Our ecological footprint

Our ecological footprint

By Alexander Bonilla D.

The footprint we are leaving on Planet Earth has tripled since 1961. In the last 40 years the footprint of low-income countries remained at 0.8 global hectares per person.

In North America, a person uses 3.7 global hectares more than the region has available. The European Union has a deficit of 2.6 hectares per person (uses more than double its biocapacity). On the other hand, Latin America rather has a reserve 3.4 global hectares per person (one third of the available biocapacity per person).

As an interesting comparative data, the Human Development Index is considered optimal when it is higher than 0.8, while a footprint with an index lower than 1.8 hectares per person (which is the biocapacity per person worldwide) would be considered sustainable at the global level. worldwide (the global footprint is 2.2).

We have exceeded by almost 25% the biocapacity of the Planet…. We are on the edge, at the limit. But if we put our minds to it, we can reverse the negative trend.

This means that we have lost a third of our biodiversity since 1970 (especially vertebrates).

We remember that we are not alone (man) on earth; we share it with 5 to 10 million species or more. But man has believed that he lives alone ... and that he is master of everything that surrounds him. Live and exploit resources as if they were not finite. Here is the big problem; you live for today, not tomorrow.

An interesting fact, now that they tell us about "uncomfortable truths" is that the footprint left by CO2, due to the use of fossil fuels, has been the fastest growing, it has increased more than 9 times since 1961, where the emission rate could be exceeding the elimination rate.

Thus, according to experts, if we continue with the current trajectory in 2050 “humanity will demand resources at twice the rate at which the earth can generate them.” That is why it is essential to reduce the size of the footprint that we are leaving . To achieve this, the governments of the world, companies and people must consider:

-manage population growth.

-Reduce the consumption of goods and services per person.

-it is necessary to reduce the intensity of the footprint.

-Recover bioproductive areas and save what remains.

-to achieve a balance between bioproductive areas and the needs of the population (protection of soils, protection of hydrographic basins, taking care of fresh water, forests, etc).

Anyway, this is the challenge ... you have to reduce the size of the footprint. Everyone must do it in their daily work.

Living Planet

Video: Mathis Wackernagel: The Ecological Footprint (July 2021).