The Ecological Footprint (EF) is a highly aggregated desciptive environmental indicator, developed in the mid of the nineties, that is worldwide increasingly applied in the context of sustainable development. In coordination with the Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt (LFU) we design the EF for Bavaria refering to the existing system of indicators. The Ecological Footprint completes the system of indicators and is at the same time annexed to its ecological objectives (e.g. reduction of carbon dioxide). This provides the opportunity to support the communication of environmental rulings, to present dealing alternatives and to describe development trends.
At the ENCORE Regional Conference with the title “Indicators for a Sustainable Development” in Bilbao at the end of 2004, the participants declared to provide a basis of indicators at regional level all over Europe. The Ecological Footprint was recommended as a qualified instrument.
The intention is to combine the comprehensive works about environmetal indicators already realised at the LfU, with the works about the Ecological Footprint developed at the Wissenschaftszentrum Umwelt at the University of Augsburg. This offers the chance, imbedded in the existing indicator-model, to implement this recommendation in Bavaria and set a standard throughout Germany.
Besides supporting environmental orientation the Ecological Footprint depicts environmental information for the public. It demonstrates the consumption of nature by relating people to the natural resources, they need to provide their individual lifestyles and living conditions. This indicator model helps to determine the limits of consumption in a realistic way and makes an important contribution to sustainable education and networked thinking. The EF- indicator-model enables to measure the consumption of resources by the bavarian population with the intention to discuss the results in a regional and global context. The indicator connects local environmental impact and global availability of resources. The global approach closes the gap in the regional indicator modelling considering sustainability.
Methodological background provide the updated works of Rees and Wackernagel, the insitute for sustainabiliy “Redefining Progress” in Oakland as well as the dissertation of Dr. Christoph Klebel “Nachhaltigkeit und Umweltbewusstsein in Bayern” published in 2005.
Projectterm: 01.03. - 01.12.2006
Dr. Jens Soentgen
Dr. Christoph Klebel