PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2005, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (2): 13-23.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2005.02.002

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Review and Prospect of the Application of Ecological Footptint Model

JIANG Yiyi1,2, WANG Yanglin1,2, PU Xinguo1,2, WANG Jianhua1,2   

  1. 1. College of Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Centre for Digital City and Landscape Ecology, Shenzhen Graduate School of Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, China
  • Received:2004-06-01 Revised:2004-12-01 Online:2005-03-25 Published:2005-03-25


The heart of sustainability study is measurement, and the ecological footprint (EF) model gradually becomes an important way to measure sustainability. Since it adopts a common standard, the study results of EF model could be comparable and easily understood. The EF analysis is designed to calculate the demand of a given population on nature by a common unit, namely bio-productive area, and its goal is to estimate the sustainable state by studying whether the demand exceeds the available supply. The purpose of this paper is to review the history of its application in China and abroad systematically. EF model has now been applied to measure the sustainability of many nations, cities and regions as well as for globe itself. And its applied field has been extended to land demand forecast, tourism sustainability measurement, environment impact assessment and so on. With the development of application, the EF method has been gradually modified and upgraded. To get integrated trade information, some studies took input and output calculation instead of original calculation method. The system of local productivity parameter is applied to show the regional characteristic. The bio-productive area types have been reclassified to consider greenhouse gases other than CO2 and emission sources other than energy use. The goal of long time-series research is to overcome static weakness. With other sustainable development indices, it could be easily to make available policies. At last, the paper gives a prospect on the development of EF models’ application. The index system should be modified to present the characteristic of study object. We must enhance the EF’s forecast ability and boost up the development of application in environmental, social and economic fields in China.

Key words: ecological footprint, model application, review and expectation