Ecological wealth of_nations


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Ecological wealth of_nations

  1. 1. Title THE ECOLOGICAL WEALTH OF NATIONS Earth’s biocapacity as a new framework for international cooperation The Ecological Power of Nations 3
  2. 2. ContentsForeword 1 EDITORS Global Footprint Network, promotes a Photograph courtesy of NASA was taken by Steven Goldfinger sustainable economy by advancing the an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the Pati Poblete International Space Station (ISS).Exploring a new perspective 2 Ecological Footprint, a tool that makes TEXT AND GRAPHICS sustainability measurable. Together with Photograph from Patricio Pillajo courtesy of its partners, the network coordinates Fundación Terra.Biocapacity and the sustainability challenge 3 Susan Burns William Coleman research, develops methodological Cover photo: Canada. Quebec Province. Brad Ewing standards and provides decision makersGlobal ecological limits 4 Katsunori Iha Charlevoix forest. © Yann Arthus-Bertrand. with robust resource accounts to help Page 2: Plantation. © Juan Alfonso Peña; Alessandro Galli Carrots. © Juan Alfonso Peña; Tomatoes. the human economy operate within theEcological Footprint and biocapacity of nations 6 Steven Goldfinger © Juan Alfonso Peña; Corn. © Juan Alfonso David Moore Earth’s ecological limits. Peña; Herbs. © Juan Alfonso Peña; Water. Juan Alfonso Peña © Patricio Pillajo. Page 5: Anvil clouds overDevelopment that fits on one Earth 10 Pati Poblete the Pacific Ocean, NASA Human Spaceflight Anders Reed Collection, ISS007-E-10807, 21 July, 2003.Human Development Index and Ecological Meredith Stechbart Page 11: Ivory Coast. Crowd at Abengourou. Mathis Wackernagel © Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Page 14: Kenya.Footprint of countries, 2006 12 Small African fields. © Yann Arthus-Bertrand. NATIONAL FOOTPRINT Page 22: Ecuador. Sierra region. Fields nearBiocapacity constraints and national well-being 16 ACCOUNTS Quito. © Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Page 23: Mali. Market gardening near Tombouctou. © Yann William Coleman Arthus-Bertrand.A new map of the world 18 Brad Ewing Alessandro Galli Published in April 2010 by Global David MooreInvestment risks and opportunities 20 Footprint Network, Oakland, California, Anna Oursler United States of America. © 2010 Global Anders Reed Footprint Network. All rights reserved.Interpreting national Footprint Meredith Stechbart Any reproduction in full or in part of this This report was made possible through Mathis Wackernageland biocapacity trends 22 Robert Williams publication must mention the title and the generous support of the Flora Family credit the aforementioned publisher as the Foundation; Foundation for Global copyright owner. Community; Mental Insight Foundation;Biocapacity & Ecological Footprint over time GRAPHIC DESIGN Info Grafik Inc. Skoll Foundation; TAUPO Fund; Luc World, Latin America, North America & Oceania 24 This report is a revision of an earlier edition Hoffmann; André and Rosalie Hoffmann; Daniela Arias that was written and produced by Juan Africa 25 Catherine Oeri; Lutz Peters; Daniela Juan Alfonso Peña Alfonso Peña, and published in August Asia 26 Schlettwein-Gsell; Peter Seidel; Terry and 2009. Europe 27 PRINTER Mary Vogt; Marie-Christine Wackernagel Hunza Graphics Burckhardt; and Oliver and Bea Oakland, California, Wackernagel.Data Tables: Photographs United States of America.Ecological Footprint and biocapacity Photographs courtesy of Yann Arthus- We would also like to acknowledge Globalof nations, 2005 28 Footprint Network’s partner organizations Bertrand from the book Earth from Above: 365 Days published by Harry N. Abrams, and the Global Footprint Network National Inc., © 2001 Harry N. Abrams, Inc. See www. Accounts Committee for their guidance,References and further reading 36 and www.goodplanet. contributions and commitment to robust org. National Footprint Accounts.Global Footprint Network partner organizations 37
  3. 3. ForewordWhen I was born in 1962 most of the stocks; or we can take out a loan to course, one which all too often seems toworld’s countries were using resources be “repaid” at a future date, putting be more about maintaining the “right toand emitting carbon dioxide at a rate more carbon into the air than nature collapse.” We must work with nature’sthat their own ecosystems could keep can currently absorb. But for how long budget, not against it, if we are to secureup with. Today, less than 20 percent of can we do this, and at what cost in the human well-being for both current andthe world’s population lives in countries interim? Based on current United Nations future generations.where this is still the case. agencies’ projections of moderate    population growth, a slight decline in To succeed, and to make this successHow do we know this? By using world hunger, partial decarbonization of last, we need to alter the path we areEcological Footprint accounting, a global energy systems, and a continued on today. I am an unwavering optimistmethod for calculating society’s use of increase in agricultural productivity, by and am convinced we can. Considernature’s assets. Based on data from the late 2030s humanity will need the this: If the current trends in biocapacitythe United Nations, as well as in-country equivalent of two Earths to keep up with and Footprint represented financialstatistical sources, it compares humanity’s our demands. trajectories, every planner, economistEcological Footprint (the demand our   or minister would recognize the urgency Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D.consumption places on the biosphere) With demand so far out of synch with of changing course, and develop an President, Global Footprint Networkwith biocapacity (the biosphere’s ability supply, and ecological debt accumulating aggressive agenda for rectifying theto meet this demand), providing a kind from decades of ecological overspending, situation. Nothing less is required withof bank statement for the planet. The it is unrealistic to assume we can even our current ecological trajectory. Afterresults for 2006, which are presented in reach this level of consumption. There just all, more money can be printed, butthis report: Our Footprint now overshoots are not that many fisheries to overfish, nature’s assets cannot.the Earth’s biocapacity by more than 40 forests to deforest, or atmospheres to  percent. In other words, the planet’s living fill up with CO2 before climate changesystems need to grow for about a year wreaks havoc with food and waterand five months to meet the demands we supplies.are placing on them in a single year.  We have a choice: Maintaining the “rightOvershoot is possible only for a limited to develop” – a key motivation behindtime. Similar to the financial world, we this publication, and more broadly, thecan temporarily eat into our ecological activities of Global Footprint Networksavings by drawing down our resource – means moving away from our current The Ecological Wealth of Nations 1
  4. 4. Exploring a new perspectiveThis report documents the demand that humanity is put- Conversely, what does it mean for those who are run- Global Footprint Network invites all countries and orga-ting on the Earth’s ecological assets, and the capacity of ning an ecological deficit? nizations to participate in this debate, and to explore theecosystems to keep up with this demand, both globally implications of the Ecological Footprint and biocapacityand by individual nation. The analysis is primarily based on What are the political, economic, social and strategic data for national development, valuation of ecologicalstatistical information that countries report to the United implications of eight countries controlling more than half services, and international agreements, such as thoseNations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), the the planet’s biological capacity? designed to protect biodiversity. In addition, these dataUN Development Program (UNDP) and other international provide an important perspective for shaping and evaluat-organizations How can nations work together to best manage ecologi- ing post-Copenhagen initiatives related to the emission  cal assets so that they are not depleted or degraded, and capture of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossilThe purpose of this publication is to provide data rather but rather, can continue to meet human demands while fuels, deforestation and other sources.than policy recommendations, and to open a creative maintaining a healthy biodiversity?debate over the implications of living in a resource-   In a world that is confronting simultaneous limits on food,constrained world. Statistics show that humanity is using The data presented in this publication are intended to water, soil, energy, climate and biodiversity, this perspec-resources and turning them into wastes faster than the enhance understanding of the extent, use and distribution tive brings current ecological realities into sharper focus.Earth’s living systems can absorb these wastes or turn of ecological assets, and their relationship to human well- In particular, it can help gauge whether proposed solu-them back into resources. This information is intended to being. It provides an objective and measurable starting tions will result in an absolute reduction in humanity’sraise awareness and catalyze a discussion of the various point for politicians, decision-makers, opinion leaders and ecological overshoot, or will just transfer pressure fromrisks and opportunities for individual countries created by citizens to address the sustainability challenge — how to one stressed ecosystem to another.this imbalance, exploring questions such as: live well, while living within the means of the planet. This challenge is perhaps the key issue of the 21st century,What does this global ecological overshoot mean to those and how it is resolved will likely determine the fate ofcountries that use less biological capacity than they have humanity and the rest of the Earth’s species.available?  2 The Ecological Wealth of Nations
  5. 5. Biocapacity and the sustainability challenge Image © The Ministry for the Environment, New ZelandIncreasing economic globalization and ongoing ecological challenge. We havea rapidly growing world population are been running annual ecological deficitspushing resource consumption and fossil for at least a quarter of a century, andfuel emissions to unprecedented levels. as this debt grows, the ecosystemsThe ecosystems that provide society that support our health and ourwith these resources and absorb its economies are in increasing danger ofcarbon emissions can no longer keep up. deterioration or collapse. We cannotJust as we are moving toward a single continue to ignore the importanceglobal economy, scientists are coming of our ecological assets, and theto see the planet as a single, integrated, fact that they are impacted by bothself-regulating organism. Thus, it is not poverty and affluence. Now, more and will help ensure thatsurprising that as we surpass ecological than ever, it is essential to recognize investments they makelimits, multiple consequences such as that humanity’s health and well-being in development today willclimate change, ocean acidification depend on the health and well-being continue to pay dividends tomorrow.and biodiversity loss are emerging of the Earth’s ecosystems. than their own ecosystems can sequester; The Ecological Footprint helps clarifysimultaneously. Solving this problem   if the world decides that countries will have these risks and opportunities, laying themeans addressing not just carbon or any Countries that import food, fiber and timber to pay for these excess emissions, this may foundation for ecologically-sound decision-other single limit in isolation. Instead, resources or products that incorporate entail significant new costs. making and a new global collaboration, onea more holistic approach is required to them are meeting their consumption based on the sharing of ecological assets,ensure that pressure is not just being demands by using ecological assets from Tracking resource and emissions flows is a without their depletion or degradation.shifted from one part of the biosphere to outside their own borders, and are at risk key step in addressing pressure on these  another. if demand outpaces supply, or if resource overburdened ecosystems. Reducing this  Throughout this publication, you will shortages develop in the exporting country. pressure is not just altruistic. While doing see demonstrated the growing need forThe Ecological Footprint, a resource Countries exporting these resources are so will benefit all of humanity and many nations to recognize the value of their ownaccounting tool, takes such a holistic using their ecological assets to generate other species, it is also in the self-interest ecological assets, as well as the need toapproach by tracking flows of resources revenue flows, in addition to meeting their of nations to know how much natural find a way for humanity to live well, withinand carbon emissions through production, own needs, and thus are at economic risk capital they have and how much they are the means of our planet. You will also learnconsumption and trade to show where if domestic demand for these resources using. Understanding whose ecological more about the Ecological Footprint, andecological assets are available and grows, or if resource productivity, and thus assets they are dependent on and who what it tells us about the current ecologicalwhere they are being used. Such a tool export income, declines. In addition, many is dependent on theirs will help nations balances of both individual countries andis vital in addressing the dangers of our countries generate more carbon emissions identify both risks and opportunities, the world as a whole. The Ecological Wealth of Nations 3
  6. 6. Global Ecological Limits12 Figure 1: Human Demand on the Biosphere, 1961-2006 The Ecological Footprint measures the to keep up with our consumption. Stay- 1.5 area of biologically productive land and ing on this course would quickly diminish Biocapacity water required to provide the resources our room to maneuver, and the well-being used and absorb the carbon dioxide of many of the planet’s residents would Footprint waste generated by human activity, under be increasingly at risk.1 Earth current technology. Accounting for a   country’s consumption Footprint starts In 2006, by September 11, humanity had with all goods and services produced used all the combined resource produc- in that country, then adds imports and tion and carbon sequestration capacity 0.5 subtracts exports. that the planet’s ecosystems had avail-   able for that entire year. Since the mid- Ecological Footprint Biocapacity is the area of productive land 1980s, when global ecological overshoot Biocapacity and water available to produce resources first became a consistent reality, we 0.0 1960 1975 1990 2005 or absorb carbon dioxide waste, given have been drawing down the biosphere’s current management practices. Both the principal rather than living off its annual Ecological Footprint and biocapacity are interest. To support our consumption, we measured in standard units called global have been liquidating resource stocks Human Demand hectares (gha). One gha represents a and allowing carbon dioxide to accumu- In 1961 we used a little hectare of forest, cropland, grazing land late in the atmosphere. or fishing grounds with world average more than half of the Earth’s productivity. Ecological overshoot is possible only for a limited time before ecosystems begin biocapacity; in 2006 we used While economies, populations and to degrade and possibly collapse. This 44% more than was available. resource demands grow, the size of the planet remains the same. In 2006, hu- can already be seen in water shortages, desertification, erosion, reduced cropland manity’s Footprint exceeded global bio- productivity, overgrazing, deforestation, capacity by 44 percent (Figure 1). Moder- rapid extinction of species, collapse of ate United Nations projections suggest fisheries and global climate change. New demand will grow significantly faster than consequences of overshoot are regularly biocapacity, and that by the late 2030s, being discovered, and others may only the capacity of two Earths will be needed become apparent long into the future.4 The Ecological Wealth of Nations
  7. 7. The biosphere is made up of complex, interactive systems that If these changes exceed certain thresholds conditions could de- Photo of anvil clouds over the Pacific Ocean. NASA, 21 July, 2003are often unpredictable. Air, water, land, and life -- including hu- part from those that were present during the course of humanman life -- combine forces to create a constantly changing world. evolution, making the planet a less hospitable place to us to live. The Ecological Wealth of Nations 5
  8. 8. Global hectares (millions) Global hectares (millions) 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 0 3000 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 6 United States United States United States United States China China China China Russian Federation Russia India India Canada Canada Russian Federation Russia India India Japan Japan Argentina Argentina United Kingdom United Kingdom Bolivia Bolivia Mexico Mexico Mexico Mexico Germany Germany The Ecological Wealth of Nations Colombia Colombia Italy Italy France France France France Congo, DRC Congo, Democratic Republic of Spain Spain Germany Germany Nigeria Nigeria Nigeria Nigeria Turkey Turkey Peru Peru Canada Canada Turkey Turkey Iran Iran, Islamic Republic of Sudan Sudan Korea, South Korea, Republic of Ukraine Ukraine Poland Poland United Kingdom United Kingdom South Africa South Africa South Africa South Africa Ukraine Ukraine Figure 3. Total Biocapacity, by country, 2006 Japan Japan Pakistan Pakistan Myanmar Myanmar Argentina Argentina Figure 2. Total Ecological Footprint, by country, 2006 VenezuelaVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Thailand Thailand Poland Poland Egypt Egypt Iran Iran, Islamic Republic of Viet Nam Viet Nam Finland Finland Colombia Colombia Ecological Footprint and biocapacity of nations Thailand Thailand Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Chile Chile Sudan Sudan Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Netherlands Netherlands Paraguay Paraguay Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Italy Italy Greece Greece Madagascar Madagascar Algeria Algeria Pakistan Pakistan Venezuela Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Spain Spain Belgium Belgium Angola Angola Romania Romania New Zealand New Zealand Czech Republic Czech Republic Romania Romania Chile Chile Congo Congo Peru Peru Viet Nam Viet Nam Myanmar Myanmar Cameroon Cameroon Uzbekistan Uzbekistan CentralAfrican Republic Central African Rep. Portugal Portugal Chad Chad Congo, DRC Congo, Democratic Republic of Tanzania Tanzania, United Republic of United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates Zambia Zambia Switzerland Switzerland Belarus Belarus Morocco Morocco Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Belarus Belarus Côte dIvoire Côte dIvoire Austria Austria Ecuador Ecuador Tanzania Tanzania, United Republic of Mali Mali Denmark Denmark Norway Norway Iraq Iraq Denmark Denmark Ghana Ghana Morocco Morocco Israel Israel Algeria Algeria Ireland Ireland Guinea Guinea Korea, North Korea, Democratic Peoples Republic of Czech Republic Czech Republic Hungary Hungary Niger Niger New Zealand New Zealand Hungary Hungary Syrian Arab Republic Syria Ghana Ghana Finland Finland Austria Austria Slovakia Slovakia Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Cuba Cuba Egypt Egypt Ecuador Ecuador Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea Bulgaria Bulgaria Bulgaria Bulgaria Niger Niger Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Bolivia Bolivia Cropland Cropland Mauritania Madagascar Fishing G Mauritania Madagascar Grazing L Grazing L Fishing Gr Carbon Fo Forest Lan Built-up La Forest Lan Built-up La
  9. 9. Ghana Ghana Finland Finland Austria Austria Slovakia Slovakia Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Cuba Cuba Egypt Egypt Ecuador Ecuador Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea Bulgaria Bulgaria Bulgaria Bulgaria Niger Niger Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Bolivia Bolivia Cropland Cropland Mauritania Mauritania Madagascar Madagascar Forest Land Forest Land Nicaragua Nicaragua Guatemala Guatemala Built-up Land Grazing Land Built-up Land Grazing Land Fishing Ground Fishing Ground Ireland Ireland Mali Mali Carbon Footprint Namibia Namibia Kuwait Kuwait Netherlands Netherlands Yemen Yemen Syria Syrian Arab Republic Paraguay Paraguay Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Cameroon Cameroon Latvia Latvia Singapore Singapore Senegal Senegal Norway Norway Greece Greece Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Yemen Yemen Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Slovakia Slovakia Tunisia Tunisia Korea, South Korea, Republic of Libya Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Guatemala Guatemala Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Honduras Honduras Chad Chad Somalia Somalia Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Cambodia Cambodia Côte dIvoire Côte dIvoire Korea, NorthKorea, Democratic Peoples Republic of Angola Angola Portugal Portugal Honduras Honduras Lithuania Lithuania Croatia Croatia Cuba Cuba Senegal Senegal Estonia Estonia Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Tunisia Tunisia Zambia Zambia Belgium Belgium Guinea Guinea Panama Panama BosniaHerzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Dominican Rep. Dominican Republic Switzerland Switzerland Somalia Somalia Libya Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Cambodia Cambodia Liberia Liberia Nicaragua Nicaragua Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Costa Rica Costa Rica Croatia Croatia Jordan Jordan Eritrea Eritrea Lithuania Lithuania Laos Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea 1 Earth 1.5 0.0 0.5 Costa Rica Costa Rica Panama Panama 1960 Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan Latvia Latvia Botswana Botswana Mauritania Mauritania Iraq Iraq Oman Oman 1965 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Benin Benin Benin Benin Lebanon Lebanon BosniaHerzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Estonia Estonia Global biocapacity 1970 Oman Oman Albania Albania United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates Slovenia Slovenia Sierra Leone Sierra Leone Botswana 1975 Botswana Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan Dominican Rep. Dominican Republic Moldova Moldova 1980 Slovenia Slovenia Namibia Namibia Moldova Moldova CentralAfrican Republic Central African Rep. Tajikistan Tajikistan Laos Lao Peoples Democratic Republic 1985 Albania Albania Tajikistan Tajikistan Haiti Haiti Armenia Armenia Israel Israel Haiti Haiti 1990 Armenia Armenia Sierra Leone Sierra Leone Figure x. Humanity’s Ecological Footprint, by component, 1961-2006 Fiji Fiji Liberia Liberia Figure 4. Humanity’s Ecological Footprint, by component, 1961-2006 Gambia Gambia Eritrea Eritrea 1995 Solomon Islands Solomon Islands Congo Congo Lebanon Lebanon Fiji Fiji The Ecological Wealth of Nations Jordan Jordan Gambia Gambia 2000 Kuwait Kuwait Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau 7 data point doesn’t show up on the graph, white boxes were placed to cover them up. Djibouti Djibouti Solomon Islands Solomon Islands Singapore Singapore Djibouti Djibouti 2005 Note: in order to get x-axis starting at 1960, a data point of zero was included. So that this Fishing Carbon Built-up Croplan Grazing Forest L