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Ecological Footprint

Map No. 322

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The ecological footprint is a measure of the area needed to support a population’s lifestyle. This includes the consumption of food, fuel, wood, and fibres. Pollution, such as carbon dioxide emissions, is also counted as part of the footprint.

The United States, China and India have the largest ecological footprints. Without knowing population size we cannot understand what this means about individuals’ ecological demands. Large populations live in China and India. In both territories resource use is below the world average. The per person footprint in the United States is almost five times the world average, and almost ten times what would be sustainable.

"People consume resources and ecological services from all over the world, so their footprint is the sum of these areas, wherever they may be on the planet." The Living Planet Report, 2006

Territory size shows the proportion of the worldwide ecological footprint which is made there.


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