The Expo Blog is a space for posts on the history, themes, legacies and experience of Expos. It includes articles from the BIE and external contributors.
Early childhood care and education offers pre-primary-school-age children the opportunity to develop emotional and social capabilities required to thrive in school, and increases their chances of reaching their full potential later in life. Yet only about one in five young children in low-income countries are enrolled in pre-school, and many working parents have little choice but to leave their young children with informal or inadequate care providers.
Around the world, the continuous growth of cities puts pressure on the environment and particularly on water resources; it is estimated that 80 per cent of wastewater is released into the environment without adequate treatment. With two thirds of the world’s population living in severe water scarcity at least one month per year, it is vital to manage water resources in a sustainable manner.
The production of construction materials has a significant negative environmental impact: cement alone accounts for between five and 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions (UNEP). In addition, plastic waste is an increasing global problem, oceans expected to contain more plastic than fish by 2050. With the world’s rising population, plastic waste and demand for construction materials are also set to grow.
Only nine per cent of all plastic ever produced has been recycled; 12 per cent has been incinerated and 79 per cent has ended up in landfill or the natural environment. Global production of plastic waste is about 300 million tonnes every year, almost equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. Plastic waste related to food and beverages – including plastic bottles, bags, straws, wrappers, cups and utensils – are a significant portion of this total.
When people are forced to flee their homes due to war, persecution or natural disaster, the provision of basic necessities is the utmost priority, but their welfare is also heavily dependent on the environment of where they settle. Deforestation, soil erosion and the depletion and pollution of water resources are among the most significant challenges that can be associated with the arrival and residency of internally displaced people and refuges.