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Ecological Footprint

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Coined by William Rees — the Canadian ecologist and professor at the University of British Columbia — in 1995 in his book Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth, the term 'ecological footprint', or EF, is a refreshing new model to measure human impact on the environment. It aims to bring to fore the extent of environmental degradation caused in the name of human development, ever since the 18th century.

EF analysis attempts to measure the demand humankind makes on nature, and it measures the ratio of human consumption of natural resources with the capacity of the earth to regenerate them. It also estimates the land area a human population would require if the current consumption of resources and the pollution caused by this activity is matched by renewable resource production and waste assimilation in this particular land area.