Invitation to Ecosummit participants

To the EcoSummit 2016 participants,

In accordance with the conference executive committee, we would like to invite you to the joint session 11-23 – Ecological Engineering Practice: An International Review, which will take place on Tuesday Aug. 30 at 9:00 in the room Sully 3. The session is co-organized by AEES (, IEES ( ) and French ecological engineers.

Ecological Engineering (EE) practices are increasingly getting included in projects today. However, they are often not labelled as such, and projects completely designed along EE lines are rare. We are still far from a common awareness of Ecological Engineering and its potential role in construction and project development. This is the challenge we are facing today.

But what exactly are EE practices? And what are the prospects of EE and its related societies? In the first half of our session, examples of Ecological Engineering projects from France, the USA and Central Europe will be presented as a warm-up. The second half will be a 45 minute open public discussion about the prospects of ecological engineering and the future role of the related societies.

For preparing this discussion, we invite you to send us topics or inputs which you consider important in this context. Please send your input via email to until August 25, 2016.

We are looking forward to meeting you in Montpellier.

Raffael Kaenzig , Andreas Schoenborn, Theresa Wynn-Thompson

Free IWA book from Brazil

Biological Wastewater Treatment in Warm Climate Regions

The book gives a state-of-the-art presentation of the science and technology of biological wastewater treatment, particularly domestic sewage. The book covers the main treatment processes used worldwide with wastewater treatment in warm climate regions given a particular emphasis where simple, affordable and sustainable solutions are required.
This comprehensive book presents in a clear and informative way the basic principles of biological wastewater treatment, including theory and practice, and covering conception, design and operation. In order to ensure the practical and didactic view of the book, 371 illustrations, 322 summary tables and 117 examples are included. All major wastewater treatment processes are covered by full and interlinked design examples which are built up throughout the book, from the determination of wastewater characteristics, the impact of discharge into rivers and lakes, the design of several wastewater treatment processes and the design of sludge treatment and disposal units.

The 55 chapters are divided into 7 parts over two volumes: Volume One: (1) Introduction to wastewater characteristics, treatment and disposal; (2) Basic principles of wastewater treatment; (3) Stabilisation ponds; (4) Anaerobic reactors; Volume Two: (5) Activated sludge; (6) Aerobic biofilm reactors; (7) Sludge treatment and disposal.

As well as being an ideal textbook, Biological Wastewater Treatment in Warm Climate Regions is an important reference for practising professionals such as engineers, biologists, chemists and environmental scientists, acting in consulting companies, water authorities and environmental agencies.

Source of text: Email by Marcos von Sperling, Nov. 12, 2013

cewas – Start your own Business in the Water Sector!

cewas is the international Training Centre for start-ups in the water, sanitation and resource management based in Willisau (Switzerland). The third cewas Start-Up programme is directed at graduates who want to start their own business in the emerging water sector. Within the one-year training programme which will be commencing in September 2013, young entrepreneurs-to-be are supported in the foundation of their business with advanced training modules, business coaching and consulting by international experts and an extensive international network. The next cewas Start-Up programme begins on the 9th of September 2013 and will last until August 2014. Closing date for applications is the 21st of June 2013. For more information please visit or contact (+41 (0)41 971 00 78).

Source: Michael Kropac, CEWAS director, via Email

New Book: Sustainable Urban Environments

Book: Substainable Urban EnvironmentsThe urban environment – buildings, cities and infrastructure – represents one of the most important contributors to climate change, while at the same time holding the key to a more sustainable way of living. The transformation from traditional to sustainable systems requires interdisciplinary knowledge of the re-design, construction, operation and maintenance of the built environment.

The new book “Sustainable Urban Environments – an Ecosystem Approach” is edited by Ellen van Bueren, Hein van Bohemen, Laure Itard and Henk Visscher.

See for more details.

Conference: Great Wetlands, Healthy Watersheds

The Wisconsin Wetlands Association invites interested professionals to submit a proposal for a symposium and/or a presentation at its 18th Annual Wetlands Conference, “Great Wetlands, Healthy Watersheds”. Date & Location: Blue Harbor Resort, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA, February 12-14, 2013.

Call for symposia until Sep. 30, 2012
Call for oral and poster presentation until Nov. 11, 2012

See for details

New Book: Sustainable Rural and Urban Ecosystems

Sustainable Rural and Urban EcosystemsDesign, Implementation and Operation

The vision of a truly holistic ecological university was the aim of a joint German-Ghanaian program carried out at Valley View University (biggest private university in Ghana).

Gunther Geller (IOeV, Germany) and Detlev Glücklich (Bauhaus University, Germany), both directly involved in this project, now summarize their experiences in a “Manual for Practice and Study”, published in June 2012 by Springer.

Scope of the book:

These days human beings have a profound influence on aspects of the planetary ecosystem, e.g. on climate change and biodiversity, to name only two. This manual is intended to help practitioners, who are dealing with human-based rural and urban settlement-ecosystems, in the key steps towards their realization (design, implementation, and operation) and helpful for all, who are concerned about ensuring their practical sustainability. The ecosystem-approach is holistic and integrative, encompassing various disciplines like architecture, landscape architecture, environmental engineering, social sciences, life sciences, ecology, and management. It also considers issues such as energy-savings, ecological cycles, reuse, natural resources, socio-cultural background, real participation, and holistic quality management. Thus it not only explains the general concept, the steps of realization and the respective involved stakeholders, but also gives hints and tools for practitioners.

The book:
Details the holistic and integrative design, implementation and operation of human-settlement ecosystems
Concisely introduces the subject of human ecosystems, via an integrative approach
Proposes recommendations, methods and easy adaptable tools for practitioners
The information, recommendations and tools are directed to the following target groups, among others:Local planning authorities (giving hints for the procedure and the involved stakeholders)
Designers (holistic approach, procedures, tools)
Regulatory bodies, licensing and financing authorities (requirements for approach and procedures)
Construction and implementing firms and institutions (recommendations, tools)
Operating bodies (hints for operation, tools)
Bibliographic information:
Sustainable Rural and Urban Ecosystems: Design, Implementation and Operation Like Manual for Practice and Study
Geller, Gunther; Glücklich, Detlef (Eds.) 2012, 2012, X, 159 p. 76 illus., 60 in color.
Hardcover ISBN 978-3-642-28260-7
Price: Euro 106.95


Source: G. Geller via Email

Constructed Wetland on a Roof

Frank van Dien of the Dutch company ECOFYT took part in the Dutch Green Building Award 2012 with his remarkable project “Constructed Green Roof at Berkel-Enschott” – treating domestic wastewater on the roof of the building.

He writes about the project:
“This project is really unique, it’s about purifying waste water on your own roof.
But without odors. With the aid of a green roof (with all the climatic advantages thereof). In a place where people usually do not spend much attention. Without maintenance being required very much (almost everything is automated …)”.

The project was realized by ECOFYT with the client (v. Helvoirt Groenprojecten) and the project partners (SHFT, UNESCO-IHE, contractor Roger Michels, Klostermann Nederland, v. Delft installation, Reytec Innovation Projects, GLC Timber Structures, Équipe for Architecture and Urbanism)”.

Winners of “Reinventing the toilet” challenge

In a move to promote new and affordable dry toilets, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation issued a challenge to universities one year ago. 22 universities took part. The aim was to design toilets that can “capture and process human waste without piped water, sewer or electrical connections, and transform human waste into useful resources, such as energy and water, at an affordable price”. In a press release of August 14, 2012, the winners were named.

The California Institute of Technology in the USA received the 100’000 dollar first prize for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity.

The other three winners were Cranfield University (UK – membranes/vaporisation), Eram Scientific Solutions Private Limited (India – eco-friendly), Research Triangle Institute (USA – biomass energy conversion) and the University of Colorado Boulder (USA – solar toilet producing bio charcoal).

The Swiss team of Tove Larsen (EAWAG) wins a recognition award of USD 40’000.- for their prototype.

This article is based on the press release of August 14, 2012, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and on an EAWAG press release .

Mukura Forest – an almost lost treasure

Battle against many oddities by an IEES-related organisation.Battle against many oddities by an IEES-related organisation.

The Mukura Forest is located within the Albertine Rift Region in Rwanda’s Western Province, within the Congo-Nile crest. It used to be part of a continuous mountain forest from Nyungwe to the Volcanos Park. Today, this ancient forest range with areas of endemic species in Africa and the world is split in four important protected areas in Rwanda from south to north : the Nyungwe, Mukura and Gishwati forests and the Volcano Park.
Mukura Forest’s mean annual temperature is 15 °C, the average altitude: 2600 m.a.s.l and the mean annual rainfall is 1500 mm (erratic). As the relief is very accidented and the tree cover very low, there is a high risk of sol erosion and thereby land degradation.

Mukura Forest has reserve status since 1951: it then covered 3000 ha. Until today about 50% of the forest’s surface are lost due to deforestation, paralleled with high loss of biodiversity (highly disturbed). Currently, 1600 ha are left. This amounts to an alarming situation which arose for several reasons. The population pressure is high: up to 600 inhabitants per km2 ; this aggravates deforestation and consequently erosion. The level of poverty is high: the monthly income of households is 3 US$ and there is a high vulnerability of children (20% are not going to school). Finally, the current climate variations are increasing the stress on the natural resources which are already overused by the local communities

In this difficult situation the local organisation ARECO-RWANDA NZIZA (Association Rwandaise des Ecologistes), whose national coordiantor is Ms Dancilla Mukakamari, is engaged in several projects aimed at saving the precious rudiments of Mukura Forest to:

  • raise awarness of the local population and schools for sustainable conservation of Mukura Forest reserve
  • promote community based conservation and
  • elaborate a Mukura Forest Management Plan
  • organize workshops e.g. together with REMA (Rwanda Environment Management Authority)
  • support women in agroforestry and fruit trees production.

ARECO works with limited funds from the Netherlands (1999/2000), IUCN (2002-2006) and UNEP (2006).

Main lessons learnt so far :

  • Working with local communities especially women, youth and schools is a key way of sustainable biodiversity conservation and secure livelihoods;
  • Secure livelihoods promotion is a key condition for sustainable conservation;

Future actions

Validation workshop of Mukura Management Plan (2007-2011)
with the following main priorities:

  • Buffer zone creation and management (115 ha) with bambous species;
  • Rehabilitation of 120 ha inside the forest.

Conclusion and recommendations of ARECO-RWANDA NZIZA

Supporting women and youth groups for sustainable conservation is ARECO’s priority;
Donors assistance is highly recommended for sustainable achievements.

Comment by Brigitta Züst

IEEC works on many environmental problems all over the world. But are we able to help preservimg an ancient forest with endemic species? If such forest are lost, it is lost forever. Get in contact with Dancilla, with ARECO-RWANDA, show interest, go and visit, it is thouroughly worthwhile.

Text based on informations from

Dancilla Mukakamari, National Coordinator, Kigali Rwanda. email :
Urs Bloesch, Natural resource management, CH-2502 Biel, email:


Dancilla Mukakamari, National Coordinator, Kigali Rwanda.
email :

Room for Urban Agriculture in Rotterdam

Since 2007 a group of citizens in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) has been active under the name Eetbaar Rotterdam (Edible Rotterdam). Coming from different disciplines this expert group has been stimulating and initiating urban agriculture in Rotterdam, because they believe urban agriculture can greatly benefit the city.

This independent research was recently presented to a wide range of local and regional actors. The English summary of this highly interesting work is available here: