A statistical look at the world's ballooning ecological footprint
Global resources are being tapped at an alarming rate as developed countries' consumption patterns outstrip current resources, according to a report released Wednesday by the World Wildlife Fund.
"There is an alarming rate of biodiversity loss in low-income, often tropical countries, while the developed world is living in a false paradise, fuelled by excessive consumption and high carbon emissions," said Jim Leape, director general of WWF International, in a release.
Demand on natural resources has doubled since 1966, suggests the Living Planet report. Meanwhile, the number of freshwater tropical species of fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals has dropped by nearly 70 per cent according to the report.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at some recent research on current resources and consumption.
Thirty-one countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development are responsible for nearly 40 per cent of the global footprint, according to the 2010 Living Planet report.
Canada is among the top 10 countries with the largest ecological footprint, along with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Denmark, Belgium, United States, Estonia, Australia, Kuwait and Ireland, says the report.
Consumption patterns have exceeded the Earth's biocapacity — the area available to produce renewable resources and absorb CO2 — by 50 per cent, the report says.
Canada is protecting seven per cent of its terrestrial and marine areas as of 2008. (United Nations)
There are 72 threatened species in Canada. (United Nations)
Canada's energy use (kg oil equivalent) per $1,000 GDP: 225.
Canada's CO2 emissions from fuel combustion: 573 million tonnes. (OECD)