ISAER Monthly Newsletter

Number 01. July 25th 2012
Editor: Enrique Ortega

Ecological Engineering and Applied Computing Laboratory

(Laboratório de Engenharia Ecológica e Informática Aplicada - LEIA) at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Campinas,  São Paulo, Brazil URL:


Short history of the group and motivations

The Ecological Engineering and Applied Computing Laboratory of the Faculty of Food Engineering at Unicamp, was born in 1985 to develop studies on the interface of Food Production with other areas of knowledge, as Ecology, Economics and Applied Informatics. At that time it was called Appropriate Technology Laboratory (LTA). In 1996, it was divided and transformed in two different laboratories: Ecological Engineering and Applied Computing (LEIA) and Environmental Management and Planning (LGPA). LEIA aimed to establish a research group based on Howard T. Odum scientific proposals. In order to do that it developed post-grade research, partnerships with innovative ecological farms, social movements (small farmers) and teaching and research institutions from Brazil and other countries.


Main objective:

Analyze the relationship between agriculture and agro-industry with their environment using the general systems theory, modeling and simulation, computer programs, and energy and mass balances to make diagnoses and propose alternatives to improve the environmental and social impact of food production and discuss public policy for a more Sustainable Development.


Main projects and researchers involved


Preparation of Emergy handouts and books in Portuguese for use at internet:

Environmental Systems and Public Policy, H. T. Odum and collaborators, University of Florida, USA. Translation to Spanish and Portuguese by Isabel Rosa, Yuri Bueno, Elisa O. Miluzzi, Vito Comar, Giovanna Garcia, Enrique Ortega.



Modeling and simulation systems for students of Engineering, Biology and Social Sciences. H.T. Odum (1924-2002), Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Florida & Elisabeth C. Odum, Santa Fe Community College, Gainesville, Florida, USA, 1994. Translation to Portuguese and software preparation in Java by Enrique Ortega, Mileine Furlanetti de Lima Zanghetin, Liana Carrasco , Stefan Kontur, Manuel Basler, Camila Duarte and others.

Ecological Engineering and Sustainable Agriculture with case studies.(Engenharia Ecológica e Agricultura Sustentável: Exemplos de uso da metodologia energética/ecossistêmica). Edited by Enrique Ortega. Collaborators: Howard T. Odum, Sherry Brandt-Williams, Mário Giampietro, Gianni Pastore, Sergio Ulgiati, Osmar Coelho, Vito Comar, Paul Safonov, Carla Regina Lanzotti, Daniel K. Wada, Kelly Deluqui, Marcus Vasconcelos, Gustavo Teira, Heitor Polidoro, Mariana Miller. George A. Daoutopoulos, Myrto Pyrovetsi, Celso Costa Lopes, João Fernando Marques, José Maria Gusman Ferraz, Osmar de Carvalho Bueno, Elias José Simon,Elisa Maria do Amaral, Julieta Teresa Aier de Oliveira Salles, Mário Eduardo Fumes, Maristela Simões do Carmo, Sonia Maria Pessoa Pereira Bergamasco, Jansle Vieira Rocha, Ligia Barrozo Simões, Lincoln Gehring Cardoso, Tonya Howington de Haberkorn, Enrique Ortega

The Prosperous Way Down: Principles and Policies (Após o crescimento, o declínio próspero: princípios e políticas). Translation to Portuguese of H.T. and E.C. Odum book by Enrique Ortega. To be published by Editora Vozes of Rio de Janeiro, in September 2012.


Courses with Visiting Professors:

Dr. Mark T. Brown, University of Florida, Emergy Assessment of Projects.

Dr. Paul Safonov, Russian Science Academy, Ecology-Economy Interface.

Dr. Tonya Haberkorn. The use of Geographical Information Systems in Regional Planning.


Post-Grade Courses offering at Unicamp:

Ecological Assessment of Agro-Industrial Projects

Ecosystems Modeling and simulation.


Extension Short Courses offering at Unicamp:

Emergy Project Assessment.


Ecological farming research partners

Sitio Duas Cachoeiras, Ecovila Yamaguishi, Sitio Catavento, Fazenda Nata da Serra, Movimento dos Pequenos Agricultores, Assentamentos de Reforma Agrária, TED-VilaMada, Brazilian Agricultural Research Enterprise Centers (Embrapa).


Close collaborators

Jose Maria Gusman Ferraz (UFSCar), Manuel Baltasar (UFSCar), João Mangabeira (Embrapa-Monitoramento), Luis Alberto Ambrósio (IZ/SP), Ivan Bergier (Embrapa-Pantanal), Sandra Furlan (Embrapa-Monitoramento), Vito Comar (UFGD), João Vila da Silva (Embrapa-Informática), Alexandre Souza (ITCP/Unicamp), Theo Kieckbush Jr., Teldes Albuquerque, Guaracy Dinis (Sítio Duas Cachoeiras), Romeu Matos Leite (Ecovila Yamaguishi), Fernando Ataliba (Sítio Catavento), Miguel Bacic (IE/Unicamp),  Ademar Romeiro (IE/Unicamp), Paulo Beskow (UFSCar), Luis Antonio Margarido (UFSCar), Feni Agostinho (UNIP), Biagio Gianetti (UNIP).


PhD students (6)

Marcos Watanabe: Water and Carbon Cycles combined in a Brazilian watershed (Defense: August 24th 2012)

Lucas Pereira: Emergy Synthesis and Multi-variable analysis of Brazil (Defense: August 24th 2012)

Sayoko Nakajima: Emergy Diagnosis of a County (Defense: May, 2013)

Selene Buller: Mass and Energy Flows in a Watershed considering Climate Impact (Defense: 2015)

Thiago Roncon: Native forest restoration in the Brazilian Savannah (Defense: 2015)

Ari Costa: Climate Change modeling and simulation in Brazilian watersheds (Defense: 2015)


Science apprenticeship trainees:

Victor Salek Bosso: Modelling and simulation of Agroforestry Systems in Brazilian Rainforest Areas (2012)


Post-doctoral studies: Marilene Moura.

Visitors: Sergio Roldan (Argentina)

Educational materials assistantship: Larissa Borelli


Recent publications

1. PEREIRA, L.G. & ORTEGA, E. A modified footprint method: The case study of Brazil. Ecological Indicators. Volume 16, May 2012, Pages 113–127 

2. AGOSTINHO, F., ORTEGA, E. 2011. Integrated food, energy and environmental services production: an alternative for small rural farms in Brazil. Energy, Elsevier. Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 103–114. 

3. ORTEGA, E. New Emergy Indices for a Prosperous Way Down. Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Emergy Research Conference, Center for Environmental Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA, January, 2010. Published in 2012, Pages 573-582

4. ULGIATI, S., AGOSTINHO, F., LOMAS, P., ORTEGA, E., VIGLIA,S., ZHANG, P., ZUCARO, A. Criteria for Quality Assessment of Unit Emergy Values. Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Emergy Research Conference, Center for Environmental Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA, January, 2010. Published in 2012, Pages 599-610

5. WATANABE, M., ORTEGA, E. Ecosystem services and biogeochemical cycles on a global scale: valuation of water, carbon and nitrogen processes. Environmental Science & Policy. Volume 14, Issue 6, October 2011, Pages 594–604 

6. BERGIER, I., SALIS, S., MIRANDA, C., ORTEGA, E., LUENGO, C. 2011. Biofuel production from water hyacinth in the Pantanal wetland. Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology. In printing. 

7. SOUZA, F., ORTEGA, E. 2011. How to produce biofuel side by side with food and environmental services: integrated systems in land reform settlements. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Elsevier. Submitted 03/03/2011.

8. AGOSTINHO, F., ORTEGA, E., 2011. Avaliação energético-ambiental da produção agropecuária na bacia hidrográfica dos rios Mogi-Guaçú e Pardo, Brasil. Revista da Rede Ibero-Americana de Economia Ecológica, REVIBEC, Barcelona, Espanha. Submetido em 25/03/2011.

9. WATANABE, M., ORTEGA, E., BERGIER, I., SILVA, J. 2011. Nitrogen cycle and ecosystem services in Brazilian La Plata Basin: implications of anthropogenic influence and climate change. Brazilian Journal of Biology. Submitted in 21/03/2011.

10. AGOSTINHO, F., AMBRÓSIO, L. A., ORTEGA, E. 2010. Assessment of a large watershed in Brazil using Emergy Evaluation and Geographical Information System. Ecological Modelling, Published.

11. PEREIRA, C.L.F., ORTEGA, E. 2010. Sustainability assessment of large-scale ethanol production from sugarcane. Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 18, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 77-82.

12.  TAKAHASHI, F., ORTEGA, E. Assessing the sustainability of Brazilian oleaginous crops - possible raw material to produce biodiesel. Energy Policy. , v.38, p.2446 - 2454, 2010. 

13.  SICHE, R.; PEREIRA, L.; AGOSTINHO, F.; ORTEGA, E. Convergence of ecological footprint and emergy analysis as a sustainability indicator of countries: Peru as case study. Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation, Volume 15, Issue 10, October 2010, Pages 3182-3192.

14. PEREIRA, C.L.F., ORTEGA, E. Sustainability assessment of large-scale ethanol production from sugarcane. Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 18, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 77-82.

15. SICHE, J.R.; AGOSTINHO, F.; ORTEGA, E. Emergy Net Primary Production (ENPP) as basis for calculation of Ecological Footprint. Ecological Indicators. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2009.07.018.

16. CAVALETT, O.; ORTEGA, E. Emergy, nutrients balance, and economic assessment of soybean production and industrialization in Brazil. Journal of Cleaner Production, v. 17, p. 762-771, 2009.

17. AGOSTINHO, F. D. R.; DINIZ, G.; SICHE, R.; ORTEGA, E. The Use of Emergy Assessment and the Geographical Information System to Diagnostic Small Family Farms in Brazil. Ecological Modelling, v. 210, p. 37-57, 2008. 

18. SICHE, R.; AGOSTINHO, F. D. R.; ORTEGA, E.; ROMEIRO, A. Sustainability of nations by indices: Comparative study between environmental sustainability index, ecological footprint and the emergy performance indices. Ecological Economics, v. 178, p. 243-246, 2007. 

19. CAVALETT, O.; QUEIROZ, J. F.; ORTEGA, E. Emergy assessment of integrated production systems of grains, pig and fish in small farms in the South Brazil. Ecological Modelling, v. 193, p. 205-224, 2006.

20. ORTEGA, E. The prosperous way down: a proposal for action. "Through the MACROSCOPE: the legacy of H.T. Odum" special edition of Ecological Modelling, v. 178, p. 243-246, 2005. 


Book chapters (in Spanish and Portuguese)

1. ORTEGA, E. 2011. La evaluación emergética de la producción agro-pecuaria y forestal: tendencias insostenibles. Capítulo del libro “Economía Ecológica: El camino hacia la Economía Verde del Siglo XXI” Editora de La Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sometido a revisión en 25/02/2011.

2. ORTEGA, E. e BACIC, M., 2011. Análisis de sistemas de producción y consumo por medio de la metodología emergética. Revista Latino-Americana de Energía. Argentina. Enviado: 15/01/2011

3. ORTEGA, E. 2010. Avaliação emergética da produção agro-pecuária e florestal. Anais do III Seminário Internacional Amazônias, novembro 30 a dezembro 1 de 2009. Desafios e Potencialidades para a Amazônia do Século XXI. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Economia, Universidade Federal de Pará, 2009. Editora Paka-Taku, Belém do Pará, Amazôniia, 2012.

4. ORTEGA, E. 2011: Brasil e o desenvolvimento sustentável. Relatório final do estudo patrocinado pela Associação Brasileira de Economia Ecológica (EcoEco) e o Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas Aplicadas (IPEA). FEA, Unicamp, 25 de fevereiro de 2011. 47 páginas.

5. ORTEGA, 2010. Mi percepción actual del mundo. En Carlos Rivas (Editor): “Claves de la Economía de Occidente? Una mirada ecologista”. Ediciones Kaicron, Buenos Aires Argentina.

6. ORTEGA, E. A um desafio global corresponde uma ética biofísica. Capitulo 5 da edição na internet do livro Consciência e Desenvolvimento Sustentável nas Organizações. A. de Hoyos; A.M. Rossini; J. U. da Silva; M. C. Rodrigues (Organizadores). Editora Campus-Elsevier, SP, 2009

7. ORTEGA, E. A Produção de Etanol em Micro e Minidestilarias. pg. 475-490, Capítulo 14. In Biomassa para Emergia, Organização: Cortez, Lora, Gomez, Editora Unicamp, 2008, ISSBN 978852680783-9 (734pg)

8. ORTEGA, E. Análise sistêmica e emergética da aquicultura. Capítulo 7 do livro Sanidade de Organismos Aquáticos no Brasil (Ângela Teresa Silva-Souza, Organizadora). Associação Brasileira de Parasitologia de Organismos Aquáticos (ABRAPOA), Maringá, Paraná, 2006.


Results obtained in research


1. TAKAHASHI, F. & ORTEGA, E. Software for Emergy Diagnoses (XML-XSLT), 2009. 

2. E. ORTEGA; M. ZANGHETIN. Java Applets for systems modeling and simulation, FEA/Unicamp, Campinas, SP, Brazil, 2008. 

3. VALYI, R., ORTEGA, E. “Emergy Simulator”, 2005. Software for systems modeling and simulation free code.


Dissertations and thesis

A. Extração Sólido-Líquidio - Brian Azevedo (3 Mb)
B. Planejamento da Produção de Alimentos e Eco-Desenvolvimento (10 Mb)
C. Esterilização Alimentos Software (13 Mb)
1. Avaliação Emergética de Sistemas Rurais - Vito Comar (3,2 Mb)
2. Usinas de Álcool - Carla Lanzotti (0,5 Mb)
3. Simulação Lagoa do Broa - Elmer Rivera (1,13 Mb)
4. Suino-piscicultura em Santa Catarina - Otavio Cavalett (2,5 Mb)
5. Comparação de unidades rurais - Feni Agostinho (4,6 Mb)
6. Diagnóstico emergético On-Line - Daniel Sousa Kamiya (3,6 Mb)
7. Sistemas Agrosilvipastoris - Teldes Albuquerque (6,8 Mb)
8. Assentamento Ipanema - Alexandre Souza (3,6 Mb)
9. Avaliação On-Site e On-Line - Fabio Takahashi (0,3 Mb)
10. Avaliação Emergética do Peru- Raul Siche (3,9 Mb)
11. Análise de Ciclo de Vida (Cana e Laranja) - Consuelo Pereira (2,5 Mb)
12. Valor dos Serviços Ambientais - Marcos Watanabe (7,8 Mb)
13. Análise de Ciclo de Vida da Soja - Otavio Cavalett (1,9 Mb)
14. Pegada Ecológica Emergética - Lucas Pereira (2,0 Mb)
15. Simulação de um Rio - Marlei Scariot (6,1 Mb)
16. Diagnóstico de uma Bacia (Mogi Guaçu) - Feni Agostinho (2,6 Mb)
17. Microdestilaria em Assentamento de Reforma Agrária - Alexandre Souza (2,1 Mb)
18. Serviços Ambientais Floresta Atlântica - Thiago Roncon (10 Mb)
19. Bioenergia Aguape Pantanal - Luz Selene Buller (3 Mb)
20. Sistema Agroflorestal Sitio Catavento - Teldes Albuquerque (7 Mb)
21. Sustentabilidade Agricultura Brasileira - Fabio Takahashi (40 Mb)
22. Impacto ambiental de sistemas de criação animal -Mariana Barros Teixeira (2,7 Mb)

23. Comparação de sistemas de produção de banana - Caue Melo (20 Mb)


Information about scientific meetings, social and ecological movements, innovative business, scholarships, work opportunities, open projects, needs and things we are interested


Emergy methodology

·        ISAER Biennial Emergy Research Conference. University of Florida (Gainesville, Fl., USA)


·        European and American Conferences

·        Brazilian Meetings

Ecological Economics

·        ISEE Ecological Economics International Congress

·        Eco-Eco Brazilian Ecological Economics Society Congress

·        ASAUEE Argentinean and Uruguayan Ecological Economy Association Congress

Urban Ecology

·        Urban Ecology Latin-American Congress


·        Brazilian Ecology Society Congress

Cleaner production

·        International Workshop

Systems Dynamics

·        Argentinean and Brazilian meetings


·        SOCLA Agroecology Latin-American Congress

·        ABA Brazilian Agroecology Congress

Agroforestry and Agro-Pastoral Systems

·        Latin-American and Brazilian Congresses

Ecological and social movements

·        Latin-American and Brazilian Small Farmers Movement (MPA)

·        Concerned Scientists Movement

·        Degrowth Movement

Climate Change and Agriculture

·        Brazilian Federal Government Meetings

Ecological Footprint

·        Global Footprint Network and Ecodynamics Group at the University of Siena

Local Planning

·        Campinas Neighborhood Planning Committee

Energy Balances and Economic Planning

·        Workshop Advances in Energy Studies.

Political Ecology

·        CLACSO meetings.


Ideas for ISAER improvement and interactions

Our main projects

After 26 years of experience in emergy research nowadays we are concentrating our efforts in two projects:

[1] The preparation of a national research project that we call REDAGRES/Brazil. It is part of an Ibero-American Research Network on Agroecological Farming Systems Resilient to Climate Change, which has the support of CYTED (Science and Technology for Development in Latin-America). At this time, we are defining objectives, methodologies, desired results, partnerships in Brazil and Ibero-America. There are several Brazilian Research Groups (Universities and Embrapa centers) interested in collaboration, and at least four Argentinean Universities. If this project is approved (we expect to have the appraisal results in November 2012) then there will be several opportunities for post-doctoral studies for Brazilian and Ibero-American Researchers.

[2] The preparation of a book (100 pages) for the Brazilian Watershed Authority (ANA-FEHIDRO) about the use of systems approach methodologies for regional planning and management of agricultural areas and native vegetation areas recovering and restoring.


Opportunities for collaboration with ISAER researchers and students exchange

In 2013 we can organize research projects on the topic of Resilience in Agriculture for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation with ISAER researchers interested in this area, all over the world.


We consider that main challenges for ISAER are:

1.      Develop a special effort to solve Emergy Methodology issues in which different emergy research groups have different approaches.

2.      Improve ISAER site and allow a more easy access to Transformity Database

3.      Implement a newsletter (of which this document is a start-up) to exchange information

4.      Identify research priorities for common projects in defense of nature and society.

5.      Identify interaction activities with social and ecological movements, world peasants’ movement, innovative ecological initiatives for transition, and specially Degrowth Movement all around the world.