Electronic consumers have been urged to reduce, reuse, and recycle e-waste at the fourth annual Women in IT conference, held on 27 February 2008 at Dubai Women’s College.
His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), opened the conference, noting that the HCT has been a major contributor to the national quest to improve the quality of life in the UAE and is well-placed to study and debate the various issues that surround the impact of technology on the environment.
“Prevalent patterns of production, consumption and waste disposal of various equipments have made modern technologies a major strain on the environment,” Sheikh Nahayan said. “This harms not only the health of the ecosystem, but also the health of the population.”
DWC’s decision to draw attention to Green IT responds to urgent environmental demands calling for responsible management of IT resources in order to contribute to a worldwide growing interest to protect the environment and minimize harm to the environment.
Keynote speaker Fariba Partawi, Senior Information Technology Officer at the International Monetary Fund, Washington DC presented current statistics on IT usage and future projections indicating a sense of urgency behind a worldwide collaborative approach to initiate and promote green IT policies and initiatives.
Ms Partawi also discussed possible governments, consumers and IT industry solutions and roles in aiding a rather young green IT international approach.
“The role of Government as policy makers is to establish and implement e-waste policies and guidelines,” she said. “There is a need to evaluate approaches that are being currently used everywhere.
“For example, European regulations are driving discussions about ‘take-back’, whereby manufacturers must take back their electronic equipment for disposal at the end of its service life.”
DWC Associate Director Dr Behjat Al Yousuf said the College’s role as an academic institute was to bring together policy makers, electronic manufacturers, providers and consumers to provide a broader and deeper view of environmental issues surrounding electronics.
“We will continue the dialogue we started today,” Dr Yousuf said. “We need to address these concerns at individual, organizational, and governmental levels. This conference is facilitating discussions and possible answers to key questions related to e-waste.”