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Milan Expo 2015 signs on Poland, Libya

World's Fair nears 140 milestone

06 December, 14:27
Milan Expo 2015 signs on Poland, Libya (By Emily Backus) (ANSA) - Milan, December 6 - Poland has become the latest country to sign on to participate in Milan Expo 2015, pushing the list of signatories closer to the 140 milestone. ''We have long prepared for this decision,'' Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said at a joint press conference with Italian Premier Enrico Letta after a bilateral meeting in Warsaw Thursday.

''It was a decision that we were waiting for. Poland is an important country that can hold its own on the Expo theme,'' commented Letta.

Also called the World's Fair, Milan Expo 2015 will be about food security and sustainable practices under the theme ''Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life''.

Poland was the 139th participant to sign on to the food-themed universal exposition, coming just a week after Libya and ratcheting anticipation of reaching a new milestone.

''In the next few days we will announce the 140th country to adhere to Milan Expo 2015,'' declared Expo Commissioner Giuseppe Sala on Thursday during a presentation of 'Expo Village', which will become the temporary home for participant delegations. Sala said the intensity of participation is exceeding expectations so that Expo is having to make contingency plans for housing staff overflows.

''A number of countries will be moving with numerous employees. Germany, for example, will bring 450 staff, mostly young people, to bring their pavillion to life every single day for six months, from 8:00 to 24:00,'' explained Sala. ''That's why the Expo Village...may not be sufficient,'' Sala continued, adding that the facility near the Expo site is designed to host 1,200-1,500 people. ''We must also think up other solutions, like discount deals with three and four-star hotels". On Friday, Sala and Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini were scheduled to announce the Expo's partnership with the Italy-based movement devoted to ethical, sustainable food.

Slow Food has 100,000 members in 1,300 chapters around the world, according to its website.

Slow Food will fill 3,500 square meters of exhibition space at Milan Expo 2015, featuring displays on food biodiversity, relations between animals and their caretakers, dairy and bread products, and Slow Food's project to spread indigenous, traditional farming practices throughout Africa.

Slow Food is working with local communities in 27 of Africa's 58 countries to create vegetable gardens in schools to teach rising generations how to grow their own food without pesticides or other harmful practices that undermine autonomy.

''It is a great tool for combatting malnutrition and poverty,'' said Slow Food spokesperson Paola Nano.

Earlier this week, Israel unveiled a futuristic take on food security and local identity when it presented plans for its Expo pavilion, called Fields of Tomorrow, at the end of a bilateral meeting with Italy in Rome on Monday.

''It will show the true character of Israel, and not the one that is usually portrayed in the press. It will showcase futuristic solutions, in line with the strong innovative drive that characterizes our country,'' Israeli World Expo Commissioner Elazar Cohen told ANSA in an interview .

Half of the 2,400-square-meter, 11-million-euro pavilion designed by architect David Knafo will be entirely green, ''in honor of the Expo themes of agriculture, sustainability, and food'', Cohen said.

''Fields of Tomorrow is designed to completely envelop the visitor. There will be a screening of a film using three-dimensional technology, that will show the story of three generations of one family, from the period of pre-Israel Palestine to today, and their progressive development of innovative methods of farming''.

Israel has come up with new methods that have had an impact around the world, such as ''drop by drop irrigation'', Cohen pointed out. Such technology, introduced by Israeli companies such as as Kaiima, has raised productivity by 50%.

The pavilion will also showcase Israeli cuisine, which springs from ''the fusion of the multiple Jewish migrations that make up Israel today: from Morocco to Iran, from Russia to Poland''.

Space will also be given to Italian Jewish cuisine - Roman Jewish cooking in particular.

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