Global Footprint Network

For the first Philippine Ecological Footprint Report, the Global Footprint Network in San Francisco aimed to communicate hard scientific data to a diverse audience. Arresting photographs and infographics achieved this goal. The three-part report was produced in collaboration with the Philippine Climate Change Commission and the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), and is printed on 100%  Philippine-made recycled paper.


Ecological Footprint
of Consumption 

Ecological Footprint
of Production

Net Ecological
Footprint of Trade 

EFp does not give an accurate indication of the quantity of resources consumed nationally, which are directly related to domestic well-being. In order to assess domestic consumption of a population
we use the Ecological Footprint of consumption (EFc). EFc accounts for both the export of national resources, and the import of resources used for domestic consumption. EFc is most amenable to change by individuals through changes in their consumption behavior.           

The Ecological Footprint of consumption indicates the consumption of biocapacity by a country’s inhabitants.  

The sum of all human demand placed for the resources from cropland, grazing land, fishing grounds, forests, and built-up land, plus the carbin dioxide emitted, within a country’s borders comprise the Ecological Footprint of production (EFp). This measure mirrors the gross domestic product (GDP), which represents the sum of the values of all goods and services produced within a country’s borders.       

The Ecological Footprint of production indicates the consumption of biocapacity resulting from domestic production processes. 

Embodied in trade between countries is
a use of biocapacity, the net Ecological Footprint of trade (the Ecological Footprint of imports minus the Ecological Footprint of exports). If the Ecological Footprint embodied in exports is high, the resources used to support this trade have the potential to reduce the domestically available biocapacity. If the Ecological Footprint embodied in imports is high, then there is an indiction that the country may be very susceptible to global resource constraints.

The Ecological Footprint of exports and imports indicate the use of biocapacity within international trade.

Ecological Footprint, Biocapacity and Overshoot

Just as a bank statement tracks expenditures against income, Ecological Footprint accounting measures a population’s demand for and ecosystems’ supply a
ecological assets.

On the supply side, a city, a state or nation’s biocapacity represents the productivity of its ecological assets (including forest lands, grazing lands, cropland, fishing grounds and built-up land).

The Ecological Footprint of the Philippines is below the world average biocapacity per person of 1.8 gha, indicating that parts of the population lack access to basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter. At the same time, the Philippines’ Footprint still exceeds the biocapacity resources within its borders. According to Global Footprint Network calculations, if all people in the worls lived like an average person in the Philippines, we would only need 0.59 Earths. This contradiction show the precarious situation of populations in rapidly developing nations seeking to improve quality of life while simultaneously trying to minimize strain on ecological resources.

Since the 1960s, the Philippines’ total Ecological Footprint has nearly tripled. In 2011, the last year for which data are currently available, the nation demanded more than twice what it had in available capacity.


of the Ecological Footprint of the Philippines


Ecological Footprint

While biocapacity measures the supply of ecological assets, the Ecological Footprint measures humanity’s demand on them. More specifically, the Ecological Footprint is an accounting tool that measures the amount of biologically productive land and sea area required to produce the renewable resources a population (or an activity) consumes and to absorb its waste, using prevailing technology and management practices.

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