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Expo Milano 2015 kicks off with aim of sustainable development

by Marzia De Giuli

MILAN, Italy, May 1 (Xinhua) — The Expo Milano 2015 world exposition kicked off here on Friday with the aim to give a concrete answer to the vital need for mankind to ensure enough healthy food for all while respecting nature.

“Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” the theme of Expo, will encourage international discussion through the events organized both inside and outside the exhibition space across the entire city, Expo Sole Commissioner of the Italian Government Giuseppe Sala said at the opening ceremony.

“The only way to build the future is embracing the world… Expo means looking at the world and trying to improve it all together,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said.

More than 140 countries and organizations will present solutions at their pavilions, of which a record number of 54 are self-built, and share know-how to meet the challenge of a planet that is experiencing strong contradictions.

“The Expo Milano 2015 will be a platform for building common grounds for present and future cooperation on this global challenge,” President of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) Ferdinand Nagy said.

In fact, Expo Milano 2015 starts from the consideration there are still about 870 million undernourished people in the world but on the other hand there are also those who die from disorders associated with excessive food intake, Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia stressed.

Thus at the center of the Italian six-month event there is the idea that for the first time in its centuries-old history, a world exposition is not simply an exhibition of human progress, but the opportunity to promote collaboration between nations, organizations and businesses to develop strategies to improve the quality of life and support the environment.

The exhibition area, which extends over an area of about one million square meters located northwest of Milan, will be a live stage from morning to night with thousands of performances, concerts, workshops and exhibitions.

The Expo Site will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time every day of the week to ensure visitors can experience all the cultural and dining offerings presented by all participants and partners.

Another of the most innovative projects introduced by Expo Milano 2015 are “clusters,” or shared exhibition areas which group countries devoid of self-built pavilions around themes that characterize specific regions such as the Bio-Mediterranean, islands and arid areas.

“We came from Venice, around 300 km from here. We decided to buy the tickets for the opening day as we wanted to enjoy this cultural experience from the beginning,” a man told Xinhua while visiting the site with his wife and three children on Friday.

“Our country of origin is Romania and we also have links with Moldavia,” the man, Igor Baranovschi, said. “The issue of a sustainable development is crucial for all countries of the world and we are happy to be here to share our views,” he added.

One of his children, Andreea, told Xinhua she was enthusiast to feel active part of a debate which is fundamental for her future and the future of all young people in the world. “The Earth’s resources are limited and we have to do everything possible to respect and treasure them,” the 15-year-old girl said.

Earlier this week, a charter of commitment to involve countries in pursuing the universal right to food and considered to be the legacy of Expo Milano 2015 to contribute to the United Nations (UN) Millennium Developments Goals, was unveiled in Milan.

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