Ecology includes the scientific study of the interaction between organisms and their relation with the environement they are in.
The word “ecology” (“Ökologie”) was first pronounced in 1866 by the German scientist Ernst Haeckel.
Ecology is assimilated to environment, environmentalism, natural history of environmental science but it is different insofar as it is related to evolutionary biology, genetics and ethology.
Ecologists tend to highlight the close relation between biodiversity and ecological function.
Practical applications of ecology are more and more present in many areas:
– Conservation biology
– Wetland management
– Natural resources management (agroecology, agriculture, agroforestry, fisheries)
– City planning (urban ecology)
– Community health
– Economics (circular economy, green economy)
– Basic and applied science
– Human social interaction (human ecology)
Some definitions about ecology-related practices
Sustainable agriculture: consists of environmentally-friendly methods of farming that allow the production of crops or livestock without damage to human or natural systems. It involves preventing adverse effects to soil, water, biodiversity, surrounding or downstream resources—as well as to those working or living on the farm or in neighboring areas.
Organic farming: is a form of agriculture that relies on sustainable techniques to enhance the natural fertility of a farm, including crop rotation, companion planting, biological pest control, and naturally-sourced fertilizers such as compost, manure, green manure, and bone meal while it excludes or strictly limits the use of synthetic petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides
Permaculture: is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. The word permaculture originally referred to “permanent agriculture”, but was expanded to stand also for “permanent culture”
Agroforestry: is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland.
Agro-ecology: is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems.
Renewable energy: is generally defined as energy that is collected from resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.
Waste management: is all those activities and action required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal.This includes amongst other things, collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste together with monitoring and regulatio
Circular economy: is a generic term for an industrial economy that is producing no waste and pollution, by design or intention, and in which material flows are of two types, biological nutrients, designed to reenter the biosphere safely, and technical nutrients, which are designed to circulate at high quality in the production system without entering the biosphere.
Green economy: is defined as an economy that aims at reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities, and that aims for sustainable development without degrading the environment. It is closely related with ecological economics, but has a more politically applied focus.The 2011 UNEP Green Economy Report argues “that to be green, an economy must not only be efficient, but also fair. Fairness implies recognising global and country level equity dimensions, particularly in assuring a just transition to an economy that is low-carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive.”