(MENAFN – Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI,18th 2020 (WAM) — The array of current emergencies impacting countries around the world were highlighted by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chief Executive Officer for the Alliances for Global Sustainability, at the Public Policy Forum 2020.
Drawing attention to the important role of cities in sustainable development, she said, “In the last few months alone we have seen two natural disasters and a major health epidemic sweep across three countries that account for almost fifty per cent of the world.
“Last summer, we saw almost 80,000 fires across the Brazilian Amazon- the highest number than at any point since 2010. The loss of biodiversity, impact on our shared climate and detrimental effect on the health of the countless tribes that call the Rainforest home has been monumental.
“Devastation has gripped southern Australia with wildfires destroying more than 2,000 homes, killing more than half a billion animals and causing destruction across 17.9 million acres of land. To put that into perspective, that”s the size of Belgium and Denmark combined.”
Sheikha Shamma highlighted that cities are key to the changes that the global community needs to make to address these pressing issues, saying that despite cities only occupying two percent of total land, they contribute to 70 percent of the global economy, account for over 60 percent of global energy consumption, are responsible for 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and generate 70 percent of global waste.
“It”s safe to say that the way in which cities are designed and developed can have a significant impact on the state of the world and therefore resilience must be a priority in building a foundation for increased social, economic and environmental strengths,” she said.
UAE PPF 2020 was the latest edition of the annual forum that was organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government, MBRSG, in collaboration with the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation, MBRCGI, under the theme ”Agile Government: Becoming Future-Proof.”