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Title: Ecotechnology  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Technology, Environmental technology, Sustainable engineering, Chemical engineering, Technology assessment
Collection: Environmental Science, Environmental Technology, Sustainability
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Ecotechnology is an applied science that seeks to fulfill human needs while causing minimal ecological disrupution, by harnessing and manipulating natural forces to leverage their beneficial effects. Ecotechnology integrates two fields of study: the 'ecology of technics' and the 'technics of ecology,' requiring an understanding of the structures and processes of ecosystems and societies. All sustainable engineering that can reduce damage to ecosystems, adopt ecology as a fundamental basis, and ensure conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development may be considered as forms of ecotechnology.

Ecotechnology emphasizes approaching a problem from a holistic point of view. For example, remediation of rivers should not only consider one single area. Rather, the whole catchment area, which includes the upstream, middle stream and downstream sections, should be considered.

Construction can reduce its impact on nature by consulting experts on the environment.

Sustainable development requires the implementation of environmentally friendly technologies which are both efficient and adapted to local conditions. Ecotechnology allows improvement in economic performance while minimizing harm to the environment by:

  • increasing the efficiency in the selection and use of materials and energy sources,
  • control of impacts on ecosystems,
  • development and permanent improvement of cleaner processes and products,
  • eco-marketing,
  • introducing environmental management systems in the production and services sectors, and
  • development of activities for increasing awareness of the need for environmental protection and promotion of sustainable development by the general public.

During Ecotechnics '95 - International Symposium on Ecological Engineering in Östersund, Sweden, the participants agreed on the definition: ”Ecotechnics is defined as the method of designing future societies within ecological frames.”

See also

Further reading

  • Allenby, B.R., and D.J. Richards (1994), The Greening of Industrial Ecosystems. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
  • Braungart, M., and W. McDonough (2002). Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. North Point Press, ISBN 0865475873.
  • Huesemann, Michael H., and Joyce A. Huesemann (2011). Technofix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, Chapter 13, “The Design of Environmentally Sustainable and Appropriate Technologies”, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, ISBN 0865717044, 464 pp.
  • Von Weizsacker, E.U., C. Hargroves, M.H. Smith, C. Desha, and P. Stasinopoulos (2009). Factor Five: Transforming the Global Economy through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity, Routledge.

External links

  • Ecotechnology research at Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
  • The Institute of Ecotechnics, London, U.K.
  • ecoTECHNOLOGY for Vehicles, Transport Canada, Ottawa, Canada
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