Environmental Footprint Image Footprint Network News
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 10  


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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
Norman Myers
Gus Speth
 


"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 'Ecological Footprints.'"

- 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.


FEATURE
   
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.


FOOTPRINT 101
   
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.

Related Link:
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.

Related Link:
Conference Website



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