In today’s world, where humanity is already exceeding planetary limits, ecological assets are becoming more critical. Each country has its own ecological risk profile: Many are running ecological deficits, with Footprints larger than their own biological capacity. Others depend heavily on resources from elsewhere, which are under increasing pressure.

In some areas of the world, the implications of ecological deficits can be devastating, leading to resource loss, ecosystem collapse, debt, poverty, famine and war.

The Ecological Footprint is a resource accounting tool that helps countries understand their ecological balance sheet and gives them the data necessary to manage their resources and secure their future.

National governments using the Footprint are able to:

  1. Assess the value of their country’s ecological assets
  2. Monitor and manage their assets
  3. Identify the risks associated with ecological deficits
  4. Set policy that is informed by ecological reality and makes safeguarding resources a top priority
  5. Measure progress toward their goals

It is almost certainly the case that countries and regions with surplus ecological reserves—not the ones relying on continued ecological deficit spending—will emerge as the robust and sustainable economies and societies of the future.

Explore the Ecological Wealth of Nations