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.
About half of the wood cut down every year around the world is used to produce energy, mostly as fuel for cooking and heating. While this significant and unsustainable use of wood fuel perpetuates deforestation and contributions towards carbon emissions, the livelihoods and survival of many of the world’s poorest people relies on such energy, with one third of the global population dependent on wood or charcoal for cooking.
Around the world, almost half of all deaths in children aged under five are caused by poor nutrition. Chronic malnutrition in children stunts the development of the brain and body, increasing the likelihood of illness and negatively affecting the child's chances of staying in education – leading to lower earnings and ultimately trapping people in a cycle of poverty.
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.