The Ecological Footprint represents an essential accounting of our escalating demands on global ecosystems. It has justifiably emerged as the leading indicator in the sustainability field.
Nevertheless, the Footprint is a limited communications and accounting tool because it is not designed to include the related conditions of human development — issues such as poverty, literacy, access to education, and other aspects of human rights and social justice.
As a paradigm, the Ecological Handprint reframes the notion of sustainability. It expands on the Footprint by bringing together the interrelated goals of sustaining the biological integrity of the planet and insuring sustenance for those in need.
The Ecological Handprint underscores that problems related to human well-being as well as those related to nature's well-being are inextricable. It reminds us that restoring social justice and restoring ecosystems are fundamentally interrelated, and that these problems can often best be solved by interrelated approaches. Once you start looking for Handprints, whether existing or potential, you'll find that they abound. Regardless of their scale or location, all over the world there are Ecological Handprints that provide powerful new models for the human species. They demonstrate a vision for our world that embraces human dignity and biological integrity, where we are both lifting humanity and lowering our footprint.