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Ecological Footprint

About the 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
Wangari Maathai
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
Herman E. Daly
Peter Raven
Mick Bourke

"Ecological Footprinting ... is 'true north' when it comes to sustainability; no report about the environment is complete without it."
- Paul Hawken

Cardiff Footprint Study Supports Sustainable Planning and Practices
Like most coastal cities, Cardiff, on the southern tip of Wales, is growing. And, like most growing metropolitan areas, the city has a large Ecological Footprint. The good news is the Cardiff Council is using its newly completed Footprint study to plan in a more sustainable way, while motivating the citizens of Cardiff to do the same.

More Awards for Footprinting
In July, Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, Executive Director of Global Footprint Network, was awarded the Herman Daly Award by the US Society for Ecological Economics. Dr. Wackernagel was greatly honored to receive this award, and emphasized that it recognizes the value of the Ecological Footprint as an important tool for ecological accounting.
Footprinting Goes 'Mainstream!'
Global Footprint Network and the Ecological Footprint were featured on a new TV series called 30 Days. Producer Morgan Spurlock modeled 30 Days (aired on FX, the Fox Affiliate) after his film Super Size Me. In the TV series, Americans spend 30 days living in someone else's shoes. In a recent episode entitled "Off the Grid," an average New Jersey couple (with a typically large American Ecological Footprint) are challenged to live in an eco-village for a month.
Scientific American Grapples with Ecological Limits
The concept of ecological limits increasingly permeates the dialogue in the scientific community. In a special issue of Scientific American, "Crossroads for Planet Earth," a remarkable group of scientists were brought together to report on the challenges facing humanity, and to propose an action plan for securing our future. In the words of George Musser, who wrote the introduction to the issue: "The next 50 years will be decisive in determining whether the human race--now entering a unique period in its history--can ensure the best possible future for itself."
Science Article Shows
Conversion of Land is Undermining Ecosystems

Listen to Radio Interview with Jon Foley, University of Wisconsin, SAGE (Sustainability and the Global Environment)

Leading scientists writing in the July 22, 2005 issue of the journal Science argue that the massive conversion of the world's natural landscapes to agriculture and other human uses may soon begin to undermine the capacity of the planet's ecosystems to sustain a burgeoning human population.
"Ten In Ten Campaign" Update
The Ten in Ten Campaign is our worldwide initiative to make the Ecological Footprint as prominent as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and by 2015 to have ten countries managing their ecological wealth in the same way they manage their finances. Thank you to all those who have offered their financial support for the campaign. We are excited to report that we have already garnered the involvement of the country of Switzerland and have a received a statement of support from the European Union! We're off to a great start. Stay tuned for more news on this campaign. If you'd like to contribute to this initiative click here.
Save the Date: June 14-17, 2006
The Ecological Footprint Network and the University of Siena are co-hosting Footprint Forum: Accounting for a Small Planet.
The Ecological Footprint of Nuclear Energy
EIfER (European Institute for Energy Research) and Global Footprint Network have joined efforts in building scientific consensus on calculating the Ecological Footprint of nuclear power.

The objective of the partnership is to clarify, through the participation and coordination of a working group of reputable scientists and practitioners, how the nuclear energy Footprint should be calculated. Ideally, the process will lead to an international consensus that will then be presented as a recommendation to Global Footprint Network's National Accounts committee for consideration. Even if total consensus is not achieved, the process will generate useful ideas and approaches for Footprinting of nuclear energy. A Final Report will capture the advantages and disadvantages of identified methods, and document why participants prefer certain methods.