Improvement of Ecological Footprint Model Based on Freshwater Resource Account and Pollution Accounts
2012, 27 (6):
In this paper, through a case study conducted in cities involved in Dongjiang River Basin, we improved the ecological footprint model by adding freshwater resource account and pollution account and by adjusting the yield factors using actual average land productivity method. The ecological footprints of eight cities, i.e., Ganzhou, Meizhou, Heyuan, Shaoguan, Huizhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen in the Basin in 2008 were evaluated using our revised ecological footprint model. The results showed that: 1) The ecological footprint and the ecological capacity of each city were sizably different from the other seven cities within the Basin. This reflects the differences both in natural resources endowment and in socio-economic development stage among the eight cities within the basin. The summed ecological footprint per capita increased spatially from the upstream to midstream and to downstream except for Huizhou and Shenzhen cities. While the available total per capita ecological capacity of cropland, forestland, pastureland, built-up land, fishing land and fossil-energy land decreased spatially from the upstream to midstream and to downstream. 2) As the per capita GDP and/or the urbanized population ratio increased, the spatial variation of the per capita ecological footprint increased first and then turned to decrease, showing a similar trend that EKC (environmental Kuznets curve) once expressed. 3) The total ecological footprint of all eight cities within the Basin exceeded the corresponding ecological capacity except for the freshwater resource, and thus there existed a global ecological deficit within the Basin. This indicates all the eight cities within the Basin have to import, more or less, natural products, resources and energy from outside regions at present, to sustain the normal development according to their current consumption standard and production conditions.
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