EcosSistemas, a Brazil-based environmental consulting firm, has embraced the Ecological Footprint as a tool uniquely suited to a rising concern: how to manage competing demands on Brazil’s lush, but increasingly pressured, biocapacity.
“In terms of land use, there is a struggle between forest and agriculture, between [productivity] and diversity,” says EcosSistemas CEO Alexander Van Parys Piergili.
The firm is looking to incorporate the Ecological Footprint into assessments of Brazilian biofuels and meat producers. But Piergili also has a larger mission. “More than just employing the Ecological Footprint ourselves as a company, what we want is to promote the use of the Footprint in Brazil.”
In October, EcosSistemas and Global Footprint Network cosponsored an Ecological Footprint training in Sao Paulo. The seminar drew participants from NGOs working throughout Brazil, Bolivia and Colombia. Ecosistemas and WWF Brazil has now established a group to expand use of the indicator throughout the region. “People are very interested to apply this tool. That is why it drew people from so far away,” said Piergili. “It is a very unique indicator.”
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