Rising consumption of ecological resources is pushing the world into ever earlier ecological deficit or 'Overshoot'

The "ecological footprint" has become a powerful indicator of the unsustainability of the current global economy.

Now the Global Footprint Network is promoting another concept that also caries some "punch".... October 9th 2006 is (Ecological) Overshoot Day

//www.footprintnetwork.org/newsletters/footprint_network_enews_1-9-1.html

Beginning on October 9th and continuing through the end of the year, the world will be living beyond its ecological means. Ecological Footprint accounting shows that, as of October 9th, humanity has already consumed the total amount of new resources nature will produce this year.

"Humanity is living off its ecological credit card and can only do this by liquidating the planet's ecological assets," said Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, Executive Director of Global Footprint Network, "While this can be done for a short while, overshoot ultimately leads to the depletion of resources, such as the forests, oceans and agricultural land upon which our economy depends."


Each year Global Footprint Network calculates humanity's Ecological Footprint, its demand on cropland, pasture, forests and fisheries, and compares it with global biocapacity, the ability of these ecosystems to generate resources and absorb wastes. Ecological Footprint accounting can be used to determine the exact date we, as a global community, begin running our annual ecological deficit. Designated "Overshoot Day," this year demand begins outstripping supply on October 9.

Overshoot has been called 'the biggest issue you've never heard of.' Yet despite its lack of publicity, its causes and effects are as simple as they are significant.

As humanity's consumption of resources increases, Overshoot Day creeps earlier on the calendar. Humanity's first Overshoot Day was December 19, 1987. By 1995 it had jumped back a month to 21 November. Today, with Overshoot Day on October 9, humanity's Ecological Footprint is almost thirty per cent larger than the planet's biocapacity this year. In other words, it now takes more than one year and three months for the Earth to regenerate what we use in a single year.

//www.footprintnetwork.org/gfn_sub.php?content=footprint_overview
//www.neweconomics.org/gen/ecologicaldebt091006.aspx

Best wishes

-- David Duthie
UNEP-GEF Biosafety Unit Geneva
Email: david.duthie @ unep.ch


Informant: Teresa Binstock

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