water Business Group CH2M HILL, an Australia-based engineer-procure-construct company.
For more information on MIECF and to register, please click here.