UAE Ranks First

We might need another planet, maybe three. People in the United Arab Emirates are placing most stress per capita on the planet.

(Reuters) – Following is a ranking issued by the WWF conservation group on Tuesday of the 10 nations whose inhabitants place most demands per capita on the world’s natural resources. It said in a report that humans were stripping nature at an unprecedented rate and would need two planets’ worth of natural resources every year by 2050 on current trends. Nations with the biggest per capita “ecological footprints” were:

1. United Arab Emirates
2. United States
3. Finland
4. Canada
5. Kuwait
6. Australia
7. Estonia
8. Sweden
9. New Zealand
10. Norway

People in the United Arab Emirates, for instance, needed the equivalent of almost 12 hectares (29.65 acres) per person of productive land or seas in 2003 to provide natural resources they used and to re-absorb their waste. The global average demand was 2.2 hectares, far above the available supply of 1.8 hectares per person.

The “ecological footprints”, calculated by the WWF, comprise use of fossil fuels, nuclear power, cropland, grazing land, built-up land, fishing grounds, forests. For the top nations, emissions from using fossil fuels were the main component. [source]


  • So why don’t the Muslim countries reduce their population growth? They have the highest birth rates in the world yet they are doing little to nothing to fix this problem. Why don’t their religious leaders help convince the Arab/Muslim populace that having more children is detrimental when it comes to stripping the finite resources of this planet?

    If Iran could do it, why can’t they?

  • Danial: I think you meant Arab countries since Iran is a muslim country. Birth rates are moderate to high depending on the country. But the countries having the biggest impact on world population are by far India, China and the USA, none of which are Muslim countries.

    I don’t see what religion has to do with it and/or why it must be dragged into everything.

  • No bro, I mentioned Muslim countries as well.

    Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, and other Muslim countries continue to suffer from higher population growth.

    “I donâ??t see what religion has to do with it and/or why it must be dragged into everything. ”

    Well because its these imams who keep preaching the need for a large familiy without realizing the repercussions to the environment. You think there’s going to be plenty of water for all in the Middle East when they continue to have 8-10 children in each family? You have to admit, if they can’t feed their children, then why have large families in the first place? That’s one of the reasons why there’s so much discontent in the Arab world, since population growth has not kept pace with economic growth. It’s also a sad case where a lot of the Muslim countries have low literacy rates as well, with even lower for women. That also contributes to higher population growth and thus a strain on the resources.

    I mentioned Iran because it is unique for its case of successfully slashing population growth, despite being an Islamic country.

  • Danial: granted, what you say makes perfect sense. however you will never find an imam preaching for muslims to have less children. a more suitable alternative would be to preach (if one must) for greater family planning and social responsibility. That being said, Islam or no Islam, preachers or no preachers, people are going to have a lot of kids not because of religion or literacy but because of economics (or at least its the most dominant factor). When poverty is decreased and job oppertunities increase birth rates will settle down in my opinion.

    there are other factors to consider. in the case of some of these countries, such as UAE or Kuwait, you have very small populations with even smaller nationals. their growth rate is not relative to their birth rate but rather the number of non-nationals that come to work in these countries.

  • 8 out of 10 of the countries listed about are neither Arab nor Muslim

    also with regard to kuwait a lot of the environmental impact was probably due to the 1991 oil fires. they weren’t really kuwait’s fault (though they were another muslim country’s fault) and in any event, war damage falls in a different category than run-of-the-mill environmental degredation. at least in my mind.

  • It is about time that Jordan be forced to sign in with the Kyoto agreement to reduce CO2 emmissions by controlling its population growth and finally begin taking responsibility and reversing this on going destruction of our planet. When will ancient societies learn.

  • The top ten list quoted above can be subdivided into two general categories:

    1. Countries with a fake life style.
    2. Countries with excellent health-, education- and social-services systems.

    Both require a lot of resources although they are not equally justifiable.

  • 1. Countries with a fake life style.
    2. Countries with excellent health-, education- and social-services systems.

    Both require a lot of resources although they are not equally justifiable.

    That’s an interesting observation! I thought about it a bit. I checked out the UN Human Development report where they ranked the “Most Livable” countries in 2005. It’s true that the countries with the heaviest ecological footprints have excellent health, education and social services.. etc. But there’s plenty of countries who have ranked as high standard of living, yet did not even make it to the top 10 of highest ecological footprints. (e.g. Iceland). So I think that for these countries making such a large impact on our natural resources – it evidentally won’t kill their way of life to start behaving with some environmental responsibility and accountability.

    â??Most Livableâ? Countries, 2005
    1. Norway
    2. Iceland
    3. Australia
    4. Luxembourg
    5. Canada
    6. Sweden
    7. Switzerland
    8. Ireland
    9. Belgium
    10. United States 11. Japan
    12. Netherlands
    13. Finland
    14. Denmark
    15. United Kingdom
    16. France
    17. Austria
    18. Italy
    19. New Zealand
    20. Germany

Your Two Piasters: