Special Column:Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of IGSNRR, CAS

The analysis of ecological footprints of Macao in2001

  • The Faculty of Science and Technology, Macau University, Macao, China

Received date: 2002-09-02

  Revised date: 2002-12-11

  Online published: 2003-04-25


Because human beings consume the products and services of nature,every one has an impact on the earth in some ways.Does the human load stay within the earth's carrying capaci-ty?The ecological footprint concept has been designed to answer this question and estimate peo-ple's impact on nature.The ecological footprint of any defined population(from a single individ-ual to a whole city or country)is the total area of ecologically productive land and water occu-pied exclusively to produce all the resources consumed and to assimilate all the wastes generated by people.The ecological footprint method presents a simple framework for natural capital calcu-lation.The concept and its calculation method of ecological footprint set up by Wackernagel M are used in this paper.The article calculates and analyses the ecological footprint of Macao in2001.The ecological footprint ledger is composed of three main sections:1)biotic resources;2)energy consumption;and3)trade balance.Based on the ecological footprint concept and analytical framework,human consumption can be compared with natural capital production at the regional level using existing data.Macao is situated on the southern coast of China.The total land area,currently25.4sq km,con sists of Macao Peninsula,and the islands of Taipa(linked to the city by two bridges)and Coloane(linked to Taipa by a causeway and reclaiming land from the sea on either side of the causeway).The population of Macao is493000,the highest density in the world.Macao is de-pendent on Chinese mainland for fuel,water and most of its food.The ecological footprint of Macao is2.993hm2 per capita in2001.It is lower than that in Hong Kong and other developed countries.The reason may be1)the manufacturing industry has moved to mainland China in re-cently years;2)more and more residents go to Zhuhai for consumption;and3)high density of the living area can save more energy.The bio-capacity of land is only0.011hm2 .Tourism is the most important economic industry in Macao,which is efficient and profitable,accounting for about 60.7%of GDP.Ecologically,footprint indicates the relation between con-sumption and the natural resources.In Macao,the average output of1hm2 footprint is US$4202,3.8times the average output of the world,and the tourist output of1hm2 footprint is US$15258,almost13.8times that of the world.The distribution of Macao footprint is89.5%in the Macao Peninsula,about 1554times compared to its real area.The analysis shows that the ecological pressure and density is tremendously high in the Macao Peninsula.

Cite this article

LEI Kam-peng, WANG Zhi-shi . The analysis of ecological footprints of Macao in2001[J]. JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES, 2003 , 18(2) : 197 -203 . DOI: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2003.02.011