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Chemistry International

reprint from CI 1997, Vol. 19, No. 3 (July), pp. 127-128


World Conference on the Role of Advanced Materials in Sustainable Development
Seoul, Korea, 1-6 September 1996

More about
Chemrawn Conferences
Chemrawn IX - Seven key findings
Chemrawn IX - Recommendations for future action

The UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 alerted world-wide attention to the effective and wasteless use of materials and energy, zero emission and zero-waste production, and systematic recycling for sustainable development. These strategies are now having a significant impact on the environmental policies of governments and are bringing about change in industrial and economic structure as well as to international trade.

In Korea, the need for reconsideration of mass production at any price and for sustainable development to preserve the environment has been widely felt. CHEMRAWN IX was organized to offer a chance to examine industrial and economic activities of the present day world and to search for effective ways of achieving zero emission and zero waste production.

The CHEMRAWN IX World Conference was held at the Sheraton Walker Hill Hotel, Seoul, Korea, 1-6 September 1996. The Conference consisted of four sessions: Communication, Transportation, Construction and Energy. Academics, scientists and industrialists came to examine and analyze current production technologies and their impacts on the environment. Recycling methods, development of ecologically friendly materials, improving production processes, exchanging information and policy making were all discussed.

Organizing Committee Chairman Dr Min Che Chon gave the opening address, which was followed by congratulatory speeches by Dr A. Hayes, Chairman of the IUPAC CHEMRAWN Committee, and Prof. Saburo Nagakura, President of the Kanagawa Academy of Science & Technology, welcoming remarks by Prof. Sang Chul Shim, President of the Korean Chemical Society, and a Future Actions Committee report by Prof. Young Bok Chae, Chairman of the CHEMRAWN IX Future Actions Committee.

Among the distinguished lecturers were Sir John Meurig Thomas of the Royal Institute of Great Britain and Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, UK, who lectured on 'The Crucial Role of Catalysis in Sustainable Development'; President Junichi Nishizawa of Tohoku University, Japan, who lectured on 'Needs and Seeds for Revolutionary Technology Towards Sustainable Society; the former IUPAC President Prof. C.N.R. Rao of the Advanced Scientific Research & Indian Institute of Science, who lectured on 'The Impact of New Emerging Areas of Solid State Science on the Development of Advanced Materials: Three Case Studies'; and President Charles O. Holliday of DuPont Asia Pacific, who talked about 'Policy and Practical Issues in Sustainable Development: an Industrial Perspective on Opportunities and Responsibilities'.

Among speakers from Korea, President Chung Wook Suh of Korea Mobile Telecommunication talked about 'Wireless Telecommunications in Korea'; Vice-President Sang Bok Hong of Pohang Steel Corporation spoke about 'The Korean Steel Industry and Development'; Dr Han Jung Kim, Director of the Research Institute, Korea Electricity Corporation, talked about 'Issues in Materials Research for Electric Power Generation and Distribution–Perspective of Korea Electric Power Research Institute'; Vice-President Chong Gil Lee of Samsung Electronics talked about 'The Present and Future of the Korean Semiconductor Industry'; and Dr Dae Un Lee, Director of the Research Institute, Hyundai Automobile Corporation, spoke about 'The Automobile Industry of Korea and Sustainable Development'. Perspectives and Recommendations, a report produced by the Future Actions Committee (FAC) in conjunction with all CHEMRAWN conferences, is distributed to all leaders and policy makers in world politics, economics, science and industry, for their use and reference. The CHEMRAWN IX Perspectives and Recommendations, now available from the IUPAC Secretariat at Oxford, identifies seven key findings and makes six recommendations for future actions, as outlined on Dr Min Che Chon

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Seven key findings

1. There is a need for increased understanding and use of life-cycle assessments in making decisions on materials and technologies supporting the objectives of sustainable development.

2. Ways to recycle complex manufactured goods containing advanced materials need to be developed. Designing such goods for recycling may be a top priority.

3. The importance of conservation of and development of adequate water supplies for agriculture and human consumption cannot be underestimated. Shortages will be the source of major conflicts in the future.

4. There are opportunities in the upgrading of locally available materials with small amounts of other materials or processing technologies from outside the region.

5. The opportunities to improve many traditional materials (steel, cement...) are consistent with the goals of sustainable development.

6. A number of advances in energy production can contribute to sustainable development.

7. Catalysis research offers the potential for routes to sustainable production techniques.

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Six key recommendations for future action

The Future Actions Committee (FAC) made the following six key recommendations for future action:

1. We should create a 'materials for sustainable development' research and development agenda to guide national funding agencies.

Action: A team from the FAC will develop a special message and background details from the President of IUPAC to National Adhering Organizations urging that the local organizations approach funding agencies with these priorities. The FAC team will also seek other ways to communicate this message (for example, develop a research agenda to take to a funding agency; develop a research partnership between organizations in developed and developing countries; discuss with the Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNDP and the International Center for Evaluation of Technology. FAC team 1: C.N.R. Rao, P.M. Norling, J. Nishizawa, S.J. Park, A. Hayes, Y.B. Chae and F. Kuznetsov.

2. The FAC supports the need to contribute to the ready transfer of environmental technologies across industries, across nations and across public/private sectors; to increase the focus from control and remediation technologies to avoidance and resource conservation.

Action: To include urging from the IUPAC President as in Recommendation 1. FAC team 1.

3. We urge the protection of Intellectual Property Rights in a way that acts as an important driver for the introduction of advanced material and process technologies that can further sustainable development rather than as a hindrance to increased collaboration for sustainable development.

Action: FAC Team 1 will include this issue in the letter to be developed under Recommendation 1.

4. We plan to develop a programme of technical education related to sustainable development that can be included in future CHEMRAWN conferences.

Action: Follow up in CHEMRAWN X and propose supporting educational efforts of material societies, UNESCO and UNIDO. FAC team 2: The CHEMRAWN X Organizing Committee and selected members of the CHEMRAWN Committee: R. Pariser, P. Moyna and R. Hamelin.

5. We should urge experts to define (in writing) the needs and opportunities in advanced materials to build a better awareness amongst the public of the contributions of chemistry and advanced materials to our society and to sustainable development.

Action: An FAC team will explore a series of IUPAC monographs 'Chemistry in the 21st Century' using materials from papers presented at CHEMRAWN IX. There is also the possibility of a column or articles in selected magazines or periodicals. FAC team 3: Y.B. Chae, Y.S. Sohn, J.M. Thomas, F.A. Kuznetsov and M.C. Chon.

6. We will urge that where awards are given, special recognition be given to advances in developing materials that contribute to sustainable development.

Action: The FAC will develop a plan to: (i) approach existing award groups and make nominations; (ii) propose that organizations establish such awards; (iii) raise awareness within IUPAC (and other groups) of the existence of such awards. FAC team 4: K. Taylor, J. Economy and A. Tcheknavorian-Asenbauer.

Min Che Chon
Chairman of the Organizing Committee

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Copies of the CHEMRAWN IX: Technical Proceedings may be ordered from the Korean Chemical Society, 703 Korea Science & Technology Center, 635-4 Yeogsam-Dong, Kangnam-Gu, Seoul 135-703, Korea.

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