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Croatia is using resources of 2.2 planets - Global Footprint Network

Written by  Jul 29, 2017

According to the Global Footprint Network (GFN), on the 2nd of August 2017 humankind will have used annual natural resources.

This international research organization was the first to introduce the method of calculating ecological debt. Carbon emissions are the fastest growing factor of over consumption, whilst the carbon footprint of humanity now makes up to 60 percent of humanity's demand on nature.

The Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) previously known as Ecological Debt Day (EDD) is the date on which humanity's resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth's capacity to regenerate those resources that year. In the last twenty years, it has been marked at the end of September; however, this year is almost two months earlier. The world first entered ecological deficit spending or ecological debt in the early 1970s when the critical threshold had been crossed.

Furthermore, humanity is currently using resources 1.7 times faster than ecosystems can regenerate i.e. globally we are using 1.7 planets and we only have one. The costs of this global ecological excessive spending become more and more obvious all over the world, in the form of shrinking forests, species loss, drought, water scarcity, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Living Planet Report on the state of the planet published in October last year, all the countries in Croatia’s surroundings, including Croatia, live above their natural capacity. This is also demonstrated by GFN's environmental data, measured in global hectares (gha). It is a unit that measures human demand on nature (ecological footprint) and the ability of the Earth to meet our requirements (bio capacity).

Therefore, Slovenia stands out as the country with the highest ecological footprint (4.69gha), followed by Croatia (3.78gha), Montenegro (3.63gha), Bosnia and Herzegovina (3.22gha), and Serbia (3,1gha). The good news is that in all countries in the region the ecological footprint measured in 2013 was lower than in 2012.

However, the latest data show that Croatia is using resources of 2.2 planets. It entered the ecological debt in 1997 for the first time. Croatia's footprint consists of carbon dioxide (2.06gha), arable land (0.74gha), forest products (0.38gha), fishing areas (0.07gha), populated areas (0.06gha) and pastures (0.19gha). Bio capacity per capita is 2.8 gha.

Experts claim that reducing food waste by 50 percent around the world could move the Earth Overshoot Day by eleven days, whilst reducing of carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent would move the date by 89 days.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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