The Second International Conference on Environmental and Economic Impact on Sustainable Development took place in Portonovo, Conero National Park near Ancona, organised by the Politecnica University of Le Marche, Italy and the Wessex Institute, UK.
The meeting was chaired by Prof Giorgio Passerini of the Politecnica University of Le Marche and Prof Carlos A Brebbia, Director of the Wessex Institute.
The conference provided an international forum to discuss the most serious problems affecting sustainable development. It considered the impact of economic constraints on the environment, taking into account the social aspects as well as the overuse of natural resources. Uncontrolled development can also result in damage to the environment in terms of the release of toxic substances and hazardous waste.
Environmental Impact should not always be associated with negative effects as many changes have shaped present day nature and life, and some of those which are man made have, in many cases, represented considerable enhancements. It is important to estimate the true extent of benefits or drawbacks of any action in order to find appropriate suitable solutions. The aim of the conference was to arrive at constructive and progressive approaches to ensure sustainability. Fundamental to these concepts is the analysis of the inherent risks and the development of appropriate strategies.
The Conference opened in the Aula Magna of the Politenic University of Le Marche which is housed in a beautiful heritage building in the centre of Ancona. The Rector of the University, Prof Sauro Longhi, opened the proceedings, welcoming the delegates and pointing out the international dimension of the meeting with delegates from nearly 50 different countries. This was followed by welcoming addresses by the Dean of Engineering, Prof Dario Amodio and the Head of the Industrial Engineering Department, Prof Fabio Polonara, the latter explained the interest of his Department in the environmental problems discussed during the Conference.
Prof Carlos A Brebbia, Director of Wessex Institute, then referred to the function of these conferences within the objectives of WIT and mentioned that its collaboration with the University of Le Marche gave rise to a series of different meetings held in Ancona and an interchange of researchers which continues to develop, particularly now that Prof Passerini sits on the Board of Directors of the Institute. WIT Press – Carlos said – has published several books (in addition to conference proceedings) authored by researchers at the University of Le Marche.
The final remarks were down to Prof Passerini who stressed the commitment of his group to international collaboration.
Special SessionFollowing the opening remarks a special session was held in the Aula Magna. It comprised several keynote addresses:
- “Reputed asset and environmental liability”, by Rolf Sjöblom, Luleå University of Technology and Tekedo AB, Sweden
- “Sustainable energy production”, by Giuseppe Genon, Politecnic University of Torino, Italy.
- “Genetically modified food and its impact on the environment”, by Shahla Wunderlich, Montclair State University, USA.
- “Optimal management of renewable and fossil fuel energy systems in a smart community”, by Fabio Polonara, Politecnica University of Le Marche, Italy.
- “The recent trend of e-waste recycling and rare metal recovery in Japan”, by Hideaki Itoh, Nagoya University and Raremetal Recovery Institute, Japan.
- “Tropospheric ozone behaviour as a function of precursor emissions”, by Giorgio Passerini, Politecnica University of Le Marche, Italy.
- “Environmental impact of the Energía Costa Azul LNG terminal at Ensenada, BC, México”, by Margarito Quintero-Núñez, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Mexico
- “Cleaner air in seaport container terminals: assessing fuels”, by Jaap Vleugel, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.
- “The environmental impact of human activities on the Mexican coast of the Gulf of Mexico: review of status and trends” by Jorge Benitez-Torres, Epomex Institute, Mexico.
- “Treatment of acidic mine waters containing metals: past practices and new approaches” by Roger Olsen, CDM Smith, USA.
- “Choice of techniques revegetation of degraded areas using assessment of environmental damage in the Amazon forest, Brazil” by Admilson Ribeiro, UNESP, Brazil.
Conference SessionsThe rest of the presentations at the conference were grouped in a series of sessions under the following headings:
- Environmental assessment
- Sustainable cities
- Environmental policies
- Economic impact
- Energy and the environment
- Environmental health risk
- Waste management
Conference DinnerThe Conference banquet took place in the unique setting of a Napoleonic Fort, a heritage structure on the sea front, now converted into a hotel with an excellent restaurant. The Fort, which was built at the time of the Napoleonic wars to protect Ancona from a possible attack by the English Navy, has now been carefully restored.
The delegates were welcomed on the terrace from where they could see the sun setting behind the surrounding cliffs, and proceeded to a meal consisting of a series of excellent regional dishes, accompanied by the renowned wines of Le Marche.
Carlos and Giorgio proposed a toast to thank the participants for having attended the conference and wishing for the success of the international contacts and friendships that have developed during the meeting. They stressed the importance of international collaboration and interdisciplinary work.
The evening was a great success and everybody was most appreciative of the unique setting and the excellence of the cuisine.
International Scientific Advisory Committee DinnerThe members of the International Scientific Advisory Committee met over dinner to celebrate the success of the conference. Carlos also thanked them all in the name of the organisers for the work they had done in reviewing abstracts and papers. He also wanted to have their feedback regarding new topics and possible locations for 2016 when Environmental Impact will be reconvened, as the meeting continues to attract good quality presentations and excellent discussions. The general feeling from the conference participants was most positive.
Conference ProceedingsThe proceedings Environmental Impact 2014 – Environmental Impact II, 768pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-762-9; eISBN: 978-1-84564-763-6) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at www.witpress.com or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 181 of WIT Transactions on the Ecology and the Environment (ISSN: 1746-448X, Digital ISSN 1743-3541). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com