Track 1. Engineering applications for environmental management

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    Sami Rtimi

    Chief Editor – Track 1
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland

    Recent progresses in environmental remediation using solar photocatalysis

    Dr. Sami Rtimi is a photo-chemist with a strong background in materials science and microbiology. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology-EPFL and a Doctorate in Biological Sciences from the University of Carthage (Tunisia). He is investigating the structure-reactivity relationship of functional/smart materials for environmental (indoor and outdoor) and biomedical applications. With an h-index 24, he published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, patents, several book-chapters and presented numerous communications at international meetings. He is editor, guest-editor and regular reviewer for some journals. Sami is an international grants reviewer and PhD programs evaluator. He is also active in some NGOs to promote water and health solutions in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Track 2. Process control, simulations and intensification for environmental management

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    Sudip Chakraborty

    Chief Editor – Track 2
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    University of Calabria, Rende, Italy

    Science to Solutions: an Approach with Process Intensification!

    Membrane and membrane processes are part of our daily life and will exist as long as life exists. Their intrinsic characteristic of efficiency, operational simplicity and flexibility, relatively high selectivity and permeability for the transport of specific components, low energy requirement, good stability across a wide spectrum of operating conditions, environment compatibility, easy control and scale up have been confirmed in a large variety of applications and operations over the past decades. The main force of membrane technology is the fact that it works without the addition of chemicals, with a relatively low energy use and easy and well-arranged process conductions. Most of the industrial applications, whether they are chemical or biochemical, use membranes not only for pre-treatment processes but also for final downstream purification with minimal simulation based experiment and energy consumption. As compared to the techniques currently used in industry, the development process performed by the advanced modelling techniques is indeed more efficient and cost effective since it is possible to significantly reduce the number of experiments, which are to be performed to get an almost complete overview of the considered processes behaviour. The process simulation is definitely adding a new dimension to scientific investigation and has been actually established as an investigative research tool which is as important as the “traditional” approaches of experiment and theory. The new dimension of science can be merged with existing technologies for a better integration of environmental problems and pollution remediation for a sustainable world.

Track 3. Bioremediation for environmental management, ecotoxicology and environmental safety

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    Abdeltif Amrane

    Associate Editor – Track 3
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    University of Rennes 1, France

    The coupling of an electrochemical process and a biological treatment for the removal of recalcitrant organic compounds – Case study: metronidazole

    The large accumulation of emerging pollutants in continental and marine natural waters is the consequence in part, of industrial development on a large-scale. Partly responsible for this pollution, low volumes containing high concentrations of persistent organic pollutants can result in large polluted volumes very weakly concentrated which are difficult to treat. One solution would be to treat the considered pollution on site, as intended in this project. Among the destructive processes available to treat recalcitrant compounds, and especially emerging pollutants, such as pharmaceuticals coming from industrial effluents (concentrations and COD higher than 1 and 10 g L-1 respectively in some pharmaceutical effluents) (D. Mansour et al. C. R. Chim. 18, 39–44, 2014), combined processes have been widely studied (J.P. Scott and D.F. Ollis, Environ. Prog. 14, 88–103, 1995; I. Oller et al. Sci. Total Environ. 409, 4141-4166, 2011), including several studies performed by the ISCR teams (J.M. Fontmorin et al. Chem. Eng. J. 195-196, 208-217, 2012; J.M. Fontmorin et al. Biochem. Eng. J. 70, 17-22, 2013; D. Mansour et al. Water Air Soil Poll. 223, 2023-2034, 2012), owing to their high efficiency to eliminate biorecalcitrant compounds and to their lower cost compared to physico-chemical mineralization. Different electrochemical processes were tested as pre-treatment to demonstrate at a lab-scale level the feasibility of these coupled processes for the removal of pharmaceuticals pollutants. The objective is to improve the biodegradability of the effluent, avoiding its complete mineralization which is not economically viable. On the one hand, a subsequent biological treatment, involving for instance a wastewater treatment plant can be considered to complete effluent mineralization. To demonstrate the feasibility and the interest of the combined process, some recalcitrant compounds, antibiotics and pesticides, were considered.

Track 4. Biotechnology for environmental management

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    Philippe Michaud

    Chief Editor – Track 4
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    Université Clermont Auvergne, Polytech Clermont Ferrand, Aubière, France

    Structural characterization and rheological properties of two polysaccharides from the Tunisian Phaeophyceae Cystoseira compressa

    The industrial demand for hydrocolloids and notably for alginates with high guluronic acid contents is driven by food applications where the gelifying and thickening properties of these biopolymers are valorized. These polysaccharides are currently exploited from brown macroalgae belonging to Macrocystis, Fucus, Ascophyllum, Ecklonia, Durvillea and Laminaria genus. The increasing demand for alginates with several grades is correlated with the research of species of Phaeophyceae with high potential of exploitation including that of non-alginates biopolymers such as laminarins and fucoidans. A fucoidan and a sodium alginate were extracted from the Tunisian brown seaweed Cystoseira compressa. The fucoidan was a sulfated heterogalactofucan composed of an α-(1→3;1→4)-fucan branched at O-4 and O-3 positions by terminal monosaccharides and side chains composed of Fucp and Galp residues. The alginate was characterized by a M/G ratio of 0.77. The two polysaccharides exhibited specific rheological properties.

Track 5. Climate-change-related effects on the environment and ecological systems

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    Elena Xoplaki

    Chief Editor – Track 5
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany

    Climate and environmental changes in the Mediterranean region: An overview

    Human-induced climate change is posing significant challenges to Mediterranean societies. Mean temperature increase in the area has exceeded the global levels and precipitation occurs more irregular with strongly varying intensities. Extreme climate events have increased and intensified and are expected to continue in the future. The impact of these changes have exacerbated already existing environmental pressures due to land-use changes, including agricultural intensification and urbanisation, increasing air and sea pollution and declining biodiversity. The first part of the talk will provide a state of the art of current knowledge of observed and future climate change across the Mediterranean. The second part will discuss sectoral pressures and challenges that the Mediterranean societies are facing under current and future climate change.

Track 6. Natural resources, agriculture and the environment

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    Akiça Bahri

    Associate Editor – Track 6
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    National Agricultural Institute of Tunisia (INAT), Tunisia

    Advancing water integration for the sustainable and inclusive development of the Mediterranean region

    The Mediterranean Region is a hotspot of unsustainable water use with severe pressures exerted on its already vulnerable environment. Climate change is expected to make water resources even scarcer with expected results such as less food and water security, increased poverty, increased displacement of people and coastal flooding, less income and a loss of biodiversity. Several countries are facing an increasing percentage of water supplies originating from overexploitation or from fossil sources. Such practices have significant environmental and political impacts. Besides surface water overuse, groundwater withdrawal, and water transfers, alternative water sources which include water reuse and recycling and desalination are being increasingly used. Given the centrality of water to the socio-economic development of the Mediterranean region as well as its ecological integrity and to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), innovative approaches that integrate water sources, water-use sectors, water services, water management scales and resource management and basic service provision are needed. Meeting future demands require also creative thinking that encourage cross-sectoral cooperation and help to better assess water, food and energy trade-offs at the national and regional levels. There is thus an obvious need to develop new paths to ensure water security, to improve water resource governance and to reassess current public policies in order to maximize water efficiency and productivity in all sectors. With strategic planning and cooperation amongst Mediterranean countries, water resources can provide the best opportunities for advancing socio-economic integration and achieving the SDGs.


    Mokhtar Guizani

    Author – Track 6
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    Hokkaido University, Japan

    New insights into sustainable water management in regions of water scarcity

    The twenty-first century is the century of grand challenges in many societal fields. One grand challenge involves providing access to clean water, especially in regions of water scarcity. In fact, more deaths are caused by the lack of clean water than wars. Furthermore, water is one of the core essential and basic necessity for economic growth. Hence, water reuse and recycling have emerged as an absolute necessity for adaptation to the transformations of the twenty-first century. On another side, valuable resources (e.g. plant nutrients, organic matter, minerals, etc.) are found in impaired waters and their recovery has become a necessity to protect the environment, create values and lower overall treatment cost. However, the outdated approaches and technologies and incomplete processes for water treatment and resources recovery should be substituted by new and more promising ones. In this regard, emerging membrane technology may offer solutions to this challenge. This plenary talk will give insights into the impending crisis posed by water stress and the potentials of membrane technology in sustainable water management.

Track 7. Smart technologies for environmentally friendly energy production

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    Nachida Kasbadji Merzouk (canceled her participation)

    Associate Editor – Track 7
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    Center of Renewable Energy Development, Algeria

Track 8. Remote sensing and GIS for environmental monitoring and management

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    Anthony Lehmann

    Chief Editor – Track 8
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    University of Geneva, Switzerland

    Metabolism of Energy and Water of the Canton of Geneva with the Nexus approach by MuSIASEM

    This work exploits the Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM) nexus approach to examine the sustainability of a socio-ecological system of Geneva in Switzerland. The full MuSIASEM approach considers the food, water, energy metabolism across space and time of any system of interest, considering heterogeneous external and internal factors such as population dynamics, changes in land use or greenhouse gas emissions. It is designed to identify and analyze trends in the societal use of resources and the impacts they create on the environment. This method helps decision-making by confronting the current metabolic model with models projected in different plausible futures, or in other cities. This work evaluates the water and energy metabolisms of Geneva. The aim is to build an environment accounting of flows and consumptions of energy and water according to a multiscale analysis of the primary, secondary, tertiary and private sectors, as well as the impacts of these sectors on the technosphere and the ecosystem. Plausible scenarios are used to demonstrate the relevance of the approach to current social issues.

Track 9. Environmental impacts of natural hazards and environmental risk assessment

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    Settimio Ferlisi

    Chief Editor – Track 9
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    University of Salerno, Italy

    Consequence analysis of buildings exposed to landslides: an overview

    In the last few decades there has been a more and more increasing interest of both technical and scientific communities in developing procedures for qualitative and quantitative landslide risk (i.e. hazard × consequences) analyses. However, while standardized methods are now available for the hazard analysis, the standardization is still a challenge for consequence analysis. Based on a comprehensive literature review, this keynote lecture aims to propose a general framework (including input data and procedures) to be adopted at different scales for qualitative or quantitative consequence analysis purposes dealing with buildings exposed to either slow- or fast-moving landslides.

Track 10. Sustainable management of marine and coastal environments

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    Giulia Guerriero

    Associate Editor – Track 10
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    University Federico II of Naples, Naples, Italy

    Sustainable Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Strategies in Response to Global Warming

    According to the fifth assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming is a prevailing phenomenon throughout the globe. To address sustainable management of its impact, numerous approaches have been employed. This lecture seeks to profile Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) in the natural infrastructure of marine and coastal ecosystems such as sea farms, marine protected areas, and cave ecotourism with the aim of improving biodiversity resilience. The role of EbA, as known, is well-recognized at the international level under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Further, some of the main risks to biodiversity will also be presented, risks which have been experimentally shown to be more acute with increasing temperatures. Finally, we will point out our own methodologies showing how barcoding and assessment of reproductive health biomarkers serve as tools for strategic sustainability if well integrated with “citizen science”.

Track 11. Sustainable management of the urban environment

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    Constantinos Cartalis (canceled his participation)

    Chief Editor – Track 11
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Track 12. Sustainable management of the indoor and built environment

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    Benigno Sánchez Cabrero

    Chief Editor – Track 12
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    FOTOAIR-CIEMAT, Unit of Analysis and Photocatalytic Treatment of Pollutants in Air, Madrid, Spain

    Indoor Air Quality in Residences, Offices, and Museums

    Air pollution is one of the issues directly associated with environmental unsustainability. The inefficiency of combustion systems, from the kitchen of our homes to large power plants, are governed, among others, by the second principle of thermodynamics. In this process, materials and products of incomplete combustion are released to the environment: fly ash, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds and others until they reach the most degraded form of energy, heat. From the extensive use of energy, our species has obtained a clear benefit by producing thousands of objects and has developed extensively to cover the planet. The problems that bad management causes us seem to disappear when we take refuge in our homes, offices, nurseries, hospitals. However, the materials and objects we surround ourselves are not inert. During this presentation, we will discuss some specific VOCs results in different environments with particular emphasis on museum environments as emblematic places where we protect and show our cultural heritage.

Track 13. Environmental-change-related impacts on human health

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    Georgios Nikolopoulos

    Chief Editor – Track 13
    Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
    University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus

    Climate change and infectious diseases in the Mediterranean region: evidence and challenges

    Climate change is a fundamental threat to human health. Climate change could affect infectious diseases through diverse direct and indirect ways. This review attempts to summarize the evidence regarding the association between climate change and occurrence of infectious diseases, with an emphasis on the Mediterranean region. A comprehensive review of the available evidence could assist decision makers in planning adaptation and mitigation strategies for climate change.