Studies on the Social Dimensions of Industrial Ecology series
Edited by Pauline Deutz, Donald I. Lyons and Jun Bi
Chapter 3: Industrial ecology, industrial symbiosis and eco-industrial parks in Africa: issues for sustainable development
The idea of industry finding uses for non-product outputs (by-products and wastes) is not a new one (Desrochers, 2001). However, local context and incentives change with the global drive towards efficient use of resources (Deutz, 2014) and sustainable development (Posch, 2010). This contrasts with the conventional economic growth trajectories that lead to increased negative ecological impacts (Boons et al., 2011). In Africa, and indeed globally, multiple factors are bringing about a change in attitudes and making the prospects for industrial ecology (IE) more attractive. The growing scarcity of resources together with advances in technology and greater urbanisation are all heightening awareness that the time is ripe for change to more sustainable development (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2013). IE considers non-human ‘natural’ ecosystems as potential models for industrial activity and places human technological activity (industry) in the larger ecosystems that support it, examining the sources of resources used in society and the sinks that may act to absorb or detoxify wastes.
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