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Volume 1 Issue 16  

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About Global Footprint Network
Our mission is to promote a sustainable economy by advancing the Ecological Footprint, a measurement tool that makes the reality of planetary limits relevant to decision-makers.

Advisory Council
E.O. Wilson
Manfred Max-Neef
Rhodri Morgan
David Suzuki
Emil Salim
Julia Marton-Lefèvre
William E. Rees
Lester Brown
Jorgen Randers
M S Swaminathan
Daniel Pauly
Eric Garcetti
Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker
Michael Meacher
Karl-Henrik Robèrt
Will Steffen
Dominique Voynet
Fabio Feldman
Oscar Arias
Peter Raven
Mick Bourke
Norman Myers
Gus Speth
Stephen Groff
Thomas E. Lovejoy

Issue 16, September 15, 2008

World Falling Short on Goal to Halt Species Declines

Biodiversity loss is continuing apace, in spite of a pledge by the world’s governments to significantly reduce the rate of decline, according to a report by Global Footprint Network and WWF presented at a recent U.N. conference.

In 2002, the U.N.-established Convention on Biological Diversity set a goal of significantly slowing the current rate of species loss. The Convention recently adopted the Ecological Footprint as one of a suite of indicators to assess progress in meeting this goal. 2010 and Beyond: Rising to the Diversity Challenge, presented at the 9th Annual Convention on Biological Diversity, reports that the Convention is highly unlikely to meet its target of halting declines by 2010.

   Image from Financial Times, June 10, 2008, "Sustaining growth is the century’s big challenge"  
Sustainable Growth “Biggest Question Confronting Humanity” says Financial Times

Can the planet support the majority of humans enjoying the same standard of living as people in high income nations?  That will be “the biggest question confronting humanity in the 21st century,” reporter Martin Wolf writes in a June 10 column of the Financial Times. The answer, he says, “will determine whether this will be a world of hope rather than despair and of peace rather than conflict.”

   Artist's rendering, village town square  
In California, A Model for the Good Life, On a One-Planet Budget

What is it like to live within the means of one planet? In the U.S., where the average person’s lifestyle demands five times as much biocapacity as Global Footprint Network estimates is renewably available per person, a one-planet Footprint may seem inadequate to meeting the basic demands of modern society.

Not so if you ask Geof Syphers, Chief Sustainability Officer for Sonoma Mountain Village, a community being built in California Wine Country. The first development in North America and fourth in the world to be named as a one-planet living community by Global Footprint Network partner BioRegional, Sonoma Mountain Village is projected to be a place where the majority of residents maintain an Ecological Footprint of less than 1.8 global hectares, which, according to Global Footprint Network calculations, meets the minimum criteria for sustainability.

Wales Looks at Policies To Shrink Its Footprint

Wales has become the first country in the world to formally monitor and report on changes to its Ecological Footprint. In May it “weighed in” with a report, Wales’ Ecological Footprint – Scenarios to 2020, which shows how the country’s Footprint has grown in recent years, and identifies policies that could halt and even reverse the trend.

Global Footprint Network Joins Together Campaign to Fight Climate Change

Global Footprint Network has joined leading businesses, media organizations, cities and other non-profits in the US launch of Together, a campaign that gives consumers simple solutions and products to help fight climate change.

European Commission Completes Footprint Review

After a rigorous, four year study of Ecological Footprint methodology, the European Commission has found the Footprint to be a useful indicator for assessing progress made toward the E.U.‘s sustainability goals. The Footprint is unique among the indicators, according to the Commission’s report, in particular for its ability to relate resource use to the concept of carrying capacity. The report also praised the Footprint as an “intuitively appealing indicator”, easy to communicate and understand.