Knowing, Wanting and Being Able, Keywords for Change at WRF Asia-Pacific

Damien Giurco, Bas de Leeuw, Veena Sahajwalla (photo Russ Martin)
Damien Giurco, Bas de Leeuw, Veena Sahajwalla, Mathias Schluep (photo Russ Martin)

Sydney, 3 June 2015 Close to 300 participants concluded World Resources Forum Asia-Pacific 2015, the first ever held in Australia. Participants formulated action items for improving and sharing knowledge, such as indicators (know), motivation (want) and tools, methodologies and business models (being able). Co-chairs Damien Giurco and Veena Sahajwalla chaired lively plenary debates, held in the Aerial UTS Function Centre and in the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Speakers were government delegates, business leaders, researchers and NGO’s, from not only Asia-Pacific but also Europe and North America.

A draft chairman’s summary was presented to the participants by WRF Program Director Mathias Schluep. CSIRO’s Heinz Schandl – member of the UNEP International Resource Panel (IRP) – commented on the latest scientific trends in this field. See HERE final chairman’s summary.

Watch here Bas de Leeuw’s opening address:

Summary Slide WRF AP 2015
Summary Slide WRF AP 2015

An Action Agenda on Resource Productivity and Innovation was launched by the Institute for Sustainable Futures of the University of Technology (UTS), which was co-hosting the event together with the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology, University New South Wales. The plan calls for replenishing stocks and rethinking value, designing for renewable energy and resource cycles, harnessing disruptive innovation for production and consumption, and leveraging know-how into new networks and markets. “Our ambition with this call to action is to seed new conversations and collaborations – between business, academia, government and the community – needed to drive a new wave of responsible prosperity for Australia in the Asian Century,” the action agenda states. Michael Smith presented his latest three reports on decoupling, which show that a focus on doubling energy and resource productivity by 2030 can enable climate change to be addressed in ways that boost economic and jobs growth and help achieve development goals.

Bas de Leeuw recycling sydneyA key part of the WRF, the “International Sustainability Symposium: Green Manufacturing and University/Industry Collaboration” was organised by the SMaRT Centre at UNSW Australia, supported by the Australian Research Council. Russ Martin, CEO of the Global Product Stewardship Council, presented his vision on past, present and future of e-waste product stewardship.

The conference also included a mobile phone recycling facility, run by Mobile Muster. An Art Competition on the Circular Economy was organised by Simona Galimberti. The pieces will be shown on our website in the weeks to come.

Summary report of the conference as well as the full meeting report, including findings from the parallel sessions, will become available shortly.

Group picture Harbour Bridge
Photo: Simona Galimberti