An ecological footprint measures how much people take from nature. The footprint is then compared to what natural resources there are to provide for people. The ecological footprint takes into account how much farm land, forest area, grazing land and sea area it takes to provide everything people use. More simply, footprint calculations answer the questions: how much nature do we have? And how much do we use?
When analysing the world as a whole, humanity is using nature about 1.5 times faster than nature renews itself. It is like using 1.5 planet Earths. Since people consume differently around the world, it is also possible to calculate how many planet it would take if everybody around the world consumed like a particular population. For instance, if everybody consumed like the Germans, it would take nearly 3 planet Earths. Another estimate says "the average world citizen has an eco-footprint of about 2.7 global average hectares while there are only 2.1 global hectare of bioproductive land and water per capita on earth. This means that humanity has already overshot global biocapacity by 30% and now lives unsustainabily by depleting stocks of "natural capital".
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References[change | change source]
- "Data Sources". Global Footprint Network. 2010.