5.4 billion people globally couldn't obtained necessary resources in 2017 revealed a study

 In 1980 57% population was without necessary resources which increased to 72% in 2017


According to a new study conducted jointly by researchers from Global Footprint Network, the Munasinghe Institute for Development, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Missouri Botanical Garden.  The study was published in Nature Sustainability April 26, 2021.

 Some 5.4 billion people or 72 % of the world’s population were unable to sustainably obtain necessary ecological resources and could not purchase them from other countries in 2017, according to a new study.

These people lived in countries with low biocapacity and below average incomes. ‘Biocapacity’ is the ability of an ecosystem to regenerate the resources that people use. 72% people globally lived in countries with low biocapacity and below average incomes. ‘Biocapacity’ is the ability of an ecosystem to regenerate the resources that people use like food and energy.

An example would be the ability of an island to maintain enough fish population to sustain inhabitants. Other examples include groundwater refreshment and reforestation. In this new effort, the researchers looked at the ecosystem of every country in the world and its ability to support continued consumption. They also looked at GDP for every country they studied to learn more about the connection between biocapacity deficits and income levels for the people in each country.

The researchers compared and classified countries in four categories based on their gross domestic product per capita and ecological deficit between 1980 and 2017, to analyse the exposure of national economies to resource constraints.

They found that in 1980, 57 % of the world’s population lived in low biocapacity and below average incomes. In 1980, the worldwide ecological deficit was only 19 per cent.

In 2017, 72 % people lived in low biocapacity and below-average income. The global ecological deficit rose to 73 %. However, this figure (73 %) may have dropped to 56 % in 2020 due to lockdowns caused by the novel coronavirus disease pandemic, according to the study.

The researchers found that overall, global demand for resources is outstripping the planet's ability to replenish them—and the problem is getting worse. In 1980, for example, humans were using resources at approximately 119% of the planet's ability to replenish them. By 2017, it was at 173%—a trend that is clearly unsustainable.

These numbers suggest that poverty is likely to grow worse globally as resources are depleted. The researchers also found that wealthier countries tend to be rich in natural resources, as well—just 14 % of them were found to have resource deficits—but sadly, they use approximately 52% of the planets' biocapacity.

The researchers conclude that a day of reckoning is coming as poorer countries run out of resources and begin to face historic poverty levels.

Wealthier countries tended to be rich in natural resources, the team found. Just 14 % of them were found to have resource deficits. However, such countries used approximately 52 % of the planets’ biocapacity.

The researchers noted that while a country like Switzerland having biocapacity deficits and very high incomes might be able to maintain higher levels of consumption, those such as Niger or Kenya, that had biocapacity deficits and insufficient income were fragile as slight economic downturns or extreme weather could temporarily reduce biocapacity and lead to food and energy insecurity.

The researchers recommended that governments should use policy tools to enhance their countries’ resource security by managing both resource demand and resource availability.

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