SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  8 November 2012
Volume 13 Issue 11

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Learning from History and Advancing Science to Build a Safer and Sustainable Environment: A Report on the SETAC Asia/Pacific Meeting in Kumamoto, Japan

Koji Arizono, President, SETAC Asia/Pacific

Asia Pacific meeting
Meeting attendees gather at poster social

The SETAC Asia/Pacific (SAP) meeting was successfully held from 24–27 September 2012 in Kumamoto, Japan. Approximately 450 participants from 22 countries attended the conference, and nearly 400 presentations were made during the meeting. The Kumamoto meeting’s theme was "Learning from History and Advancing Science to Build a Safer and Sustainable Environment." Under this theme, the meeting successfully covered an array of topics including air pollution and marine and coastal pollution; water, soils and remediation; persistent organic pollutants, emerging contaminants and human health; environmental and analytical chemistry; ecotoxicology, risk assessment and regulation; and other environmental issues.

On behalf of the meeting organizing committee, I would like to give special thanks to a number of individuals and groups who contributed to the success of this meeting:

  • Professor Kitano (Meiji Univ.), who gave a keynote lecture, "Discussions at POPs Review Committee (POPRC) in the Last Seven Meetings."
  • Professor Iguchi (NIBB) who also delivered a keynote lecture, "Establishment of Transactivation Assays Using Hormone Receptors from Various Animal Species for Screening of Environmental Chemicals."
  • Professor Iwata (CEMES Ehime Univ.), who gave an educational lecture, "Development of Ecotoxicological Tools for the Assessment of Susceptibility and Risk."
  • Professor Hayashi (Teikyo Heisei Univ.), who delivered an educational lecture, "ISO 11843 Parts 5 and 7: Detection Limit for ELISA and Instrumental Analyses."
  • Tim Canfield (SETAC President) and Bruce Vigon (SETAC North America Scientific Affairs Manager), who kindly joined us and coordinated SETAC roundtable discussion on the Berlin Sustainability Declaration and the management of chemicals sessions.
  • Mr. Toda, from the Japanese Ministry of Environment, who kindly agreed to present information about ICCM and SAICM because he attended the Third International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM3) in Nairobi, one week before the SAP meeting. A report on ICCM3 by SETAC Global Executive Director Mike Mozur and SETAC Africa Council member Aviti Mmochi is presented elsewhere in this issue of the Globe.
  • Chinese Academy of Science, International Copper Association, Japan Soap and Detergent Association and United Nations University who cooperated with us and conducted sessions.

The abstracts of all presentations are available on the meeting website for individuals who were not able to attend the meeting.

We also thank DuPont and other supporting and exhibiting companies and organizations for their support of SAP, including travel scholarships and young scientist awards. Travel scholarships were awarded to three students at the opening ceremony. Awards were given at the closing remarks to young scientists who made oral and poster presentations of their excellent works during the meeting. Some award winners from developing countries will receive free two-year SETAC memberships.

The winners of the travelling scholarships are:

  • Ms. Ji-Woo Lee (Korea)
  • Ms. Mega Mutiara Sari (Indonesia)
  • Ms. Rathishri Chandurvelan (India)

Reports from our awardees about their experiences at the meeting can be found here. The winners of oral awards are:

  • Mr. Andy Xianliang Yi (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
  • Ms. Jublee Jasmine (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India)
  • Ms. Hanh Duong (The University of Kitakyushu, Vietnam)
  • Ms. Kazuko Sawada (Osaka University, Japan)

The winners of the poster awards are:

  • Mr. Yared Yohannes (Hokkaido University, Ethiopia)
  • Mr. Tak Chuen Edward Lau (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
  • Mr. Kotaro Murata (Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Japan)
  • Ms. Atcharaporn Somparn (Khon Kaen University, Thailand)

Asia Pacific meeting
SETAC Asia/Pacific president Koji Arizono (right) presents past president Kenny Leung with a certificate of appreciation for his service

This meeting also offered a couple of special events to its participants. One was the First International Workshop on Effects-Directed and Mode of Action-Based Analysis: A Tool for Integrated Exposure and Effects Analysis and Risk Management. This workshop was coordinated by Nakayama and Suzuki (NIES) under co-sponsorship with SAP 2012 and Agilent Technologies, Inc. The other was the National Institute for Minamata Disease Forum, held in Minamata City from 27–28 September. Recent research advances in mercury toxicology and environmental health were presented at the forum under co-sponsorship with SAP 2012 and Nomura Kosan Co., Ltd. The NIMD forum focused on exchanging knowledge, experience and information on recent improvements to environmental protection measures and on enhancing research among domestic and foreign scientists concerning all aspects of mercury compounds.

I express my gratitude to the local committee members and student volunteers who helped organize this meeting. And I am deeply grateful to the conference organizing company, Prime International Co., Ltd.; we could not have organized this meeting without their dedicated support.

Before concluding, there are a couple of announcements that I would like to make:

  • The Journal of Environmental Safety, published by the Academic Consociation of Environmental Safety and Waste Management, Japan, is calling for articles and kindly offers us the chance to publish the studies presented at the SAP Kumamoto meeting. If the presenters wish, the presented papers will be published after peer review. This information has already been provided to each presenter.
  • The establishment of SETAC-Japan as regional branch of SAP is being co-organized by the Japan Society of Environmental Chemistry and Japan Society of Environmental Toxicology. This is good news for both SAP and the SETAC World Council.

As the presidency of the SAP turns from Kenny Leung to me I would like to applaud all the contributions that Kenny has made to SAP for the last couple of years. I will do my best for SAP as well.

Finally, I would like to again thank everyone who contributed to the SAP Kumamoto meeting. I am very grateful that all of your efforts and support paid off and the meeting was very successful and I sincerely hope that the next SAP meeting will flourish.

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