The Ecological Footprint is a method of measuring and analysing resource consumption and waste output compared to the renewable capacity of nature.
It represents the amount of productive land area needed to produce the resources (food,
energy and materials) and to absorb the wastes produced by an individual. Since 1980, the
average per capita ecological footprint has decreased as many processes (especially crop
production) have become more efficient.
If the ecological footprint exceeds the available productive land, The resource use is
Globally, the available ecologically productive land area included in the Ecological
footprint analysis is 1.89 hectares for each person. The footprint takes into account fossil
fuel use, cropland, forests, nuclear and hydroelectric power, fisheries and buildings.
Countries with a high per capita GDP have a
high global footprint as they also have a high level of fossil fuel consumption. Some
european countries including Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, the United kingdom and Finland have taken steps to reduce their per capita global footprint.