Human footprint on environment


Published on

The EF compares human demand on nature with nature’s regenerative capacity.
It is a measure of the demands and the consumption of natural resources by people.
The sizes of ecological footprint vary from country to country and from person to person.

Published in: Education
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Human footprint on environment

  1. 1.  Introduction –human demand (foot print) vs. bio-capacity. Concept of ecological foot print Explanation of EF with examples Concept of carbon foot print. Explanation of CF with examples. concept of Green remediation Techniques of greener clean up. Concept of water foot print. Remedial measures conclusion
  2. 2.  Global change can be defined as changes in the global environment Natural changes (including alterations in climate, land productivity, oceans or other water resources, atmospheric chemistry, and ecological systems) that may alterHuman- induced the capacity of the changes Earth to sustain life.
  3. 3. Ecological  the effects humans have Supply / on our planet. biocapacity  It compares human demand against nature’s supply of biocapacity.    The EF / BC accounting system tracks the human demand and supply of nature.Demand onNature /Eco-footprint
  4. 4. The EF concept was introduced by WilliamRees and Mathis Wackernagel in 1992-94.EF is a performance measure of productivecapacity of the biosphere used to providenatural resources and absorb wastes.
  5. 5.  The EF compares human demand on nature with nature’s regenerative capacity. The demand includes both the resources we consume as well as the wastes we produce. The EF is resource management/ accounting tool . The footprint calculates our impacts in terms of planets.
  6. 6.  Every living organism consumes the Earths resources in order to survive. The consumption of natural resources and subsequent waste has an impact on our ecosystems. When the consumption and waste activities extend beyond the earths carrying capacity, ecological degradation occurs.
  7. 7.  It is a measure of the demands and the consumption of natural resources by people. The sizes of ecological footprint vary from country to country and from person to person.
  8. 8.  Per capita ecological footprint (EF) is a means of comparing consumption and lifestyles, with natures bio-productivity.  The footprint can also be a useful tool to educate people about carrying capacity  and over- consumption , with the aim of altering people behavior and life style. 
  9. 9.   Since the mid 1980s, humanity has been in ecological  overshoot with annual demand on resources exceeding what Earth can regenerate each year. It now takes the Earth one year and four months to regenerate what we use in a year.
  10. 10.  The current human population’s ecological footprint is equal to 1.5 Earths. Ecological footprint analysis is now widely used around the globe as an indicator of environmental  sustainability.
  11. 11. We have one planet, so we must findways to live within earth’s limits.Global ecosystems have a limited abilityto supply us with natural resources (e.g.water, food, solar energy). This is calledBiocapacity.When a population’s ecologicalfootprint exceeds the biocapacity,biological resource “overshoot” occurs.
  12. 12.  A global hectare is defined as the average global capacity to produce resources and absorb waste products. There are only 2.1 global hectares of biologically productive area/ person available on the planet. But the average global ecological footprint is 2.7 global hectares / person.
  13. 13.  Bioproductive land - land required to produce crops, grazing (pasture), timber (forest) etc. Bioproductive sea - sea area required to provide fish and seafood. Energy land - new forest required for the absorption of carbon emissions to stabilise CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Built land - such as buildings and roads. Once built on, land is no longer bioproductive in any year. Biodiversity - refers to the area of land and water that would need to be set-aside to preserve biodiversity. 
  14. 14.  The amount of greenhouse gases we contribute to the atmosphere measured in units of carbon dioxide. The carbon footprint has become a popular tool to estimate GHG emissions related to human activities (Moss et al 2008,Wiedmann 2009).
  15. 15.  Carbon footprint (CF) – also named Carbon profile - is the overall amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with a product.).
  16. 16.  A measure of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted through fossil fuel combustion. An average carbon footprint of a British citizen is about 10 tonnes of CO2 An average carbon footprint of an Indian citizen is round about 1.5 tonnes of CO2
  17. 17.  use of transportation (planes, cars, trains) burning of fossil fuels (petrol, coal) process of manufacturing products (clothing, food, personal products) use of household electricity (computers, lights) use of pesticides Heating and cooling – hot water showers, central heating, air conditioning
  18. 18.  The primary footprint is a measure of our direct emissions of carbon dioxide e.g.the burning of fossil fuels for domestic energy consumption and transportation. The secondary footprint is a measure of the indirect carbon dioxide emissions from the whole lifecycle of the products.
  19. 19.  Brown carbon – industrial emissions of GHGs. Green carbon – carbon stored in terrestrial ecosystems-e.g. plants, soils, wetlands grazing lands. Blue carbon – carbon stored in ocean ecosystems- e.g. mangroves, marshes, sea grasses, coral reefs, macro-algae. Black carbon – carbon from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels.
  20. 20.  Green Remediation is the application of technologies and approaches that enhance a cleanup of environmental, social, and economic footprints of any project. Green Remediation assessments identify potential impacts of any project that occur on local, regional, and global scales. It includes the direct and indirect releases of contaminants, the consumption of raw materials, the production, collection, and disposal of wastes. It is a holistic approach that incorporates sustainability concepts and life-cycle assessments.
  21. 21. Five core elements of green remediation(OSWER ): Energy: strategies to improve energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources. Air and atmosphere: develop advanced technologies and sound field practices to reduce GHG emissions and air pollutants. Water: Use efficient techniques to manage and protect surface water and groundwater. Land and ecosystems: minimize further harm to the area, protect land resources and ecosystems Materials and waste: reduce materials consumption and waste generation, use recycled and local materials and spent products, and purchase environmentally preferred products
  22. 22. 1. Minimize total energy use and maximizes use of renewable energy resources.2. Minimize air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.3. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle material and waste.4. Reduce the use of natural and non renewable energy resources.5. Minimize water use and impacts to water resources.6. Protect land and ecosystems.7. Develop new methods of green remediation practices.
  23. 23.  Water footprint measures the consumption and contamination of freshwater resources. It was first introduced by Hoekstra in 2002 to provide a consumption- based indicator of water use. Water footprint differs around the world and depends on climate, soil types, irrigation methods and crop genetics. 
  24. 24.  Your water footprint extends beyond the average 80-100 gallons of water you use everyday. A product water footprint is the total volume of freshwater consumed, directly and indirectly, to produce a product. 
  25. 25.  Each person daily needs 20 to 50 liters for drinking and hygiene. Since 1970, global demand for water has risen nearly 2.4 % per annum. 20 developing countries are classified as ‘water scarce’.
  26. 26.  Locate the point sources of pollution. Work against acid rain. Educate your community. Ensure sustainable sewage treatment. Watch out for toxins. Be careful what you throw away. Use water efficiently. Spread the word.
  27. 27. “ Water has the power to move millions ofpeople – let it move us in the direction ofpeace”. -Mikhail Gorbachev, president, Green Cross International.
  28. 28.  Dr.B.Victor is a highly experienced postgraduate biology teacher, recently retired from the reputed educational institution - St. Xavier’ s College, Palayamkottai, India-627001. He was the dean of sciences and assistant controller of examinations. He has more than 32 years of teaching and research experience He has taught a diversity of courses ranging from pre- university to post graduate classes. Send your comments to :