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2006 Annual Report
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.
William E. Rees
M S Swaminathan
Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker
Herman E. Daly
"There have been a number of innovative research initiatives to help us get a grip on what is meant by Sustainable
Development. Among the most substantive and illuminating, if not the single most helpful of all, is the work on
- Professor Norman Myers
Envisioning a Low Footprint Scotland
A new report from the
Stockholm Environment Institute,
Towards a Low Footprint Scotland, plots how Scotland could move to a low-carbon, safer and more equitable society, providing a high quality of life for its citizens.
The report calculates that if everyone in the world consumed natural resources and generated carbon dioxide at the rate of Scotlanders, we would need three planets to support us. It concludes that Scotland needs to reduce its Footprint by 75% by 2050 in order to live within the planet's resources, and that this cut can be achieved through more efficient products and better, less wasteful, consumption.
South Australia seeks to reduce its Ecological Footprint 30% by 2050
The Premier of South Australia, Hon Mike Rann has sought to bring 'Ecological Footprint' thinking to the core of decision-making, by including the Ecological Footprint as a key sustainability indicator in
South Australia's Strategic Plan. The Plan establishes a target to reduce South Australia's Ecological Footprint by 30% by 2050.
The 2007 edition of
the plan also seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions make up more than half of South Australia's Ecological Footprint and the aggressive reduction target has been approved by the legislature.
Ecological Footprint in the Spotlight at Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship
From left: Sally Osberg, Skoll Foundation, Peter Gabriel,
Susan Burns and Mathis Wackernagel, Global Footprint Network, Muhammad Yunus, and Jeff Skoll
Global Footprint Network's founders,
Susan Burns and
Mathis Wackernagel, traveled to the
Skoll World Forum this March to receive the
Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Skoll awardees are tackling some of the world's most pressing social problems with creative and innovative approaches. Susan and Mathis returned from the forum thoroughly inspired.
If you would like to be inspired too, WATCH
Uncommon Heroes. Common Good., and hear the stories of this year's award winners.
What exactly is the Carbon Footprint?
Carbon dioxide is emitted whenever human activities involve the burning of fossil fuels. This waste will accumulate in the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change, unless it can be captured and stored by plants. The carbon Footprint therefore measures the demand on
biocapacity that results from burning fossil fuels in terms of the amount of forest area required to sequester these carbon dioxide emissions. Note that this does not suggest planting forests is the 'solution' to climate change; on the contrary, it shows that the biosphere does not have sufficient capacity to sequester all the carbon we are currently emitting.
||RESEARCH AND STANDARDS UPDATE
Swiss Complete National Footprint Accounts Review
This past December Switzerland became the first country in the world to complete a review of its National Footprint Accounts. The government published the review as a report entitled
Switzerland's Ecological Footprint - A Contribution to the Sustainability Debate. The study was carried out by INFRAS, a leading Swiss policy research institute. INFRAS compared the international data sources used by Global Footprint Network to the statistics used by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, and concluded that the data sets are largely consistent. The researchers also closely examined the Ecological Footprint approach, and calculated Switzerland's Ecological Footprint. The publication contains a multitude of easy to read charts showing how Switzerland's demand on nature compares with that of other countries. The publication also includes background information enabling readers to assess the Ecological Footprint approach. In addition, this collaborative study helped identify possible improvements for the accounts, which will enhance the Footprint calculations for all 152 countries.
Learn more about Switzerland's Ecological Footprint
Registration Still Open for First Ever Academic Footprinting Conference
The BRASS Centre at Cardiff University will be hosting an Ecological Footprint conference from May 8 to 11, 2007. Policy, business, and academic leaders in Footprinting will participate and present workshops and over sixty Footprint papers. Global Footprint Network Executive Director Mathis Wackernagel will give a keynote address and technical staff will lead national accounts training workshops. We will also hold three rounds of Footprint Committee meetings during the event.
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