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Ecological Footprint (EF)

“ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT” (EF) refers to a system of measurement developed for estimating human appropriation of ecological resources relative to biologically productive (bioproductive) land area. EFs can show how much land is needed to sustainably support a human population, nation, or a specific component of society, such as a commodity (e.g., soybeans), transportation system (e.g., auto transit), or lifestyle (i.e., a consumption pattern). The utility of footprint analysis (FA) is best understood by considering the ecology of a modern city. Urban inhabitants are concentrated within city bounds but they rely on the importation of resources and exportation of wastes to survive.

Therefore, the land area necessary to produce resources and absorb wastes far exceeds the actual geographic boundaries of the city (or nation)—in wealthy nations ecological flows ...

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