Three Gulf States – Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates – hold the not so prestigious top places in a recent listing of the world’s nations' Ecological Footprints.
According to the 2012 edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report, if everyone lived like an average resident of Qatar, more than six Earths would be required to regenerate humanity’s annual demand on nature.
“We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal. We are using 50 per cent more resources that the Earth can sustainably produce and unless we change course, that number will grow fast – by 2030 even two planets will not be enough,” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.
Unsurprisingly, the massive Ecological Footprints of Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE are the result of very large carbon footprints.
The report also notes that the that the residents of these countries are very dependent on the resources of other nations to meet their needs, which is highly likely to have strong geopolitical implications as resources become more strained in the future.
“Using ever more nature, while having less is a dangerous strategy, yet most countries continue to pursue this path. Until countries begin tracking and managing their biocapacity deficits, they not only put the planet at risk, but more importantly, themselves,” said Mathis Wackernagel, President of Global Footprint Network.
Ecological Footprints of the countries in the Middle East*
1. Qatar (11.68)
2. Kuwait (9.72)
3. United Arab Emirates (8.44)
4. Oman (5.69)
5. Saudi Arabia (3.99)
6. Israel (3.96)
Signup to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
7. Libya (3.19)
8. Lebanon (2.85)
9. Iran (2.66)
10. Turkey (2.55)
11. Jordan (2.13)
12. Egypt (2.06)
13. Tunisia (1.76)
14. Algeria (1.65)
15. Syria (1.45)
16. Iraq (1.42)
17. Morocco (1.32)
18. Yemen (0.87)
19. Occupied Palestinian Territories (0.46)
*The figures show the Total Ecological Footprint per papita of each country measured in gha, a common unit called a global hectare, in which one gha represents a biologically productive hectare with world average productivity. In 2008, humanity’s Ecological Footprint was on average 2.7 gha per person, while the Earth’s total biocapacity was 1.8 gha per person.