EcoEng Newsletter 1, April 2002

This issue: Ecological Engineering in New Zealand

By Carl Etnier, Co-Editor, USA

 This issue
This issue of Eco-Eng puts the spotlight on ecological engineering in New Zealand, using reports from last year’s conference, Ecological Engineering for Landscape Services and Products, held in Christchurch. The conference was part of a series that began in Stensund, Sweden, in 1991, with the conference Ecological Engineering for Wastewater Treatment [1], and has also encompassed conferences in Austria, Switzerland, India, and Norway.
Key topics
The themes of the New Zealand conference included (human) community processes, ecological engineering education, economics and marketing, landscape services, and technical services. The conference was followed up by an interactive component on the web, and the archives from that discussion (which includes abstracts for most of the papers) is found at

Amy Davis Jones interviews Sharon Beder, an outspoken social critic who delivered one of the keynotes in Christchurch. In the interview, Beder discusses the topic of her keynote, on how public relations tools are being used to undermine support for ecological engineering.

Andrew Dakers summarizes the results of the conference in another article.

Focus articles
The other articles from the conference focus on projects in New Zealand. Lee Jordan describes how the young Tauranga City is working to apply principles of ecological engineering to its water and stormwater treatment. Shelley Washington and Andrew Dakers report on opportunities for working with local inhabitants of the Banks Peninsula, just south of Christchurch, to use ecological engineering to preserve its unique biological and cultural features. Finally, Chris Tanner gives an overview of the use of constructed wetlands in New Zealand.
The next conference...

The International Ecological Engineering Society is already looking forward to its next conference in this series, to be held in North America. People at Harvard University have expressed interest in hosting it, and the date has been set for some time in the fall of 2003. A first announcement is included in this issue. In this issue, we are also introducing a new technology - the //debate// tool - for facilitating discussion via the web. Please consider using it to give comments and suggestions on the conference.

And Joe, the beast...

Finally, the irrepressible Joe Swamp reveals something about his past and his kin in our interview with him this issue.


Amy Davis Jones ( and Carl Etnier ( have, with this issue, plunged into cooperating with Andreas Schönborn () in their new roles as co-editors. Please drop any of us a line with comments or suggestions for future issues, or use the //debate// tool.

  [1] Etnier, C. and B. Guterstam, eds. Ecological engineering for wastewater treatment. Second ed. 1997, CRC Lewis Publishers: Boca Raton, Florida.
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© 2002, International Ecological Engineering Society, Wolhusen, Switzerland