In addressing the different perspective towards developing a common understanding of sustainable chemistry, the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) organised the first stakeholder’s forum in Bonn, Germany during June 20-21, 2019. The forum had over 80 participants from Industry, academia, government, United Nations, Organisation for Economic co-operation and Development (OECD) and Non-governmental organisation representing all the continents of the world. The Nigerian delegate was led by Distinguished Professor Babajide Alo from the University of Lagos and included the following, Dr. Edu Inam, University of Uyo; Dr. Samson Alayande, Technical University; Mr. Olanrewaju Fatai, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja and Dr. Chukwuemka Isanbor, University of Lagos.
In his welcome speech, the Managing Director, ISC3, Dr Friedrich Barth explained the mission of ISC3 to include promoting transformation towards sustainable chemistry worldwide, supporting sustainable chemistry innovation as a key contribution to sustainable development. Supporting new, intelligent solutions and business models and supporting the Strategic Approach to International on Chemicals Management (SAICM) agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). He highlighted the major activities of the centre under five thematic areas that includes Collaboration (international dialogue, collaborative foresight and collaborative projects; Innovation (start-up services and fund, start-up assessment, start-up award); Education (international school, summer school, capacity building and training), Information (events and trade fairs, social media activities and online atlas) and Research (International Network, Monitoring of trends and scientific conferences).
The first stakeholder’s forum was for the invited participants to voice out their expectations towards the emerging concept and discuss elements and criteria of a “Common Understanding of Sustainable Chemistry”. Participants were given the opportunity to pitch their sustainable chemistry ideas.
L-R: Professor Babajide Alo, Dr. Edu Inam, Dr. Samson Ayalande and Mr. Olanrewaju Fatai
It was on this note, that Dr. Inam pitched the ICEESR UNIUYO project as a start-up innovation to drive sustainable chemistry in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa in general. The project is the first of its kind in Africa with the goal of creating enabling research and innovation environment to commercialise sustainable solutions especially in the hydrocarbon contaminated Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. In Dr, Inam’s perspective Sustainable Chemistry is when the Black fields in the Niger Delta is transformed to the green fields provided by Nature. Sustainable Chemistry is about maximizing the benefits to societies and at the same time minimising the harm to human health and environment. It creates new economic opportunities and benefits for our societies and is particularly relevant for the sustainable development of industries in developing countries and emerging economies. In the coming decade, Sustainable chemistry innovation will be a key solution provider for the global energy, agriculture, mobility, water and urbanisation challenges as well as for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement endorsed by global leaders as response to the threat of climate change. For, Akwa Ibom state, Sustainable Chemistry will support the industrialization agenda of the Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration in creating new green businesses as well as ensure all sectors interacting with chemicals are protecting human health, the environment, bio-diversity, resources and climate. It is worth to note that in the new Sustainable Chemistry global agenda, ICEESR UNIUYO is already positioning itself to drive this global agenda in Africa. The project continues to receive funding support from Nigerians and Institutions including Mr. Udom Inoyo, Executive Vice Chairman, Exxon Mobil, the International Environmental Research Institute, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, United Kingdom among others.
ISC3 is very interested in supporting ICEESR, UNIUYO to become the first Sustainable Chemistry innovation hub in Africa. ICEESR, UNIUYO team is excited to be working with ISC3 in the areas of Education, Innovation, Research and Information to ensure Africa is not left behind in the new world concept of Sustainable Chemistry. We are thankful to ISC3 for inviting the Director, Dr. Edu Inam, to be part of the global dialogue.
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