The ecological footprint measures human demand on nature, i.e., the quantity of nature it takes In short, it is a measure of human impact on Earth's ecosystem and reveals the dependence of the human economy on natural Footprint and biocapacity can be compared at the individual, regional, national or global scale. Ecological footprint (EF), measure of the demands made by a person or group gha per person, the EF of humanity overshot Earth's biocapacity by gha. measure of biocapacity complements the Ecological. Footprint, and .. of various cities in the U.S. in relation to the average income before.
Footprint measurements and methodology[ edit ] The natural resources of Earth are finiteand unsustainably strained by current levels of human activity. ForGlobal Footprint Network estimated humanity's ecological footprint as 1. This means that, according to their calculations, humanity's demands were 1. Cities, due to their population concentrationhave large ecological footprints and have become ground zero for footprint reduction. This approach can also be applied to an activity such as the manufacturing of a product or driving of a car.
This resource accounting is similar to life-cycle analysis wherein the consumption of energybiomass foodfiberbuilding materialwater and other resources are converted into a normalized measure of land area called global hectares gha. The focus of Ecological Footprint accounting is biological resources. Rather than non-renewable resources like oil or minerals, it is the biological resources that are the materially most limiting resources for the human enterprise.
Similarly, minerals are limited by the energy available to extract them from the lithosphere and concentrate them. The limits of ecosystems' ability to renew biomass is given by factors such as water availability, climate, soil fertility, solar energy, technology and management practices.
This capacity to renew, driven by photosynthesis, is called biocapacity. Per capita ecological footprint EFor ecological footprint analysis EFAis a means of comparing consumption and lifestyles, and checking this against biocapacity - nature's ability to provide for this consumption. The tool can inform policy by examining to what extent a nation uses more or less than is available within its territory, or to what extent the nation's lifestyle would be replicable worldwide.
The footprint can also be a useful tool to educate people about carrying capacity and overconsumptionwith the aim of altering personal behavior. Ecological footprints may be used to argue that many current lifestyles are not sustainable. Such a global comparison also clearly shows the inequalities of resource use on this planet at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Inthe average biologically productive area per person worldwide was approximately 1.
The world-average ecological footprint in was 2. The increase of biocapacity averaged at only 0. Because of agricultural intensification, biocapacity was at 9. InEarth Overshoot Daythe date where humanity has used more from nature then the planet can renew in the entire year, was estimated to be August 1 .
This means their ecological footprint for consumption exceeds the biocapacity of that country.
Ecological footprint - Wikipedia
Despite being populated by relatively "mainstream" home-buyers, BedZED was found to have a footprint of 3. In other words, 1. The implication of such ecological overshoot, which began in the mids, is that life-supporting biological resources, such as fisheries, forest resources, rangeland, and agricultural land, are being depleted. Per capita EFs show a wide divergence in the demands on nature from people in different societies, ranging from the United Arab Emirates at the high end These figures are the basis of claims such that if all of humanity consumed like the average American, five Earths would be needed.
EFs also vary greatly within countries according to level of affluence. Researchers have combined footprint analysis with measures of human development to assess whether countries are on track toward sustainable development —defined as a per capita EF lower than the available per capita biocapacity with a high rating above 0.
Ecological footprint | ecology | omarcafini.info
Environmental educators and activists have used the EF to raise awareness of unsustainable consumption patterns, often with the goal of encouraging a change in lifestyles and, less frequently, to promote awareness of wider structural forces driving such patterns. Many online footprint calculators have appeared on nongovernmental organization Web sites with such goals in mind.
Those calculators allow people to calculate their personal EF and to make comparisons with estimates of available biocapacity or to average footprints of other people locally and globally.
Meanwhile, social scientists have used the EF as a comprehensive indicator of the ecological impacts of humans on the planet in order to test empirically different social theories of the forces driving those impacts. Although EF analysis can lead to a radical critique of the current economic and social order, it has found increasing mainstream acceptance among businesses and governments.
A number of national governments—such as those of Wales, Switzerlandthe United Kingdom, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and the European Union as a whole—as well as metropolitan areas have also considered or embraced the concept. Critiques of the EF Despite its rapid ascent and widespread use, the EF has faced a wide range of criticism. However, such aggregation requires simplification of a complex reality; for example, an assumption built into the EF is that technology is the same across the globe and through time.
Critics also argue that the EF methodology rewards more-intensive production methods that increase yields per unit of land in the short term but might actually be less sustainable in the long run—for example, accelerating land degradation. Similarly, organic farming methods with lower yields than conventional agriculture could appear to have a bigger footprint despite other ecological benefits.