On the supply side, a city, state or nation’s biocapacity represents the productivity of its ecological assets (including cropland, grazing land, forest land, fishing grounds, and built-up land). These areas, especially if left unharvested, can also serve to absorb the waste we generate, especially our carbon emissions from burning fossil fuel.
Both the Ecological Footprint and biocapacity are expressed in global hectares—globally comparable hectares with world average productivity.
Together with York University, Toronto, Global Footprint Network has established an independent organization: Footprint Data Foundation (FoDaFo). This organization’s purpose is to be the steward of the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts. FoDaFo independently owns and directs the production of the Accounts, with the goal to provide them with highest reliability, so they can inform public and private decision-making in an unbiased way. For the maintenance of the accounts, York University is providing the academic support. FoDaFo also has the ambition to build a coalition of countries, supported by a rigorous global academic network, to advance its work.
Every year Global Footprint Network raises awareness about global ecological overshoot with our Earth Overshoot Day campaign, which attracts media attention around the world. Earth Overshoot Day is marks the date we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can regenerate in the entire year. Earth Overshoot Day has moved from late September in 2000 to August 2 in 2023.
We must begin to make ecological limits central to our decision-making and use human ingenuity to find new ways to live well, within the Earth’s bounds. This means investing in technology and infrastructure that will allow us to operate in a resource-constrained world. It means taking individual action, and creating the public demand for businesses and policy makers to participate.