is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
What is an Ecological footprint The Ecological Footprint measures the amount of nature's resources an individual, a community, or a country consumes in a given year.
What is an Ecological footprint It takes into account the land required to supply the resources we consume such as food timber and energy, the land we live on and the land taken to absorb our impacts such as pollution and waste .
How much is there for each Global Citizen ? There are 12.4 billion hectares of bio-productive land on Earth. The world population is approximately 6,000,000,000. For each person there is 0.25 hectares of arable land, 0.6 hectares of pasture, 0.6 hectares of Forest and 0.03 hectares of built up land = 1.5 hectares per capita. If we include seas there exists 2 hectares per capita for human use. (EACH !)
HOWEVER some of this space is used by 30,000,000 other species that share this planet. In order to protect these species it is estimated that 12% of the earths ecological capacity needs to be reserved for them if they are to survive.
If we allow land to protect these species it means that only 1.7 hectares per capita are available for human use.
1.7 hectares = the ECOLOGICAL BENCHMARK for comparing peoples ecological footprints. Assuming NO further environmental damage the amount of available biologically productive space will drop to 1 hectare per capita when the worlds population reaches 10,000,000,000.
The 'ecological footprint' of industrialized countries (resources consumed per person) is huge: 4-6 hectares of land are needed to maintain the average consumer lifestyle in the North. Yet in 1990 the total available productive land globally was only 1.7 hectares per person.