27.06.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Mediterranean region: resource limits and their implications for economic policy

©Global Footprint Network Mediterranean Ecological Footprint Initiative - Are Mediterranean countries at risk?

UNESCO Venice Office, Global Footprint Network, WWF Mediterranean Programme, MAVA Foundation, and Plan Bleu call on governments and international institutions to consider Ecological Footprint and biocapacity to assess the state of ecological assets, and to measure progress towards sustainable development and green economy in the Mediterranean region. If resource deficits in the Mediterranean region are not reversed, they will erode its countries' economic security and their capacity to guarantee the well-being of their citizens, according to a two-year study whose findings will be released in a report in October.

Mediterranean Ecological Footprint Trends, by the international think tank Global Footprint Network, investigates the economic implications of resource constraints in the Mediterranean region. According to the report, the situation is precarious.

Economic activities depend on access to ecological resources including water, biomass and fossil fuels. However, pressure on the Mediterranean region's natural resources has never been as intense as it is today. The region now requires approximately two and a half times more resources than its ecosystems can renew in one year. Meanwhile, external resources are becoming ever scarcer and more expensive, putting the Mediterranean region at risk of a supply disruption.

"As resource constraints tighten globally, countries that depend heavily on ecological services from other nations may find that their resource supply becomes insecure and unreliable, and this has profound economic implications," said Mathis Wackernagel, President of Global Footprint Network and the co-creator of the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool.

Global Footprint Network’s Mediterranean initiative, launched in June 2010 with the support of Plan Bleu and in partnership with WWF’s Mediterranean Programme and UNESCO Venice Office, is an effort to bring leaders together to develop a regional approach to managing resource consumption and availability. The initiative will culminate in October 2012 with the publication of a report on the initiative’s findings at the two-day conference on “Securing Competitiveness for the Mediterranean : Exploring Ecological Footprint and biocapacity trends and their implications for the Mediterranean” (Venice, Italy) expected to draw government representatives, NGOs, academics and media. Download Why Are Resource Limits Undermining Economic Performance available for from the right menu for a preview of the report’s key findings.

For the complete analysis and country factsheets, please refer to the Mediterranean Ecological Footprint Trends report at: www.footprintnetwork.org/med




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