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Training Integrated Bio-Systems (IBS)
for Sustainable Production

Based at the University of Transkei
South Africa

Despite the fact that our community is endowed with a rich and diverse natural resource’s heritage, to this day a community filled with problems of pollution, environmental degradation, poverty and low agricultural productivity, and hence food insecurity amongst its population. Increased population rates have meant that the requirements of the people for water, food, sanitation, health care, shelter, energy and job cannot be met using the current production systems.

Project Summary

The project embraces and utilizes the Zero Emission Research and Initiatives (ZERI) simple technology. ZERI is a new vision which seeks to promote the total productivity of raw materials, thereby eliminating wastes, creating job opportunities, adding value, generating income, and cleaning up the environment: more so than the conventional production systems.

Mlondolozi Kosi, project director, presents one of ZERI's brewery projects that has led to creating extra foods - mushrooms and bread - from the waste grain that used to be thrown away from the brewing process. So now people in Namibia are getting high-class protein and fertile water for irrigation as well as refreshing beer. Left to right, Mlondolozi Kosi, Anna Ardin and Sandra Tobon at the Zero Emissions Pavillion talk to King Carl XVI Gustav of Swedenabout ZERI projects. (information and photo from zeri.org)

The ZERI concept is based on the transformation of previously discarded organic wastes from agriculture and other economic activities to raw materials for a wide range of value-added products.

As a new concept, it is necessary to (re)train communities to be capable of using the zero emissions concepts to alleviate some of the problems. The proposed solutions offered by the zero emissions principles are enhanced sustainable production, and to develop new technologies that are applicable to/in various areas of specialization. As a result, the training should be multi-disciplinary.

Project Aim

To provide trainees education and training aimed at producing candidates who will be equipped with knowledge, skills and attitudes, which will help improve resource management and productivity, and to promote sustainable development, wise use of resources and a healthy environment.


Project Objectives

At the end of the ZERI training program, candidates/students should be able to:

  • Present a multidisciplinary overview of the zero emissions concept in relation to sustainable resource development and management.
  • Identify new opportunities for enhanced industrial productivity and new value-added products, thus attracting new investments, while generating more job opportunities.
  • Identify and implement alternative approaches for eliminating various categories of wastes, which will help to reduce pollution, and thus improve the quality of environment.
  • Identify strong synergic interactions of different technological systems that will be used in order to sustain the livelihoods of communities. NEW

Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes to be Acquired


  • Understanding the zero emissions concept.
  • Being able to integrate the zero emissions concept into economic production systems.
  • Have an in-depth understanding of the definition of systems thinking and its advantages.


  • Cultivating an ability to plan, design and analyze integrated bio-systems, and understanding on the functioning of the various components of the bio-systems.
  • Promoting the acquisition of the skills and technologies appropriate to integrated bio-systems.
  • Cultivate entrepreneurial skills for profitable management of integrated bio-systems.


  • Appreciating the holistic nature of integrated bio-systems and the wide range of new economic opportunities generated through appropriate management of the various categories of the agricultural, industrial and other wastes.

Training and Administration

The computer based course and hands-on training will be offered on full basis over a period of three months to six months by implementation based on a ZERI Methodology.

Training Contents

  • Environmental challenges
  • The Concept of Zero Emissions
  • Project planning and Information Systems Management
  • Ecological Sanitation Technology
  • Waste Management
  • Organic Farming

Projects to be Undertaken

  • Algae production
  • Mushroom production
  • Fish farming
  • Ecological sanitation
  • Crop production
  • Earthworm farming
  • Chicken farming
  • Computer literacy

Partners in Offerred Training

(1) University of Transkei (UNITRA)

  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Botany
  • Department of Bio-chemistry
  • Department of Microbiology
  • Department of Zoology
  • Research for Rural Development Institute (RRDI)

(2) Technische Universitat Hamburg Harburg (TUHH)

  • Institute for Municipal and Industrial Waste Management

(3) Eastern Cape Appropriate Technology Unit (ECATU)

(4) Zero Emission Research Initiatives (ZERI) Foundation

(5) Rural Community Leaders


Mlondolozi Kosi, Project Director

A W.I.S.H. Africa


A World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity