The One-Planet Alliance is the international body in charge of overseeing, funding, and growing the Ecological Footprint Initiative, home of the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts. It was born of the recognition that One Planet is not a metaphor. Rather, it is the description of the context humanity lives inside of. Given that we live on this one finite planet, how can each country best operate in order to prosper over the long term, considering humanity is already demanding more than Earth’s ecosystems can renew?
More precisely, how can each country…
- allow its potentially expanding population to thrive, with many people harbouring legitimate material aspirations (SDGs) while
- phasing out fossil fuels within decades, in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement,
- and protecting the integrity of the planet’s ecosystems, per Aichi Biodiversity Targets?
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Country Members of the One-Planet Alliance
Data and tools are needed to support public and private decision-making in order to navigate our economies towards successful outcomes. The One-Planet Alliance aims at bringing together all the nations that share those concerns and goals.
Country-members of the One-Planet Alliance make a three-year commitment. They are required to contribute an annual fee that is commensurate with their population size and economic potential. They are members de facto of the stakeholders’ council of the Footprint Data Foundation, the legal entity that owns the Accounts. If elected, their respective representative may serve as the chairperson of the Alliance on an annual rotation.
National Footprint and
Initially established by Global Footprint Network, the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts contain the data produced annually for more than 200 countries and regions around the world through the Ecological Footprint accounting methodology. This methodology uses some 15,000 data points per country from UN agencies and other international bodies. It was originally developed by Mathis Wackernagel, the co-founder and President of Global Footprint Network.
The Accounts are the world’s only comprehensive metric to compare human demand on nature to what the planet can renew. They reveal countries’ exposure to core sustainability challenges, including climate change and resource constraints. They help decision-makers identify pressure points, potential conflicts, economic challenges, and risky trends. They are necessary to develop informed analysis of the implications for resource security in each country and the world.
Last but not least, the assessment they provide is fundamental to design our way to the regenerative economy that the last IPCC Report urgently called for.
The Ecological Footprint Initiative
The Ecological Footprint Initiative strives to ensure ever more transparent and robust National Footprint Accounts with a view to boosting their reach, utility, and adoption as a central decision-making tool in countries around the world. Developed by Global Footprint Network in partnership with York University in Toronto, the Initiative guarantees the Footprint Accounts’ independence. It also allows more researchers to participate and apply their innovation, while maintaining stability and consistency of the Accounts through careful governance and scientific review.
The Initiative includes a global academic network and a science advisory committee that continuously improve and enhance the Accounts. The academic network researches and develops potential improvements to the Accounts. The science advisory committee reviews, selects and recommends improvements for implementation. It may request input from One-Planet Alliance member-countries as needed.
The Initiative is led by the stakeholders’ council of the Footprint Data Foundation, which One-Planet Alliance members automatically sit on. The annual budget for the Ecological Footprint Initiative is 1.5 million USD. This budget includes the Accounts production, maintenance and upgrade, supporting the scientific advisory committee, as well as basic coordination efforts of the One-Planet Alliance.