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Evaluation of ecological sustainability based on a revised three-dimensional ecological footprint model in Shandong Province, China

Xun, Fangfang, Hu, Yecui
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.649 pp. 582-591
carbon footprint, cities, cropland, models, natural capital, sustainable development, China
This study used the revised three-dimensional ecological footprint model (3DEF), to calculate the status of sustainable ecological development in Shandong Province in 2010–2015, analyze dynamic changes in sustainability characteristics, and explore factors affecting sustainable development. The results showed the following (Wackernagel & Rees, 1996). Seventeen prefecture-level cities featured varying degrees of ecological deficits, and ecological development was unsustainable in all cities (Wackernagel et al., 2004). Footprint sizes differed between the cities, but changed little over time. Cropland was the main contributor to footprint size, as it was the main capital flow utilization component (Daly, 1994). For all cities, footprint depth exceeded the original length of 1; lack of capital flow caused capital stock depletion. There was a significant positive linear correlation between changes in energy footprint and footprint depth (Zhou et al., 2015). The 17 prefecture-level cities were divided into four natural capital utilization categories using clustering: zone I (2 cities), in which capital stock consumption greatly exceeded capital flow occupancy, contain the most severe ecological stress; zone II (9 cities), wherein the level of stock capital consumption was significantly higher than capital flow consumption, the regional development pressure was greater, and the ecological sustainability was lower; zone III (4 cities), which featured mild natural capital utilization and a relatively high capacity for sustainable development; zone IV(2 cities), which featured lagging stock capital utilization, relatively, and the highest capacity for sustainable development. These results would help coordinate resource utilization and economic development in Shandong Province.