Footprint Network Blog

Protecting Ecuador’s Natural Wealth

07/26/2010 06:20 PM

With the richest biodiversity in the world per hectare, Ecuador has abundant natural capital. But in the last 50 years, it’s ecological surplus has dwindled to almost zero. Its Ecological Footprint currently is almost equal to its biocapacity, the amount of resources the land and sea area within its borders is able to produce.

Dania Quirola Suarez, Advisor to the National Secretary of Planning and Development of Ecuador, told attendees of an important step Ecuador has taken to address its ecological balance sheet. It has included the metric in its National Development Plan, setting a target to reduce the nation’s Footprint to a level at or below biocapacity by 2013.

In keeping with that commitment, Ecuador has launched a plan to keep 846 million barrels of oil under the Amazon rainforest permanently in the ground, Suarez told attendees. The plan would keep 407 metric tones of CO2 out of the atmosphere, and preserve one million acres of forest preserved. It also preserves the livelihood of those belonging to the indigenous cultures from the region. “In this way, we can move from an extractive economy to sustainable development, that includes broader use of energy sources and increasing social equity,” Suarez said.

(Download Quirola’s Presentation)

Learn more about Ecuador’s Ecological Footprint Initiative


UAE: Large demand, Little Biocapacity

07/23/2010 09:52 PM

The United Arab Emirates is one of the countries with the largest deficits between “income” in the form of biocapacity and “expenses” of resources, Razan Al Mubarak, Director, Emirates Wildlife Society, told attendees. In 2007, the country adopted a national Ecological Footprint Initiative to address that gap.

In the latter 20th century, the UAE enjoyed explosive economic growth, largely due to the production of oil and gas, and that wealth has helped support some of the largest per-capita resource consumption in the world. On the other hand, the country has very low biocapacity, and must import most of its resources from abroad. When UAE leaders learned the country topped the world in per-capita Ecological Footprint, they were at first skeptical of the data, Mubarak said. But with support from local NGOs advancing the Footprint Initiative, “there became increasing understanding of and support for the data. From there, there became fantastic momentum toward, ‘what are we going to do about it?’


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Mediterranean Initiative Addresses Region’s Ecological Deficit

07/19/2010 09:04 PM

The Mediterranean region has been rocked this year by an economic crisis resulting from over-extension of financial resources. But Greece, Italy and other countries of the Mediterranean face another yawning deficit – an ecological deficit – that poses deep-seeded risks to the region’s long-term success. On the opening day of Footprint Forum, Global Footprint Network announced the launch of its Mediterranean Initiative to address and potentially reverse this trend.

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Ecological Debt Video Contest Still Open: Submit and Win!

07/19/2010 04:06 AM

Help us communicate about ecological overshoot by submitting a 2-3 minute video to our Ecological Debt Video Contest. Winners receive cash prizes, Footprint DVDs, and more!

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Call for Abstracts for Urban Metabolism Conference in Prague

07/19/2010 04:02 AM

The Charles University Environment Center, a Global Footprint Network partner, is organizing a ConAccount international conference entitled “Urban metabolism: measuring the ecological city”. The conference, which will include a section on measuring the Ecological Footprint of cities, will take place in Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic on 11-12 September 2008. The organizers have announced a call for abstracts, due on 15 March. For more information on the event, see the conference website.

WWF Cymru Launches One Planet Wales Report and Campaign

07/19/2010 03:07 AM

Global Footprint Network partner WWF Cymru has launched an ambitious ‘One Planet Wales’ Campaign to move Welsh citizens towards high quality, low Footprint lives – with the goal of living within the means of one planet by 2050. Central to the campaign is the recently released One Planet Wales report, authored by WWF Cymru and the Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology, University of Manchester. The report outlines the path forward to reach the 75% reduction in Wales’ Ecological Footprint that will be required to meet the 2050 target.

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Discovery’s WASTED Footprints Average Americans

07/19/2010 03:03 AM

Discovery Communications is launching a new 24/7 eco-lifestyle television channel, “Planet Green”, with an original 10-part series, WA$TED, that features the Ecological Footprint of average Americans. 

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Radiohead Sizes Up its Footprint

07/19/2010 02:56 AM

Radiohead, a well-known British rock-band, recently commissioned Global Footprint Network partner Best Foot Forward (BFF) to analyze the band’s Footprint and help reduce their tour’s carbon emissions. BFF’s report shows that transport, how fans get to Radiohead’s shows, is the most important lever for reducing the tour’s Footprint.

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How Can We Stay Out of Ecological Debt?

07/19/2010 02:19 AM

Mathis Wackernagel talks about Ecological Debt Day, how to slow our appetite for resources, and what we can do to better manage our natural assets on Earth & Sky Radio. Listen here.

Categories: Ecological Limits

University of Bern Awards Mathis Wackernagel with Honorary Doctorate

07/19/2010 01:19 AM

This fall our Executive Director, Mathis Wackernagel, received an Honorary Doctorate in natural sciences from the University of Bern in Switzerland for “developing and promoting the internationally recognized method of the Ecological Footprint; for authoring numerous scientific and popular media contributions to the topic of ecological carrying capacity and sustainability; and for being an inexhaustible Footprint spokesperson on all continents and founder of the Global Footprint Network and bringing together scientists and politicians.” Wackernagel was the youngest recipient and accepted his honorary PhD at an awards Ceremony in Bern last month.


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