Soil-bio-engineering is working on two main subjects. One of them is soil which is emphasized in the English expression. The other is plants, as emphasized in the French expression "génie végétal". Both aspects are considered equaly.
In short, soil-bio-engineering is researching and using the influence of vegetation on soil in order to create the best possible protection of soil by vegetation measures. In a broader sense, it also includes measures to protect water and environment using soil and vegetation.
Beside the classic use in slope and river bank stabilization soil-bio-engineers also treat questions of noise protection or the elimination of contaminations from air and water.
Common to all these applications is the constructional use of vegetation. Vegetation can be used instead or combined with civil engineering techniques. The later leading to hybrid bio-engineering techniques. Sometimes civil engineering measures are needed to allow the first installation of vegetation.
The objective of bio-engineering techniques is to figure out the effect of vegetation already during the planning and conception stage. Thus to minimize the actual engineering action in favor of and due to the impact of vegetation. The concurrence of modern civil engineering techniques and and natural processes make for an increased use of local resources and thus allows to reduce transports and further destruction of the environment.
Reasonable use of local resources .....
.....means protecting global resources