Humanity’s growing ecological footprint: sustainable development implications

The recently proposed sustainable development goals (SDGs) include promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as wellbeing for all. Economic activities ultimately depend on ecological assets and their capacity
for provisioning primary resources and lifesupporting ecological services (Costanza et al.,2014; Georgescu-Roegen, 1971); managing the latter is becoming a central issue for decision makers worldwide (CBD, 2010; UN et al., 2014).
Thus, living within the limits of the biosphere’s ecological assets is a necessary condition for global sustainability, which can be quantitatively measured and must be met to achieve SDGs. This brief highlights global and national ecological asset balances and discusses their implications for sustainable development.

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