The Benefits to Participating Countries

Benefits to Participating Countries

Long-term natural resources security is of high strategic relevance to a national economy, as also outlined by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The data provided through National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts helps decision-makers identify pressure points, economic challenges, and risky trends. It also makes it possible to develop informed forecast analysis for each country and the world, as virtually no country operates independently from its trade partners and competitors.

 A seat at the One-Planet Alliance ensures front-row access to the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts production team, with the opportunity to recommend optimized data development for specific real-life national challenges. Furthermore, working closely with other country-members can generate simple yet fruitful synergies such as sharing best practices, relevant experiences, and knowledge. This challenge before us can be best tackled through learning from others and bringing those lessons back to resource managers, economic planners, and decision-makers at home.

These are key benefits for participating countries:

  1. Gain privileged and timely access to a globally consistent, scientifically robust data base on the resource performance of countries. With ecosystem regeneration being the most limiting material factor of economies, this database helps identify potential conflicts, economic challenges, and risky trends for your country, your trade partners and the whole world.
  2. Receive a customized annual report detailing the most significant results for your country and five reference countries. It shows Footprint and biocapacity time trends, including of its components. It also summarizes trade flows and production Footprints. In addition, it contains a now-cast estimate for both Footprint and biocapacity.
  3. Participate in advancing this central database, to ensure improvements to the accounts increase their accuracy and relevance. Draw on global experiences of others working at the interface of science and policy.
  4. Learn together with your colleagues in the alliance about current thinking and best practices around the world to address resource security and bring those lessons back to administrators, economic planners, and decision-makers at home.
  5. Boost your country’s reputation as a true sustainability leader. Strengthen your credibility and influence by embracing our one-planet context.
  6. Streamline key information on country trends by using descriptive, encompassing accounts that track resource use and availability, similar to GDP tracking an economy’s value add.
  7. Build applications that serve you. Access to an international research network opens opportunities for innovative policy applications.

Why the world needs the One-Planet Alliance

a) The One-Planet Alliance links the human enterprise to the ultimate material constraints: our planet’s regenerative capacity. As such, it brings the various human pressures (water, biodiversity, climate, soils, deforestation, etc.) under one “umbrella”.

b) A comprehensive view links to and synergizes with other U.N. efforts: biodiversity, SDGs, desertification etc.

c) Multilateralism in the climate discussion is not sufficiently strong and reliable given slow and inconsistent progress of national reduction targets with Paris Agreement’s climate goal. Therefore, we need approaches that demonstrate why even unilateral sustainability action is beneficial for a country. This is at the core of the One-Planet Alliance. It provides a strong narrative for climate action, one that is aligned with economic self-interest rather than depending on benevolence and moral high-ground.

d) The One-Planet Alliance has a clear focus. It offers a product with global relevance and utility: robust and reliable National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts.

e) The biocapacity focus supports net-emissions, linking emissions with sequestration capacity, as heralded by the Paris Agreement.

f) Understanding biocapacity availability is highly relevant for decarbonization pathways. It helps answer: Which decarbonization strategies are shifting the burden on other ecosystems, and which ones are truly reducing the burden?

g) Ecological Footprint accounting makes targets and progress assessments easier to understand. Human demand on nature can be expressed in simple units: number of Earths, hectares of Footprint, or the annual date when people have used up the annual renewable budget (humanity’s overuse of Earth’s annual resource budget is marked with Earth Overshoot Day. This campaign generates 3 billion media impressions per year). Conventional measurement units are more abstract and not as widely understood such as tonnes of carbon or CO2, implications of average warming of 2°C, energy equivalents, or ppm for greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

h) Ecological Footprint accounting is scalable from world to countries, cities, individuals, and provides both the production/territorial as well as the consumption perspective. The consumption perspective is the one typically used when reporting Ecological Footprint results.