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BCSEA Webinar: Our Changing Ecological Footprint

Jul 24 2012 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Our Changing Ecological Footprint

Join us for a BCSEA Webinar, starting at noon Pacific time (3:00 PM EDT) with Mathis Wackernagel, co-founder of the ecological footprint concept, and co-winner with Professor Bill Rees of the prestigious 2012 Blue Planet Prize. 

For most of the 20th century, resources were cheap and easily available, so many countries became dependent on large amounts of fossil fuels, biological resources, minerals and fresh water they don't have.

As our global demand increases it is meeting a supply crunch, and it now takes more effort to harvest resources and water. Farming is becoming more fuel dependent, and basics such as food and fibers are becoming costlier.

These resource dynamics are becoming critical, and economic planners who ignore them may put their country’s economy at peril.

The Global Footprint Network (www.footprintnetwork.org) documents these changing trends and has assessed their economic impact for 200 countries around the world, and their trading partners.

These bio-physical assessments of countries’ resource performance, coupled with economic analysis, show structural challenges for many countries, and suggest opportunities for overcoming them.

Mathis Wackernagel, Ph. D. is co-creator of the Ecological Footprint and President of Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability think-tank which focuses on bringing about a sustainable human economy in which all can live well within the means of one planet.

Mathis has worked on sustainability on six continents and lectured at more than a hundred universities. He previously served as the director of the Sustainability Program at Redefining Progress in Oakland, California, and ran the Centro de Estudios para la Sustentabilidad at Anáhuac University in Xalapa, Mexico.

He has authored or contributed to over 50 peer-reviewed papers, numerous reports and various books on sustainability that focus on embracing limits and developing metrics for sustainability.

After earning a degree in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, he completed his Ph.D. in community and regional planning at UBC, where he created the Ecological Footprint concept with his doctoral dissertation for Professor William Rees of UBC.

Mathis’ many awards include the prestigious 2012 Blue Planet Prize sponsored by Asahi Foundation, which he shared with his mentor Bill Rees, and the 2012 Kenneth E. Boulding Memorial Award of the International Society for Ecological Economics.

See BCSEA's previous webinars at www.bcsea.org/past-webinars