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Galli A.,Global Footprint Network | Wiedmann T.,CSIRO | Ercin E.,University of Twente | Knoblauch D.,Ecologic Institute | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2012

In recent years, attempts have been made to develop an integrated Footprint approach for the assessment of the environmental impacts of production and consumption. In this paper, we provide for the first time a definition of the "Footprint Family" as a suite of indicators to track human pressure on the planet and under different angles. This work has been developed under the 7th Framework Programme in the European Commission (EC) funded One Planet Economy Network: Europe (OPEN:EU) project. It builds on the premise that no single indicator per se is able to comprehensively monitor human impact on the environment, but indicators rather need to be used and interpreted jointly. A description of the research question, rationale and methodology of the Ecological, Carbon and Water Footprint is first provided. Similarities and differences among the three indicators are then highlighted to show how these indicators overlap, interact, and complement each other. The paper concludes by defining the "Footprint Family" of indicators and outlining its appropriate policy use for the European Union (EU). We believe this paper can be of high interest for both policy makers and researchers in the field of ecological indicators, as it brings clarity on most of the misconceptions and misunderstanding around Footprint indicators, their accounting frameworks, messages, and range of application. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Sumaila U.R.,University of British Columbia | Hotte N.,University of British Columbia | Galli A.,A+ Network | Lam V.W.Y.,University of British Columbia | And 2 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2015

We present the first joint analysis of the ecological-financial deficits of nations and develop a simple index, the Eco2 index, which is useful in ranking the combined ecological and financial performance of countries. This index includes information on ecological and financial deficits, trade surplus and gross domestic product (GDP) to evaluate the potential impacts of ecological deficits on the overall economic performance of countries. Results show an ongoing trend towards increased ecological deficits, as natural resources are 'traded' for financial gain. We argue that countries cannot run large financial deficits forever without negative economic consequences and that globally, it is likewise impossible to ignore our global ecological deficit in the long run. Ecological deficits can only be temporarily and partially addressed by incurring financial costs through imports, bounded by available resource surpluses of other nations and the fact that some of these services are place-specific. Ultimately, ecological deficits jeopardize ecosystem functions, energy sources and the food security of nations, with direct implications for human well-being. © Inter-Research 2015. Source

Galli A.,Global Footprint Network | Kitzes J.,University of California at Berkeley | Niccolucci V.,University of Siena | Wackernagel M.,Global Footprint Network | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2012

In a world increasingly affected by global environmental changes, Low Income countries will play an ever more central role in determining the future health of the biosphere. While global use of the biosphere's capacity has increased over the past 45 years, per capita demand for biocapacity, as measured by the Ecological Footprint, has only increased in high-income countries and has remained constant or fallen in middle- and low-income nations. Consumption has increased faster than population in high-income nations, while population growth has been the dominant factor in middle- and low- income countries. Although listed in the middle-income group of countries, China showed atypical trends in the past 45 years, with a rapid increase in per capita Ecological Footprint that outstrip its gains in income. Typical trends were instead noticed for India, whose per person Ecological Footprint has fallen slightly. The results of this paper show that decisions made in China and India will be of fundamental importance for future global sustainability. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Passeri N.,University of Tuscia | Borucke M.,Global Footprint Network | Blasi E.,University of Tuscia | Franco S.,University of Tuscia | Lazarus E.,Global Footprint Network
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2013

The relationship between farming management and the overexploitation of natural resources is often a theme of discussion in the environmental sciences. Moreover, farmers' choices-driven by consumer demand-have a significant effect on the agricultural production system. The Ecological Footprint methodology as it currently implemented assumes that all cropland activities are sustained by the capacity of the ecosystem, basing both demand and capacity calculations on the exact same flow accounting. This causes some confusion in the evaluation of the ecological performance of farming because it appears that this activity has no consequences on the planet. This paper proposes a solution to this duality caused by the current methodological assumption about croplands, and investigates the influence of different farming techniques on Ecological Footprint results. Starting from the concept of an embodied footprint in production, we propose a new approach for the evaluation of farming performance. This approach permits an estimation of the impact of farming activity, linked to the farmers' technique, and a calculation of the crop Footprint in reference to the production capacity of the natural system. Building on the central methodology of the Ecological Footprint, we provide a different evaluation system and show case study results for comparison. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Galli A.,A+ Network | Wackernagel M.,Global Footprint Network | Iha K.,A+ Network | Lazarus E.,Global Footprint Network
Biological Conservation | Year: 2014

In October 2010, world leaders gathered in Nagoya, Japan, for the CBD COP10 and agreed on the adoption of new biodiversity targets and new indicators for the period 2011-2020. This represents a positive development. But given the previous failure in achieving the 2010 biodiversity targets, new approaches to implementation as well as relevant measuring and monitoring systems are needed, for this renewed effort to have lasting success in preserving biodiversity. The need to adopt a comprehensive approach in monitoring biodiversity clearly emerged and it can be seen in the five strategic goals within which the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity targets are classified. Among them, is the strategic goal A, which aims to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society. The aim of this paper is to describe the role of the Ecological Footprint in tracking human-induced pressures on biodiversity thus providing a synthesis of how the Ecological Footprint tool can contribute to the advancement of conservation science. Information is provided on the main features of the Footprint indicator and its dataset, the ongoing work to improve the methodology as well as the geographical (more than 150 countries covered) and temporal coverage (a period of almost five decades) of the Ecological Footprint accounting tool. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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