Project Details Sustainable Education and Environmental Development (SEED) in Latin America

Project No.:
2009-014-2-300
Start Date:
01 October 2009
End Date:
31 December 2013

Objective

To introduce and disseminate the seeds of Sustainable Education and Environmental Development (SEED) in Latin America, in the field of Green Chemistry. This including clarification, through establishing the network centered in Argentina, to get better quality and to extend green chemistry collaboration from the Europe to Latin American.

Description

Green Chemistry provides a fertile field for cooperation, as it covers many aspects of modern chemistry and creates a real basis for sustainable development. Two previous IUPAC have been completed in these topics: a book on Green Chemistry in Latin America (Eds. Pietro Tundo and Rita Hoyos de Rossi IUPAC project 2002-064-1-300) and the translation from Italian to Spanish by Patricia Vazquez of book “Introduzione alla Chimica Verde” (IUPAC project 2005-015-1-300).
There are several Green Chemistry national networks in developing countries, but it is necessary to make a solid effort to build up a large network covering all Latin America.

The thematic points on which the project is based are related to the three spheres of interaction that are the very basis of human and social development: The relation to ourselves, to others and to the environment. We have to deal with complex issues arising from activities such as climate change, diminishing biodiversity, irresponsible exploitation of resources, peaking of oil production, pollution, resource depletion and concentration, risks of alienation from fellow humans and of destroying Earth as we know it. The question that needs addressing from an educational and scientific perspective is: How do we approach the critical analysis and implementation of the various solutions that are advanced such as alter-globalization, community-supported agriculture, eco-development, ecological economics, industrial ecology, life-cycle assessment, organic production, amongst others?

Today several Latin-American countries are working on Green Chemistry topics but the quality of their efforts and results needs improvement. Project SEED includes a different and attractive way to enter into these topics. These can be, for example: resolution of environmental problems by catalysis with synthesis of nanoparticles, materials from renewable resources and the introduction of educational problems in Green Chemistry, such as the study and revision of the curricula of a number of chemical courses, including teacher training for basic education in chemistry. The principal task during the project will be to establish a coordinated and regular calendar of virtual and personal contacts between Latin-American groups and the most important worldwide networks in the field, to improve the connectedness among the researchers of all theses countries.

SEED will advance the interactions between society and Green Chemistry, as was previously said. This network will try to transform our worldviews, our relationships with the world and our common goal of developing sustainable chemical activities in the Latin-American countries through educational and research activities.

Progress

Since its beginning (October, 2009), the SEED has promoted a series of events, produced and distributed divulgating, didactic and scientific material about Green Chemistry in Latin America. The coordinated and regular activities of real and virtual contacts between Latin-American groups and the most important worldwide networks in Green Chemistry give the possibility to improve the connectedness among the researchers of all these countries. Some of the actions of the SEED group were to organize courses and lectures about the principles and applications of Green Chemistry in secondary and tertiary (graduate and post-graduate) education levels, with members from each university participating in the network.

All the following events could be cited:

  • 30th Chemistry Summer School of Federal University of Sao Carlos, Sao Carlos, Brazil (February, 2010),
  • 1st South-American Workshop on Microwaves Radiation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (February, 2010),
  • 5th National Meeting of Environmental Chemistry, Sao Pedro, Brazil (March, 2010),
  • 1st Technological Material Meeting of Argentina, San Nicolas, Argentina (May, 2010),
  • 36th Buenos Aires International Book Fair, Buenos Aires, Argentina (May, 2010),
  • 1st Green Chemistry Seminar: applications in petrochemical industry, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Petrobras University, June, 2010),
  • 38th Journey of Young Researches, Santa Fe, Argentina (Universities of the Group Montevideo Association, October, 2010),
  • 4th Regional Meeting of Biocatalysis and Biotransformation, Montevideo, Uruguay (December, 2010),
  • 31st Chemistry Summer School of Federal University of Sao Carlos, Sao Carlos, Brazil (February, 2011),
  • 37th Buenos Aires International Book Fair, Buenos Aires, Argentina (April, 2011),
  • 12th International Forum of Education of Science and Technology, Buenos Aires, Argentina (April, 2011) besides other events related to the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) 2011 in Latin America.

Also, the publication of the SEED website, the introduction on a social network of “Green Chemistry Argentina” and the “Brazilian Network of Green Chemistry”, the translation of the book “Green Chemistry: fundamentals and applications” (EdUFSCar)2 from Portuguese to Spanish and the edition of the book “Green Chemistry: new habits to learn” are in process by the group.

The SEED network is also responsible for the organization of the 4th International IUPAC Conference on Green Chemistry (4th ICGC). The 4th ICGC will be held at Foz do Iguaçu, at the Brazilian border with Argentina and Paraguay, from 25th to 29th of August 2012. It intends to provide opportunities for a wide interdisciplinary debate in the scientific and technological fields, between researchers from Latin America and other countries about the most recent experiences on Green Chemistry, integrating specially the academic and industrial sectors, keeping the dialogue with society through new forms of chemistry education. Considering all these activities in progress, one could say that the roots of the SEED group are growing healthily.

Sept 2011 – project update published in Chem. Int. Sep-Oct 2011, p. 22

March 2013 – A report from the 4th ICGC, titled ‘Green Chemistry – Exchanging Experiences’ is published in Chem. Int. Mar-Apr 2013, p. 32

Project completed – page last modified 17 Feb 2014