Population and Environment

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 303–313

The Assumptions Underlying Eco-Footprinting

  • Andrew R. B. Ferguson


In essence, the concept of a person's ecological footprint is simple: it is the area of land needed to support permanently a specified lifestyle. But in practice eco-footprinting is more complex. It is the purpose of this paper to investigate the most important aspects of that complexity. We avoid discussion of a recent elaboration of eco-footprinting, namely including the sea as a component of the ecological footprint and the use of equivalence factors. The reason is that we see those changes as being less fundamental, and intend to cover them in a separate paper. The current paper—concentrating on the fundamentals—concludes that eco-footprinting is the best method available for making a quantitative assessment of the extent to which consumption, by a specified human population, is exceeding biocapacity.

ecological footprints ecology biocapacity 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew R. B. Ferguson
    • 1
  1. 1.Optimum Population TrustUSA

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