Mathis Wackernagel, founder of the Ecological Footprint, is on our Advisory Board for our Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators. – Hazel Henderson, Editor
If you read the New York Times, the Washington Post, or dozens of other leading publications around the world last month, you may have seen our most recent findings: Humanity is now using the capacity of 1.5 planets. But while our research shows that the ecological challenges we face are indeed large, it also shows that addressing them is within our grasp. This year, Global Footprint Network has engaged with an unprecedented number of governments, and decision-makers are beginning to get the message: managing ecological assets is becoming as critical to economic success as managing economic capital.
Indulge me for a minute, and imagine how quickly things could change if countries began to take ecological deficits as seriously as rising unemployment – or if they equated diminishing natural resources with a weakening currency.
At Global Footprint Network, we are aiming at nothing less than a complete shift in the way governments think about natural resources, human development, and what is needed to maintain the long-term health of their societies.
And our efforts are paying off. The importance of living well, within the ecological capacity of our planet, is finally making it onto the agendas of leaders and change-makers around the globe:
- In resource-rich Latin America, we are working with Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, as well as local governments in Brazil and Mexico, to enable development that can advance their economies while also protecting ecological wealth;
- In Africa, we have launched a three-country pilot project with the United Nations Economic Commission to apply the Footprint to decision-making;
- In Asia, we have launched with WWF a widely quoted report on Japan, and completed analyses on the trends driving China’s Ecological Footprint. This research shows that China has just overtaken the US in having the largest total Footprint of any country in the world;
- In the Mediterranean basin, an ecologically fragile region that has experienced first-hand the toll of unchecked financial deficits, we are engaged in a regional project with Plan Bleu and UNESCO to help countries address their mounting ecological deficits.
To seize all these opportunities, we need your support. That is why we are reaching out to you today.
Your investment will help us enhance our science and technology capacity, so that we can engage nations on these critical ideas, and deliver the practical tools that enable them to improve people’s lives in lasting ways – without liquidating their resource base.
We can create a world where all people can live well, within the means of nature. But we must work at a level that is large-scale and far-reaching enough to alter global trends. We hope you will consider making a generous gift to Global Footprint Network today, to help advance this transformational work. You can make a donation online at www.footprintnetwork.org/donate.
Thank you so much for joining our efforts.
Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D.
Global Footprint Network