Tuesday, October 24, 2006


There's a song about 'lemlem Ethiopia' stuck in my head. I just can't get the words out.

Our current government has/had this dream about an 'Agricultural revolution' in Ethiopia. It seems our lemelem country is particularly unviable for agriculture (I am assuming that's all Eth has and has already exhausted as a resource). More here.

It's very strange that Ethiopia's resource consumption ratio is as high as that of developed nations as the United States and countries in Europe, or as that of super-populated nations like India and China.

Having said that, I am be curious to know what figured into calculating the resource per capita ratio for those maps and figures.


yonas said...

The data source for the WWF maps and figures are available from the National Footprint Results.

The source figures are interesting, they suggest that our Ethiopia is not so lemlem! Our total biocapacity is 0.5 ha/person, compared to the global and Africa averages of 1.8 and 1.3 respectively. Our total ecological footprint is 0.8 ha/person, compared to global and Africa averages of 2.2 amd 1.1 respectively.

Our footprint (consumption rate) is not too high and nowhere near USA's 9.6 and UK's 5.6, and the only thing that concerned with me with our consumption figures were the relatively high footprints for forest fuelwood. Our 0.5 biocapacity is the the big downer, it's one of the lowest in the world. Our consumption ratio is high due to our low biocapacity.

Tobian said...


Thanks for the source.

Very interesting figures. And somewhat dishartening.

Then again you take a some of the poorest places like Gabon and Bolivia with ecological reserves at 17.6 and 13.7 respectively and you begin to wonder.

Another interesting thing I noticed was a comparison between Egypt and Ethiopia. Egypt lives off of the Nile, yet with similar population (wow, we caught up!) to Ethiopia,
it has a higher Corpland biocapacity. Israel, which relies heavily on irrigation, has the same corpland biocapacyty as Ethiopia.

nolawi said...

all this is related to the extreme population growth...

that is where the answer lies

Tobian said...


Yesss, and nnnno.

I imagine it should be possible to sustain the population we currently have with better management of resources.

True, we've exhausted our resources, and most of it is due to disproportionate growth in population and resources/the economy.

True, it's a vicious cycle.

Yes, I think it'll be a good idea if people'd have less children, but I don't think I'm one to opt for population control :)

My lay-woman suggestions is that perhaps we step away from the dreamy 'agricultural revolution', restore some forests, and use our human capital for other things - anything at a reasonable distance from raw material productions.

So, Nolawi, go home and open some factories :)