Tread carefully

In Africa, the three countries with the biggest ecological footprints per person are Mauritius, Mauritania and Botswana. South Africa is in fourth position. The countries with the biggest footprints in the world are Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. (Living Planet Report 2012, bit.ly/KxOMXX)

This week’s theme: The environment

7 responses to “Tread carefully

  1. Steve

    7 years Ago

    This fact is meaningless unless you know what is meant by an “ecological footprint”. Is a footprint good or bad?

  2. Reut

    7 years Ago

    An ecological footprint is a measure of how much biologically productive land and water people need to absorb their waste and produce the resources they consume.

  3. Andre

    7 years Ago

    So that means that the drier country’s with relatively high population would normally measure higher ecological footprints?

  4. Tim Mattison

    7 years Ago

    I found an article that discusses why the Netherlands is also very high on this list – http://www.expatica.com/nl/news/news_focus/Netherlands-has-second-heaviest-ecological-footprint-in-Europe_229167.html

    Ecological footprint is due to many factors and each country is different. In the Netherlands it works out that there is 0.06 hectares of arable land per person which isn’t enough to sustain the amount of food (meat in particular) that each person consumes. The deficit is filled by importing food from other countries. Food is only one factor, there are many other factors as well.

    It would be interesting to see if Qatar is in an ecological deficit primarily because of food or their construction boom. Doha is an amazing looking city but that comes as a steep cost for a country that, according to the CIA world fact book only has 1.68% of its land as arable land and depends on almost 100% on large-scale desalination for fresh water.

    Thanks for this fact. It was pretty eye opening to see that this kind of unsustainable over-consumption isn’t just a US phenomenon.

  5. Judy Stock-Ill

    7 years Ago

    If it is because of low population density and high per capita GDP how come Botswana makes it into the top 3?

  6. Nic

    7 years Ago

    Please help, we still don’t know if it is good or bad?

  7. Wayne

    7 years Ago

    What is the definition of an “ecological footprint?”

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