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Tracking the effects of inhabitants on biodiversity in the Netherlands and abroad: an ecological footprint model

Public on:
2004-09-30
Author:
Rood GA , Wilting HC , Nagelhout D , Brink BJE ten , Leewis RJ , Nijdam DS

RIVM Report 500013005

94 pages | Dutch | 2004

Abstract

Within this study, an improved indicator was developed to assess the ecological footprint of the inhabitants of a country, more specifically, the Netherlands. Here, models for production and consumption, on the one hand, and biodiversity, on the other, were linked. In addition, an operational model was developed and calculations of consumption and the effect of policy options as an example were carried out. In this improved indicator, all influences of the inhabitants of the Netherlands are important. These comprise not only land-use, but also climate change, land distribution, pollution, use of (fresh) water, bio-exploitation (e.g. hunting and fishing) and biological disruption (e.g. introduction of strange species). The effect on biodiversity is expressed in the Natural Capital Index (NCI), which was developed and discussed under the Convention on Biological Diversity. In principle, the NCI enables the assessment of both habitat loss and loss of quality in the remaining natural area as a result of climate change, fisheries and logging. The model links the relationship between the consumption of specific products, sectors and individuals to the global loss of natural capital in terms of a single indicator. Results will be used to support the discussion on the ecological footprint and how it can be operationalized.

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