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Introduction The human demand on the Earth’s ecosystem is known as the ecological footprint. It is a comparison between the Earth’s capacity to regenerate.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction The human demand on the Earth’s ecosystem is known as the ecological footprint. It is a comparison between the Earth’s capacity to regenerate."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Introduction The human demand on the Earth’s ecosystem is known as the ecological footprint. It is a comparison between the Earth’s capacity to regenerate and how fast humans are impacting the Earth in a negative way.

3 Ecological Footprint It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area needed to regenerate the resources a human population consumes and to absorb and render harmless the corresponding waste.

4 Ecological Footprint There is a three year time lag between ecological footprint calculations due to the time needed to amass and analyze all the data. For the year 2006, the world’s ecological footprint was 1.4 Earths. We are using up resources faster than the Earth can restore them. 

5 Canadian Fun Fact The first academic publication about the ecological footprint was by William Rees (top right) in The ecological footprint concept and calculation method was developed as the PhD dissertation of Mathis Wackernagel (bottom right), under Rees' supervision at the University of British Colombia in Vancouver, Canada, from

6 How is it calculated? It was unfortunately calculated in different ways by different groups of people, which was a problem. Thankfully there are standards in place now for its calculation. All ecological footprints end with values categorizing the following areas: Carbon, Food, Housing and Goods and Services. Some of these may be broken down further.

7 What things is the Ecological Footprint used for? 1) Comparing lifestyle to sustainability and thus influence government policy. 2) Educating people about over-consumption, sustainability and carrying capacity and therefore altering their behaviour.

8 Ecological Footprints by Country If a country does not have enough ecological resources within its own territory, then there is a local ecological deficit and it is called an ecological debtor country. Otherwise, it has an ecological remainder and it is called an ecological creditor country.

9 Canada’s Ecological Footprint From the 2006 data, Canada’s ecological footprint is 5.8 global hectares per person. Considering Canada has a capacity for 17.1 global hectares per person, we are only using a third of our capacity. Therefore Canada is an ecological creditor. This is due to Canada covering a large area, but having a small population.

10 World’s Ecological Footprint The world’s average ecological footprint in 2006 was 2.6 global hectares per person, however the Earth was only regenerating at a rate of 1.8 global hectares per person. Therefore in 2006 we were at a deficit of 0.8 global hectares per person. This is not good! 

11 Worst Ecological Footprints As of 2006, the following countries had the highest ecological footprints (gha/person). 1) United Arab Emirates ) Qatar 9.7 3) United States 9.0 4) Ireland 8.2 5) Kuwait 7.9 This means they use a lot of resources per person. Why is there footprint so large???

12 Worst Ecological Footprints As of 2006, the following countries had the biggest deficits in their ecological footprints (gha/person). These are the biggest ecological debtors! 1) United Arab Emirates ) Kuwait ) Cyprus ) Bahrain ) Qatar -5.8 What do all these countries have in common???

13 Best Ecological Creditors As of 2006, here are the biggest ecological creditors (gha/person): 1) Suriname ) Guyana ) Gabon ) Dominican Republic ) Congo ) Canada 11.3 Canada is the only industrialized nation of the 6 and was the only one with an ecological footprint above 2.5.

14 Where do we go from here? What is needed is worldwide change and fast. Nations must realize that the current way of life in many places is not sustainable and must make changes to accommodate this cold, hard fact or else long term sustainability of nations and/or the human race will be in jeopardy.

15 Suggested Changes 1) Get rid of fossil fuel usage. 2) Low automobile (transport vehicle) usage. 3) Practice sustainable agriculture and forestry. 4) Maximize current arable lands.

16 Time to calculate your ecological footprint We will now each calculate/estimate our ecological footprint and see if we have to “change” anyone into being a better human!


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