WWF Colombia - En Acción Vol. 11



Posted on 26 November 2010  | 
En Acción 11
© WWF ColombiaEnlarge
Since the 1970’s, the demand for natural resources and energy and the contamination of the environment has continued to grow and exceed the capacity of the planet to regenerate and to absorb and recover from the effects of contaminants (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions). Globally, humanity is generating a debt with the planet, a current 30% overdraft on the planet’s checking account. By 2030, this Ecological Footprint will increase to 100%;1 two planets will be needed to maintain current consumption and contamination patterns. Reducing humanity’s ecological footprint is a development imperative and can be achieved by changing consumption patterns (what and how much is consumed and disposal post-consumption) and by transforming development paradigms.

Changing the tide requires actions at all levels. Individual and collective actions can reduce the consumption of natural resources such as water and energy, increase the consumption of sustainably produced products, and recycle to permit more efficient reuse of resources. For example, illegal timber extraction and commercialization has devastating impacts on forest ecosystems, and represents a minimum of 42% of timber traded in Colombia. Responsible purchasing should demand legal timber. The simple act of separation of trash at the source (individual homes) dramatically increases by XX% the potential recuperation and recycling of paper and other products. Small and easy individual actions multiplied by millions can have significant impacts.

The footprint of productive sectors such as agriculture and industry can and must be reduced by considering and transforming the consumption and contamination of all aspects of production. Agriculture throughout the world on average uses ~70% of freshwater, much of which is inefficient and rapidly affecting ecological flows, i.e. water available for natural ecosystems. According to the IPCC, globally, agriculture and forestry account for 31% of greenhouse gas emissions (including deforestation, land use changes, fertilizers and livestock produced methane). Substantive changes could have a significant impact on the carbon footprint of these sectors.

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En Acción 11
© WWF Colombia Enlarge

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