Air Pollution 2012
20th International Conference on Modelling, Monitoring and Management of Air Pollution
16 - 18 May 2012
A Coruña, Spain
Overview and Opening Address
The 20th International Conference on Modelling, Monitoring and Management of Air Pollution has been held in La Coruña, Spain, coorganised by Professor Jim Longhurst from the University of the West of England and Professor Carlos A Brebbia of the Wessex Institute of Technology, UK.
This successful conference builds upon the prestigious outcome of the 19 preceding meetings, beginning with Monterey, Mexico in 1993 and most recently in Malta in 2011, all of which have attracted outstanding contributions from leading researchers from around the world. The printed papers have been permanently stored in the WIT eLibrary as Transactions of the Wessex Institute (see http://library.witpress.com/). The collected papers provide an important record of the development of science and policies pertaining to air pollution.
Professor Jim Longhurst opened the meeting by pointing out that to have reached a total of twenty successful conferences on Air Pollution is a significant achievement. That the series continued to grow and meet the demands of a discerning conference audience is testimony to the quality of the presentations, the publication standards and the conference associated venues.
The twenty conferences in this series have discussed and considered many important air pollution issues and the highly international nature of the attendees has ensured that the conference findings and conclusions enjoy a wide and rapid dissemination. The conferences demonstrate that in spite of the long history of attempts to manage the consequences of air pollution, the issue remains one of the most challenging problems for the international community. The Conference also demonstrates the widespread nature of the air pollution phenomena and has discussed in great depth the impacts of air pollution on human health and the environment. Papers had explored the cause of air pollution from transport, manufacturing goods and services. A particular strength of the conference has been the attention given to regulating and – more recently – marketing solutions to air pollution management. Conference delegates explored a range of regulatory successes in minimising such impacts and recognised that the continuing development of the world economy brings new pressures upon the ability of the atmosphere to process pollutants and to safety remove them. The willingness of governmental authorities to move quickly to regulate air pollution is often balanced by concerns over the economic impact of such regulation. This frequently results in a lag between the scientific knowledge about the nature, scale and effect of air pollution and the implementation of appropriate, targeted and timely legislation.The conference series has consistently stressed that science is the key to identifying the nature and role of air pollution impacts and essential in the formulation of decision making policies. The conference also recognises that scientific knowledge derived from well designed studies needs to be allied, with further technical and economic studies, in order to ensure cost effective and efficient mitigation. In turn, science technology and economic outcomes are necessary but not sufficient. The results of such research need to be contextualised with well formulated communications strategies that help policy makers and citizens to understand and appreciate the risks and rewards arising from air pollution management.
The Conference has encouraged a wide range of high quality papers that develop the fundamental science of air pollution and an equally impressive range of presentations that place these publications within the frame of mitigation and management of air pollution.
Carlos A Brebbia then welcomed the delegates to the conference in the name of his Institute. He explained that the aim of WIT is to provide a medium for the transfer of knowledge at international level. This is carried out by a series of activities, an important one being the conference series which includes Air Pollution. The series brings together outstanding scientists from many different locations and specialities creating a network across the world.
The conference itself – Carlos stressed – is just the starting point for a knowledge dissemination process. Papers presented at the meeting are published in digital and paper format and distributed all over the world, including North America, through the WIT office in Boston. All papers are also archived in the eLibrary of WIT and, furthermore, authors are encouraged to submit an extended version for publication in the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning. Carlos would also like to hear from colleagues who wish to publish a book with WIT Press. He also hoped that some participants may be able to learn more about the research carried out at the Wessex Institute of Technology. WIT collaborates with many institutions around the world through joint research projects and advanced consulting work and is always happy to consider new partners.
Carlos ended by thanking all participants for having come to the beautiful city of La Coruña, a part of Spain that deserves to be better known.
The conference consisted of a wide range of high quality presentations that develop the fundamental science of air pollution and an equally impressive range of papers that places these new developments within the framework of mitigation and management of air pollution. The peer reviewed nature of the conference papers enables policy makers to confidently use the new findings to formulate suitable discussions and to build public acceptance and understanding of the nature and scale of the air pollution problem.
The conference brought together contributions from scientists from around the world and recent work on various aspects of air pollution phenomena.
Notably at each of the conferences in the series has been the opportunity to foster scientific exchanges between participants. New collaborations amongst scientists and between scientists and policy makers on regulations have arisen through contacts made in this series of conferences and this meeting, as well as all the others, provided further opportunities for identifying new areas of air pollution science requiring collaborative investigation.
The Conference sessions were enriched by a series of invited presentations:
‘Managing air quality in the Niger Delta’
Jim Longhurst, University of the West of England, UK
‘Application of two air models to study the dispersion of vehicular pollutants in urban areas of India and the United Kingdom’
S Nagendra, India Institute of Technology, Madras, India
‘A contribution to air quality management in urban industrialised areas’
C Borrego, University of Aveiro, Portugal
‘Thermal comfort analysis of public transport passengers in Catania’
F Patania, University of Catania, Italy
‘Particle emissions from household fires in South Africa’
P Forbes, University of Pretoria, South Africa
The papers presented at the Conference were classified as follows:
- Air Pollution Modelling
- Air Quality Management
- Air Pollution in Thailand
- Emission Studies
- Indoor Air Pollution
- Monitoring and Measuring
- Air Pollution Mitigation
- Health Effects
- Innovative Technologies
- Carbon Sequestration
A special session organised by Siwait Pongpiachan from the National Institute of Development Administrations, entitled ‘Air Pollution problems in Thailand’ consisted of the following special contributions:
- Application of air compass software for source identification of semi-volatile compounds
- Air pollution management in Rayong’s industrial area, Thailand
- Public participation in planning the coal-fired power plant projects in Thailand
- Initial assessment of air pollution from electricity generation using renewable energy and management in Thailand
Conference DinnerThe Conference dinner took place in the restaurant of the Museo del Hombre (The Mankind Museum) which contains 200 interactive displays to study the human body. The restaurant within the impressive building has outstanding views of Orzan Bay and its unique beach and promenade. The menu consisted of a series of Gallician specialities, starting with several fish dishes, followed by a main course of excellent Gallician steak. The food was accompanied by a selection of wines, including the well-known regional ribeiro white.
The final attraction was a performance by a bagpipe ensemble from Santiago de Compostela which played a series of classical Gallician pieces. The bagpipes are very much part of the regional culture, their sound being more melodic than that of others, such as the Scottish ones. The music was very much appreciated by the international audience, many of whom were unaware that such instruments were also part of Spanish music.
ISAC DinnerThe International Scientific Advisory Committee met to discuss the conference and how to improve it in the future. The meeting has now been successful for 20 years and it is important to keep renewing and improving its objectives, proposing new topics and appointing members to the Committee who can contribute to the continuous development of the series. The recommendations of the Committee will be followed up by the WIT Conference Division as well as the investigation of different venues for future conferences.
The success of the meeting has ensured the continuity of the series.
The next conference will take place in Siena, Italy, from 3-5 June 2013 (see http://www.wessex.ac.uk/13-conferences/air-pollution-2013.html).
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 157 of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment ISSN: 1746-448X, Digital ISSN 1743-3541). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com