Alain Hubert participates in the Sustainable Development Seminar in Nagoya

Sustainable Development Seminar in Nagoya: The past 20 years we are confronted with the fact that our way of life is placing an increasing burden on the planet, making "sustainable development" a key challenge in this new century. Sustainable development is the idea of enabling all people to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life, without compromising the quality of life of future generations.

Governments, corporations and citizens all over the world are stakeholders of this livable future. A sustainable future requires a social progress recognizing the needs of everyone, an effective protection of the environment, a prudent use of natural resources and maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.

The Expo 2005 Aichi with its theme "Nature's Wisdom" is addressing the concerns for a livable future.

Also Belgium, with its central role in the European Union, is considering the evolutions of today's world for a sustainable world of tomorrow. During its seminar on 13 June 2005 the following topics will be addressed:

  • Ageing society & life sciences
  • Mobility for the future
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Ageing society & life sciences

Improving Quality of Life and Therapy Impact: The Life Sciences Solutions (workshop 1)

Life Sciences are increasingly present in everyday life. It changes our life style and alimentation habits. It brings us the consciousness that a well balanced lifestyle is source of both mental and physical health. Following the same principle that the human being welfare is central to our society, therapies -that are usually considered as physically exhausting - are becoming more accurate and have fewer undesired impacts.

  • What are the developments in life sciences that influence our life for the better?
  • How can we integrate mental and physical health in everyday life?
  • How does research contribute to improving therapies and welfare?

The life science workshop will tackle these issues with the ambition to reach some objectives for the future!

Mobility for the future (workshop 2)

Progressive globalization and economic growth have led to increasing mobility and motorization. Mobility is a basic human desire and an essential facilitator of economic development and quality of life. However the automotive industry is also associated with a variety of negative influences related to manufacturing processes and the use of motor vehicles. The automotive industry has committed itself to supply the market with ever safer and more environment friendly products and are continuously investing R&D resources in further product improvements and in developing radically new propulsion systems. Other important steps towards mobility for the future include noise reduction and reducing traffic congestion.

One of the major concerns of the automotive industry are carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Being directly correlated to the consumption of fossil fuels, CO2 emissions contribute to the greenhouse gas effect and thus have a global impact. Reducing harmful emissions also improves air quality, especially in urban areas. The industry is developing alternative energies in order to reduce the burden on the environment and the dependence on fossil fuels.

The automotive industry also continuously places a great importance on new creative concepts in product design and development. Increasing the productivity of product development, shortening of the design cycle and further improved selection of materials to reduce cost and weight are some of the issues driving engineering innovation and process efficiency. The automobile recycling rate is also closely watched by society, requiring the industry to improve recyclability in the earliest stages of vehicle design and development.

Intelligent Traffic Systems require on optimized interaction of different means of transport. The automobile manufacturers meet these challenges with technological innovations and joint actions. These include the internal use of information technology, increased co-operation with suppliers, as well as providing new telematics solutions for motor vehicles and the road infrastructure.

Managing Planet Earth (workshop 3)

Faced with growing evidence of the negative economic consequences of our deteriorating environment, Mr. Alain Hubert, the President of the International Polar Foundation (IPF) addresses global environmental issues, the consequences of a changing planet and adaptation to the effects of climate change, underlining the significance of "industrial ecology" in the development of an integrated model in which our improved understanding of the natural constraints of the system, and innovative new technology could work together to find global solutions to global problems, as set forth in his theme – Managing Planet Earth – Do We Have a Blueprint ?

His message is that all sectors of society are involved in this process of evolving towards the future: governments, scientists and researchers, industrialists and business communities, NGOs and the general public. This process of adaptation will present emerging opportunities for those with the vision, entrepreneurial flair and commitment to embrace new business challenges.

For over three decades since the 1972 UN-Conference on Human Environment – held in Stockholm with the theme "Only One Earth", the problem has been that poor public awareness, and perception of the problem, and the absence of appropriate infrastructure and cutting-edge innovative technology have hampered efforts to systematically introduce sustainable technologies.

The Workshop 3 also introduces two examples of inspiring innovative technologies which demonstrate the contribution of industry and the business communities to sustainable development – the innovative recycling technology called the "Vinyloop Process", and the IT-solution for Environment Monitoring and Control (i.e. for water and air), both welcome new breakthroughs in the task of "managing planet Earth".

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