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Issue 55, November 9, 2016  

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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

Rolling up our sleeves at the UN Climate Conference in Morocco

No doubt the 22nd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), hosted by Morocco Nov. 7 to 18, will be a celebratory occasion as the Paris Agreement that was adopted at COP21 last December entered into force November 4.

In addition to a more optimistic atmosphere, we are looking forward to many fruitful dialogues in Marrakech about how the Ecological Footprint can help countries fulfill their pledges, or Nationally Determined Contributions, to limit climate change to 2 degrees Celsius.

With "net emissions" playing a key role, we believe the Ecological Footprint is a more valuable tool than ever, because it provides a comprehensive measure of the competing demands placed on our planet. For instance, the Footprint can address questions such as: Should land be dedicated to reforestation to absorb carbon? Or to cropland for food for an expanding population? Or to urban development? Success will require looking at these tradeoffs holistically, and the Ecological Footprint is the one metric that enables countries to do just that.

We also look forward to joining partners at two events in Morocco. Yesterday, Global Footprint Network met with the members of the Mediterranean Initiative for the Promotion of Solutions Based on Nature in a workshop designed to define the actions to be undertaken collectively in order to value and promote natural ecosystems in the fight against climate change. The outcome roadmap will be presented at various side events during COP22.

On Nov. 15, we will join eco-union, Plan Bleu, and MIO-ECSDE at an event focused on sustainability strategies in the Mediterranean. Panelists will present details on the Mediterranean region’s use of natural capital, review current sustainable development strategies, and propose indicators to monitor critical economic sectors such as tourism, fisheries, and offshore energy. We will present research from our report "How can Mediterranean societies thrive in an era of decreasing resources?"

Guiding bold sustainability goals in Montenegro

Following last month’s elections in Montenegro, we are confident the new government will maintain its commitment to the 3.5-year-long process of revising the country’s National Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD), which resulted in its "NSSD until 2030" update being officially adopted last summer.

Global Footprint Network has been collaborating closely with the Montenegrin government throughout the process, starting in February 2015, when we were first engaged to calculate the country’s Ecological Footprint. This year, Global Footprint Network helped Montenegro develop a monitoring framework for NSSD until 2030.


Sovereign bond investors wake up to climate change

For years, many mainstream investors have been on the fence about climate change, often dismissing it as a "long-term issue." But as the potential investment risks of not acting on climate change have come into clearer focus, all that has changed. Since we’ve been working to bring sovereign bonds into the spotlight, we are particularly encouraged to see a flurry of activity and interest in recent months.


SOS TREATY rethinks planet's resource framework

The European Space Agency in Paris hosted the book launch of "SOS TREATY (The Safe Operating Space Treaty) - A new approach to managing our use of the Earth System" (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016) on Oct. 7. Our very own Senior Scientist Alessandro Galli was among the guests as one of the contributors. He co-wrote a chapter on the need to develop and use solid indicators, including the Ecological Footprint, to correctly assess humanity’s pressure on the Earth.


Lead scientist David Lin at Green Festival Expo

On Nov. 11, David Lin will take the stage at the Lifestyle Pavilion from 3:20 p.m. to 4:10 p.m. to discuss the Ecological Footprint and share successful stories of projects that Global Footprint Network has led with governments around the world. Green Festival Expo is America’s largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event. As readers of this newsletter, get 20% off your tickets to the whole event using the code: GFSFX116.

Can you guess this country?

On 12 November, this country will bust its annual ecological budget—its citizens’ demand for food, wood and carbon dioxide absorption will begin to exceed what the country’s ecosystems can renew over the full year. Trade is a fact of life in our globalized economy, but just as a trade deficit can be a risk, so can an ecological deficit.

It is common for people in this small nation to use bicycles as a form of transportation. The country has more than 400 islands and its largest mammal is the red deer.

Now, can you identify this country?

Find the answer by clicking here.

Upcoming events

November 11 — Denver, Colorado
SRI Conference
Climate Change: Solutions for Responsible Investors

November 15 — Marrakech, Morocco
COP 22
Towards a Sustainable Mediterranean Economy

December 1 — Webinar
Eye on Earth
Implementing SDGs at the national level: Montenegro’s National Strategy for Sustainable Development until 2030