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Publisher EcoLivres

An eco-friendly publisher that changes the world with environmental humanities

 

2021.07.05

 

The world is eyeing two big issues – the environment and climate crisis. People have begun to take the issues seriously with much attention, but there was a publisher that foresaw 20 years ago that the environment would be the next big issue and has been publishing environment-related books until today. It is EcoLivres, a publisher known for its environmental publications. Established in 2001, EcoLivres has been ceaselessly working for the environment and the ecosystem by looking into the future for the past 20 years. Looking back on the past 20 years, EcoLivres has been pursuing values where human beings can live a decent life as human beings, publishing books about humanities and the environment. What is this humanness they are seeking? EcoLivres’ philosophy of protecting the environment while looking back in history seems like a virtue that human beings should have. Following is an interview with Park Je-Hwan, head of EcoLivres, who puts the utmost effort into producing books on the environment for a sustainable future as a human being.

 

 

Please introduce EcoLivres to overseas publishers.

 

EcoLivres is a Korean publisher entering its 20th year in May. Its name came from English words that mean environment, as we believed that environment would be the major issue in the 21st century around the time when the company was set up. We first thought of naming the company “Ecobooks,” but as it seemed too explicit, we chose “EcoLivres” which is a mixture of an English word and a French word. We’ve published 260 titles as of 2021, and we’ve become well-known as a publisher specialized in environment and ecology among the public. This can be proved by the fact that EcoLivres was chosen as the number one publisher among other environment & ecology publishers by Aladin, a big online bookstore in Korea, in the assessment of publishers divided by categories.

 

What is the motto of EcoLivres?

 

The environment was discussed as the big issue of the 21st century when EcoLivres was established. As we learn lessons from the past through history, we chose “EcoLivres thinks about the environment and history” as the motto.

 

What was the driver that helped EcoLivres continue publishing humanities books in the long run? And why do you think that such books are necessary for us?

 

First, thanks for the compliment. Well, humanities books can't make good profits in Korea’s publishing market. But you can definitely keep on publishing them if you let go of making great profits. We believe that humanities are the basic element for all studies or the publishing field. As the foundation should be firm enough for anything to follow afterward, we think that the publication of humanities books should take a strong root.

 

 

EcoLivres think about the environment and history.

 

 

What motivated EcoLivres to publish books on the environment, and what social changes do you expect such books will make?

 

Man-made environmental pollution has reached its peak in the 21st century. So, we began to publish books about the environment, thinking that it would bring better outcomes if we make people at least pay attention to the issue. We published Slow Violence and Environmentalism of the Poor in 2020 and recently produced The Great Derangement. The climate crisis is not just about reducing carbon emissions. The two books mentioned earlier argue that everything related to humanity is in crisis. We would like to refer to the genre of such books as “environmental humanities.” If there are more books of this kind, more people will acknowledge how serious climate change is. And EcoLivres thinks that taking some responsibility for that mission will lead environmental publications to make social changes.

 

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Slow Violence and Environmentalism of the Poor, The Great Derangement, Mom’s on a Business Trip in the North Pole

 

 

Please recommend some of your books on the environment for subscribers.

 

1. Silent Spring
We would like to recommend this one as it gave birth to today’s environmental movements. It is just astonishing that such a book was published back in 1962.

2. Big World Small Planet
Humanity must give up development and prosperity when thinking about the environment. From such a perspective, this book offers new solutions that humanity should coexist with the environment within the scope Earth can tolerate.

3. Slow Violence and Environmentalism of the Poor and The Great Derangement
These new-style books about the environment include almost all the issues related to the environment and ecosystem.

 

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Silent Spring, Big World Small Planet

 

 

Is there a specific direction when it comes to planning books related to the climate crisis? Do you also have certain directions for other topics as well?

 

The climate crisis is unstoppable. So, it will be important to respond to it or get used to it. We are thinking of publishing books related to such topics. Areas that overlap when we publish books about the environment are natural science and business & money. So we would also like to steadily make books in those two relevant fields as well.

 

What are your plans for the future? Where is EcoLivres headed?

 

We don’t have special plans. We will just continue to publish books, just as we’ve been doing until now. We will do our best to produce what we think as “fine books” with consistency.

 

 

Blog blog.naver.com/ecolivres
Facebook facebook.com/ecolivres.pub

 


Organized by Kang Chan-Hwi

 

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