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Earth Overshoot Day Humanity Consumed 100 Percent Nature by 8 August 2016

Since 1970 humanity demand more from nature than nature can generate in that particular year Dr Shabbir A Shahid

Senior Salinity Management Scientist International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

What is Earth Overshoot Day (EOD)? The Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) is the calculated illustrative calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. In 2015, August 13 was declared as EOD, whereas in 2016, the EOD will land on August 8. It means that on 1 January 2016, we have used 0% of nature’s budget, to be sustainable we should have used 100% of nature’s budget by 31 December 2016, but that is not the case, as in less than eight months “on 8 August” we have used 100% nature’s budget, from 8 August to 31 December we will be overdrawing the resources, thus degrading the resources further to provide services, and widening the gap between human demand (ecological footprint) and the planet’s biocapacity. Under this scenario currently we need 1.6 earth planets to support humanity’ demand on Earth’s ecosystem.

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We should live in a world where both humanity and planet can thrive together Other factor pushing the EOD further down is the rapid population growth, the population of 7.2 billion in mid-2013 is projected to 8.2 billion by 2025, and expected to reach 9.6 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion in 2100 (FAO-ITPS, 2015). This requires atleast 40-70% increase in food production by 2050 compared to 2010. Assuming global carbon emissions are reduced by at least 30 percent below today’s levels by 2030, in keeping with the below-two-degrees-Celsius scenario worked out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Earth Overshoot Day could be moved back on the calendar to September 16, 2030. However, Business as Usual (BAU) will push the EOD to 28 June in 2030, and thus we will require two earth planets to meet the demands of Humanity.

Healthy landscape showing mix of trees, shrubs and grass


Landscape Magazine August 2016