Portugal up seven places on the ecological footprint but not enough

The environmental organization WWF puts Portugal in the 66th place in terms of per capita ecological footprint, seven positions above 2016, but points out that the country still needs 2.19 planets to “maintain the current way of life.”

The data presented in this year’s edition of the Living Planet report refer to 2014, when the ecological footprint of the Portuguese declined, “a possible consequence of the economic crisis that hit Portugal in those years.”

Ângela Morgado, executive director of Associação Natureza Portugal, who works in association with the WWF, warned, quoted in the presentation document of the report, that “the Portuguese must have a more sustainable lifestyle, otherwise they will not be affected by an economic crisis, but an unprecedented ecological crisis that endangers his life, that of his children and grandchildren. ”

“It is time to change, we can no longer put off,” he said, explaining that “the slight decline in the Portuguese ecological footprint was a reflection of the economic crisis, which created an opportunity for the Portuguese to behave more environmentally friendly. with a lifestyle that has less impact on the planet outside of crisis situations. ”

At the same time, the report shows that the ecological footprint of the Portuguese has always been very high compared to the country’s biocapacity, which has remained more or less constant since 1961.

Carbon, which is the 2014 data represents 57% of the Portuguese ecological footprint, and which in 2004 corresponded to 63% of the total value, was the component that decreased the most, says the document, which explains that “this is naturally associated with consumption, but also to the change in the sources of national energy production, due to the focus on renewable energy. ”

At the international level, the report shows a “disturbing picture: human activity is pushing the ecosystems that sustain life on Earth to a limit.”

“The report is showing us the harsh reality that our forests, oceans and rivers are at risk. This is an indicator of the tremendous impact and pressure we are exerting on the planet, undermining the living fabric that sustains us all: nature and biodiversity, “said Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International.

The Living Planet Index (IPL), which tracks trends in global wildlife abundance, indicates that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined by an average of 60 per cent between 1970 and 2014.

The report points out that “the major threats to species are directly linked to human activities, including loss and degradation of habitats and wildlife exploitation.”

“From rivers and forests to coastal areas and mountains, the report shows that wildlife has declined dramatically since 1970. Statistics are scary because we depend on nature to feed, clothe and subsist. We need to create a new path that allows us to coexist in a sustainable way with nature on which we depend. We will need the action of all, “Ângela Morgado reiterated.

In highlighting the extent of the impact of human activity on nature, the document also highlights the importance and value of nature for the health and well-being of people, societies and economies.

“Globally, nature provides services worth $ 125 trillion per year, and helps ensure the provision of air, drinking water, food, energy, medicines and other products and materials,” he said.

The report specifically analyzes the importance of pollinators, which account for $ 235- $ 577 billion in agricultural production per year, and as a changing climate, intensive farming practices, invasive species and emerging diseases have impacted on their abundance, diversity, and Cheers.

“Nature has silently supported and nourished our societies and economies for centuries and continues to do so today. In return, the world has continued to regard nature and its services as natural, failing to act against the accelerated loss of It is time to realize that a healthy and sustainable future for all is only possible on a planet where nature thrives and forests, oceans and rivers are full of biodiversity and life, “added Lambertini.

“We need to think of nature as beautiful and inspiring but also as indispensable. We – and the planet – need a new global agreement now”, appealed.

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