Earth Overshoot Day 2022: Ecuador's Minister of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition calls for "seizing the ecological power to shape our future"
QUITO, Ecuador, July 26, 2022
UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 27 July 1700 GMT-5
QUITO, Ecuador, July 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecuador's Minister of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition, Gustavo Manrique, is hosting a special event today to mark Earth Overshoot Day 2022 (July 28), featuring the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, authorities from different countries in the region, representatives of non-governmental organizations, businesses, scientists and academics. Global Footprint Network founder Mathis Wackernagel will be participating as the guest of honor.
"Earth Overshoot Day demonstrates that the current system of production and consumption is not compatible with the intention to continue to inhabit this planet. To better protect our natural resources and manage our demand for them, it is necessary to embrace a new development model based on sustainability and regeneration. From Ecuador, we call on the world to commit to this cause," explains Minister Gustavo Manrique.
Ecuador's unique tradition puts nature at its center. In 2008, it made history when it became the first country in the world to grant nature legally-enforceable constitutional rights to ''exist, flourish and evolve" through an overwhelming popular vote. Ecuador ranks as one of the countries whose Overshoot Day arrives the latest in the year (December 6 this year), which means its Ecological Footprint per person is only slightly higher than the worldwide average biocapacity per person.
The date of Earth Overshoot Day is calculated each year by Global Footprint Network, using National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts data. This day reminds us that the persistence of overshoot, now for over half a century, has led to huge declines in biodiversity, excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and heightened competition for food and energy. Symptoms are becoming more prominent with unusual heat waves, forest fires, droughts, and floods.
The economic pressures are already playing out. Global Footprint Network research shows that more than 3 billion people live in countries which produce less food than they consume and generate less than world average income. This means they have inadequate food capacity and face a huge disadvantage in accessing food on global markets. If we include all resources, not just food, the number of people exposed to this double challenge climbs to 5.8 billion people.
"Resource security is turning into an essential parameter of economic strength. There is no advantage in waiting for others to act first. Rather, it is in the interest of every city, company, or country to protect its own ability to operate in the inevitable future of more climate change and resource constraints," says Mathis Wackernagel.
"Cities hold the key to clean infrastructure transformation: Quito for its conservation of protected areas, Santiago de Chile for its electric buses, or Bogota for its bike paths show how local governments give their cities a better chance to have a solid future," says Sebastian Navarro, Secretary General of CC35, the Coalition of Capital Cities of the Americas on Climate Change.
Turning the trends around is not just possible, but it economically benefits those who lead the charge. Possibilities include:
Cutting food waste in half worldwide would #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day 13 days.
Upgrading urban bicycle infrastructure worldwide, like the Netherlands, has the potential to move it 9 days.
Producing power by cost-competitive on-shore wind, as practiced in Denmark and Germany, could move it at least 10 days.
More details, key facts behind Earth Overshoot Day, and translations at: https://www.overshootday.org/newsroom/press-release-july-2022-english/
Marta Antonelli, Ph.D.- Italian, English, (GMT+2)
Alessandro Galli, Ph.D.- Italian, English, (GMT+2)
Laetitia Mailhes- French, English, (GMT+2)
Amanda Diep- English, (GMT-7)
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SOURCE GLOBAL FOOTPRINT NETWORK