‘Ecological footprint’ pair awarded

Staff Report

A pair of scientists who have advocated the use of “ecological footprint accounting” to assess consumption of resources and nature’s capacity to withstand human demands were among the winners Wednesday of a prestigious environmental award from a Tokyo-based foundation.

William Rees of the University of British Columbia and Mathis Wackernagel of the U.S. think tank Global Footprint Network were awarded the Blue Planet Prize by the Asahi Glass Foundation at a ceremony in Tokyo.

Thomas Lovejoy, a professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University, was another winner of this year’s prize. He was credited for creating a new methodology to predict the extinction of species.

The pair and Lovejoy were given a certificate of merit, a commemorative trophy and ¥50 million each.

The Blue Planet Prize has been awarded annually since 1992 to individuals or organizations for making major contributions to global environmental conservation.

Lovejoy’s research is supported by extensive fieldwork in the tropical Amazon rain forest. He introduced the term “biological diversity” to the scientific community in 1980, when the use of the concept was still in its early stages.