9 November 2021
The International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies closed the XXXVI IULTCS Congress in Addis Ababa on November 5, reports Leatherbiz.
Image shows IULTCS vice-president Jean-Pierre Gualino at the closing ceremony for its congress in Ethiopia on November 5. Representing the hosts of the next IULTCS Congress in 2023, the secretary general of the China Leather Industry Association, Chen Zhanguang, joined the ceremony remotely.
IULTCS said the event, which ran for three days and had as its main themes ‘Leather, a gift from the nature’ and ‘Greening the leather value chain’, had been a success. There were around 100 delegates on site in the Ethiopian capital with another 100-plus speakers and audience members connecting remotely.
One of the senior representatives of the global leather industry who travelled to Ethiopia for the congress, Dr Dietrich Tegtmeyer of TFL, said at the close of the congress that some of the scientific ideas that had come up for discussion had “a high innovation potential”. One example he offered was a suggestion that protein residues from leather manufacturing might have upcycling potential in solar panels.
“Events at which the international community is able to discuss and exchanges thoughts are extremely important for the overall improvement process in terms of sustainable leather management,” Dr Tegtmeyer said. “The industry needs innovation and good ideas.”
For the event to have gone ahead successfully as many parts of the world are still struggling to emerge from the covid-19 pandemic was remarkable enough. For it to have taken place in Ethiopia just as the government there declared a state of emergency made the circumstances exceptionally challenging.
Ethiopia’s government took this step owing to an escalation of armed conflict and civil unrest in the regions of Amhara, Afar and Tigray. As the IULTCS Congress came to a close, the US Department of State said: “The security environment in Ethiopia is very fluid. We advise US citizens who are in Ethiopia to leave the country as soon as possible.”
At the closing ceremony, IULTCS announced that its XXXVII Congress will take place in 2023 with the Chinese city of Chengdu as the host city.