Benchmarking local ecological performance using ecological footprint accounts
Ecological footprint is good at telling us how much we weight relative to global ecological ressources. However it tells us nothing on their geographical origin and makes no distinction be-tween ecological ressources used from distant or local land. Moreover it does not measure theintensity of exploitation of soils or other sustainability considerations like biodiversity loss. There-fore the results provided by the footprint calculation are barely suitable for planning and policydesign, as information on real use of local land is lost in the process of calculation. This issuesare well known and are part of the research agenda set by the footprint research community andrecommendations has been made to deal with them. The research community already use various metrics to compute the ecological footprint: global hectares, actual hectares and disturbed hectares. The increasing use of input-output technics has also enhanced the localization of the footprint. In this paper all the metrics are used in conjunction with input-output techniques to produce four ecological performance indicators of a local economy taking in account: its global weight on the planet, its degree of dependence on distant ecological ressources, the sustainability of its farming practices, and the quantity of local fertile land not yet used in a bioproductive way. This four performance indicators are then plotted together giving an easy visualizing tool to compare various alternative scenarios
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- Lenzen, Manfred & Murray, Shauna A., 2001. "A modified ecological footprint method and its application to Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 229-255, May.
- Wiedmann, Thomas & Lenzen, Manfred, 2007. "On the conversion between local and global hectares in Ecological Footprint analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 673-677, February.
- Lenzen, Manfred & Borgstrom Hansson, Carina & Bond, Stuart, 2007. "On the bioproductivity and land-disturbance metrics of the Ecological Footprint," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 6-10, February.
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