Thursday, February 4, 2016

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: Ecological Footprint revisited!

Ecological footprint is a useful concept to understand sustainability. We need natural resources to sustain human life. The area required to harvest all the natural resources required and to absorb all the wastes generated by the human population over a period of one year is called the ecological footprint of humanity. 

We have a finite planet. The total area of the earth is 510.1 x 10^6 sq km. The total population of the earth today is about 7 billion persons. Today the minimum estimate of ecological footprint of humanity is about 1.3 times the area of the earth. So obviously, we are living beyond our means. If we have to manage within the limits of our planet, the area allocation per person works out to about 73,000 sq m. 

To get a sense of how much land this is, we can consider the following. The area of a football field is approximately 100 m x 100 m or 10,000 sq m. Thus, the area allocation per person is equivalent to about 7.3 football fields. 

Why is it that we are finding it so difficult to sustain ourselves on this much land per person??

Priyadarshini Karve
Samuchit Enviro Tech

    Samuchit Enviro Tech. 

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