Concept of ecological footprint

This slogan has become widely mentioned recently in relation to COP21, the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris. The slogan highlights that the debate about climate change relates to much more than simply a changing climate. The underlying processes have a lot to do with our lifestyles and the related patterns of consumption and waste which cause severe damages to the environment including the global climate.

Concept of ecological footprint

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Rees, The University of British Columbia Conventional wisdom suggests that because of technology and trade, human carrying capacity is infinitely expandable and therefore virtually irrelevant to demography and development planning.

By contrast, this article argues that ecological carrying capacity remains the fundamental basis for demographic accounting. A fundamental question for ecological economics is whether remaining stocks of natural capital are adequate to sustain the anticipated load of the human economy into the next century.

Since mainstream neoclassical models are blind to ecological structure and function, they cannot even properly address this question. The present article therefore assesses the capital stocks, physical flows, and corresponding ecosystems areas required to support the economy using "ecological footprint" analysis.

This approach shows that most so-called "advanced" countries are running Concept of ecological footprint unaccounted ecological deficits with the rest of the planet. Since not all countries can be net importers of carrying capacity, the material standards of the wealthy cannot be extended sustainably to even the present world population using prevailing technology.

In this light, sustainability may well depend on such measures as greater emphasis on equity in international relationships, significant adjustments to prevailing terms of trade, increasing regional self-reliance, and policies to stimulate a massive increase in the material and energy efficiency of economic activity.

Please address correspondence to Dr.

Ecological Footprint | WWF

According to Garrett Hardin"carrying capacity is the fundamental basis for demographic accounting. Their vision of the human economy is one in which "the factors of production are infinitely substitutable for one another" and in which "using any resource more intensely guarantees an increase in output" Kirchner et al.

As Daly observes, this vision assumes a world "in which carrying capacity is infinitely expandable" and therefore irrelevant.

Concept of ecological footprint

Clearly there is great division over the value of carrying capacity concepts in the sustainability debate. This article sides solidly with Hardin. I start from the premise that despite our increasing technological sophistication, humankind remains in a state of "obligate dependence" on the productivity and life support services of the ecosphere Rees, Thus, from an ecological perspective, adequate land and associated productive natural capital are fundamental to the prospects for continued civilized existence on Earth.

However, at present, both the human population and average consumption are increasing while the total area of productive land and stocks of natural capital are fixed or in decline. These opposing trends demand a revival of carrying capacity analysis in sustainable development planning.

The complete rationale is as follows: Carrying Capacity and Human Load An environment's carrying capacity is its maximum persistently supportable load Catton For purposes of game and range management, carrying capacity is usually defined as the maximum population of a given species that can be supported indefinitely in a defined habitat without permanently impairing the productivity of that habitat.

However, because of our seeming ability to increase our own carrying capacity by eliminating competing species, by importing locally scarce resources, and through technology, this definition seems irrelevant to humans. Indeed, trade and technology are often cited as reasons for rejecting the concept of human carrying capacity out of hand.

The reason for this becomes clearer if we define carrying capacity not as a maximum population but rather as the maximum "load" that can safely be imposed on the environment by people.

Concept of ecological footprint

Human load is a function not only of population but also of per capita consumption and the latter is increasing even more rapidly than the former due ironically to expanding trade and technology.Ecological Footprint of 52 countries Another way to measure ecological footprint is a country-wise ranking.

Fifty-two nations are ranked here depending on how they fare in this department. Fifty-two nations are ranked here depending on how they fare in this department.

National natural capital accounting with the ecological footprint concept. With this framework, based on the ecological footprint concept, human consumption can be compared with natural capital production at the global and national level, using existing data.

These ecological footprint studies confirm the conservative findings of.

Carbon footprint | ecology and conservation |

Ecological footprints and sustainable development Ian Moffatt Department of En6ironmental Science, Uni6ersity of Stirling, Stirling FK94LA, Scotland, UK associated with the development of the ecological footprint concept (Table 1).

The major advantage of the ecological footprint concept over some. Measure what you treasure The Ecological Footprint is the only metric that compares the resource demand of individuals, governments, and businesses against what Earth can renew.

The simplest way to define ecological footprint would be to call it the impact of human activities measured in terms of the area of biologically productive land and water required to produce the goods consumed and to assimilate the wastes generated.

More simply, it is the amount of the environment. This calculator is developed and hosted by Anthesis helped develop the concept of the ecological footprint back in the s. If you want to know more about how to reduce impact, check out our ideas and insights.

If you like learning about footprints, you might enjoy our infographics. If you want to develop a calculator like this one, we can help!

Water footprint - Wikipedia