Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) A virtual dynamic library equivalent to 200 volumes


The Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) is an integrated knowledge base dedicated to the health, maintenance, and future of life on planet Earth, focusing on sustainable development in all aspects from ecological issues to human security. Coordinated and developed by the UNESCO-EOLSS Joint Committee, and sponsored by Eolss Publishers of Oxford, UK, this Internet-based archive is regularly updated, with contributions from thousands of scholars in over 100 countries, and edited by nearly 300 subject experts.

The encyclopedia is designed to be a guide and reference for a wide range of users: from natural and social scientists to engineers, economists, educators, university students and professors, conservationists, policymakers. It can be browsed through the Table of Contents, or particular chapters can be found by using the Search Page. The list of result is arranged in subject domains, touching all areas of UNESCO's interest.

Access to EOLSS is made available free of charge to universities and higher institutions in least developed countries (LDCs). Universities from developing countries also receive an appropriate discount. It is available to others at nominal subscription rates, with a free trial period of at least 60 days.

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EOLSS mission The Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) presents a comprehensive, authoritative, and integrated body of knowledge of life support systems. It is a forward-looking publication, designed as a global guide to professional practice, education, and heightened social awareness of critical life support issues. The EOLSS is developed as a dependable source of knowledge for use in human endeavors aimed at development of remedial measures to counter the current practices, which imperil the Earth's essential life support systems. The Encyclopedia mission is in complete harmony with the main objective of UNESCO which is to contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting cooperation among nations through education, science, culture and communication in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.

Natural and social sciences, humanities, engineering and technology, and management policies for sustainable use of life support systems are emphasized, together with issues of global change and their ecological, economic, social, ethical, cultural, and political dimensions. The EOLSS is intended to enhance the systematic development of knowledge that is essential for global stability, security, and peace. In particular, the EOLSS presents perspectives from worldwide regions and cultures, and is free from geographic, racial, cultural, political, gender, age, or religious bias.

The UNESCO-EOLSS Joint Committee

UNESCO-EOLSS Joint Committee was established with the objectives of (a) seeking, selecting, inviting and appointing Honorary Theme Editors (HTEs), (b) providing assistance to the HTEs, and (d) monitoring the text development. The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Badran, A., Former Deputy Director General UNESCO, (Co-Chairman)

Al Gobaisi, Darwish, EOLSS Editor-in-Chief, (Co-Chairman)

El Tayeb, M., Director, Division for Science Policy and Sustainable Development, UNESCO

Tolba, M.K., President, International Center for Environment and Development, (Editor, EOLSS Forerunner)

Sage, A.P., George Mason University, USA (Chairman, EOLSS Configuration Control Board)

Marchuk, G.I., Russian Academy of Sciences

Johns, A.T. , University of Bath, UK Lundberg, H.D., Sweden

Szollosi-Nagy, A., Deputy ADG/SC, and Director, Division of Water Sciences, UNESCO


Agoshkov, V.I., Russia

Chesters, Gordon, University of Wisconsin, USA

Dempsey, Jack, UK

Hornby, Richard J., UK

Makkawi, Bushara, Sudan

Rao, Ganti Prasada, India

Sabouni, Raja, Syria

Wall, Goran, Sweden

Watt, H.M., USA

Woldai, A., Eritrea

Younes, Talal, International Union of Biological Sciences, France



Vladislav Kotchetkov

Hong Huynh
Assistant Project Coordinator

Ali Barbash
Systems Manager

Read the press release which accompanied the launch of the encyclopedia in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.