There is a growing need for a knowledge source that presents authoritative, comprehensive, and integrated approaches to the science, technology, and management of natural and
human resources necessary for life support. The use of essential natural resources or natural environment capital must be orchestrated and enhanced
through human engineering efforts to ensure that the resulting resources are ecologically sustainable. The EOLSS is being developed to meet these needs.
The EOLSS is designed to:
- Contain a thematic presentation of knowledge in a manner that will be helpful for the development of initial, as well as long term,
understanding of relevant multidisciplinary aspects of life support systems.
- Include comprehensive coverage of the subject matter, from its origin to the present state-of-the-art with discussions of
significant contemporary advances and future perspectives.
- Provide a lucid, pedagogical, and authoritative presentation of data, information, and knowledge that will be of value for scientific, engineering, management, and
policy making purposes in these areas, as well as for technology transfer across nations and regions of the world with broadly divergent social and
- Present a detailed description and analysis of essential life support systems.
- Discuss sustainable development and global security issues as they apply to essential life support systems.
- Elucidate the knowledge foundations needed for development of these resources in such a way that they are suitable for self study, through presentations of
overview and specific contributions in each Subject Domain.
- To be especially useful for those with diverse needs in Natural and Social
Sciences, Humanities, Technology, Engineering, Systems Management, and Policy Analysis.
- To provide comprehensive data, information, and knowledge concerning contemporary
life support issues of Global Sustainable Development, essential life support systems, and an integration of the knowledge base of Natural and Social
Sciences, Engineering and Technology, and Humanities referred to here as Knowledge Foundations.
- To provide an appropriate knowledge base, enriched with ethics and cultural perspectives of all parts of the globe, to inspire: nations, governments,
leaders, and the peoples. The contributions to the Encyclopedia come from a broad spectrum of well-known experts from leading academic and research
institutions, professional organizations, legislative government agencies, private enterprises, and policy planning bodies throughout the world.
The EOLSS is designed to appeal to a wide spectrum of users - from the merely curious to those seeking in-depth knowledge. To satisfy these, the EOLSS
Contents have the following characteristics:
- Popular appeal - by providing widely understandable perspective presentations.
- Educational relevance - through presentations that emphasize knowledge principles, or fundamentals, and their applications.
- Professional utility - through descriptions of knowledge practices and their applications.
- Research relevance - through presentation of knowledge principles that are of general value to specialists who wish to undertake study in related subjects.
- Future and policy orientation - through provision of knowledge perspectives that are useful for obtaining forecasts of trends in science, technology, and social programs.
There are five major target audiences for the EOLSS:
- University/Collegestudents (undergraduates and graduates) who wish to introduce themselves to a
particular subject in the life support systems either by self-study or formal lecture participation.
- Educators interested in the subject areas of the EOLSS and who wish to prepare a comprehensive coverage of these subjects for lecture and
- Professional practitioners and informed specialists who wish to refresh and update their knowledge, and to relate their knowledge to
applications and subjects transcending their own specialization.
- Research personnel who wish to inform themselves about innovations and new approaches to problem solving.
- Policy analysts, managers, and decision makers in the public and private sectors, including development officials and non-governmental
organizations, who wish to equip themselves with the technical and systems management knowledge required to incorporate science and technology in their
The EOLSS is intended to be the literary equivalent of an expert advisor, a sophisticated expert system, which can be used to summarize the
state-of-the-art in subject domains, identify formal knowledge principles, relevant knowledge practices and likely future perspectives, and suggest
additional sources of relevant material. In this way, the EOLSS may be regarded as a source of carefully organized knowledge and not just a provider of raw
information and data.