Unbalanced sheet

  • 30/08/2002

Unbalanced sheet > People are using over 20 per cent more natural resources each year than can be regenerated. The ecological footprint of humankind is increasing. This overdraft will not last long.
Carry on stomping In 1999, the Earth had 11.4 billion hectares of productive land and sea space, that is about 1.9 hectares of productive land per capita. Our global ecological footprint for that year, however, was 2.3 hectares per capita.

The Living Planet Index, based on trends in the populations of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish, over the past 30 years has declined by about 37 per cent.

Our global ecological footprint has grown from about 70 per cent of the planet's biological capacity in 1961 to 120 per cent in 1999

By 2050, humans will consume between 180 per cent and 220 per cent of the Earth's biological capacity
Shoe size please The footprint of the average African or Asian consumer was less than 1.4 hectare per person in 1999

The average Western European footprint was about 5.0 hectares, and the average North American footprint was about 9.6 hectares.
Drop dead There has been a dramatic decline in freshwater species averaging about 54 per cent in the populations of 195 species in rivers and wetland ecosystems

Marine species are also in dire straits - with an average decline of 35 per cent in 217 species, while forest species populations have shown a 15 per cent decline in 282 species in 30 years

Source: Anon 2002, Living Planet Report 2002, Worldwide Fund for Nature, Banson Production, UK, p1,2,6,7,16,17,22,23