Ecological engineering promotes a framework approach to re-establishment (strategic re-establishment of scaffold species that provide the means for natural recruitment).
Conventional engineering promotes instant ecology or forceful design – Revegetation with all pre-existing species with consequent high rates of attrition as species fail to survive in a highly altered environment.
Mine site rehabilitation
Reconstruction of a functional ecosystem by facilitating appropriate soil physical, chemical, biological, hydrologic and micro-climate to provide conditions suitable for revegetation.
The approach recognises that rehabilitation to a variety (portfolio) of land uses incorporating a mix of productive and conservation land uses (pasture, agro-forestry, forestry native vegetation) provides incentive for ongoing management where the land has potential to produce an income.
Tendency to rehabilitate a highly engineered, rolling landform with a high level of soil compaction to single post-mining land use (often native vegetation) that has lower conservation value than natural remnant forest, and limited incentive for ongoing management.