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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 March 2005, 12:13 GMT
Threat of Wales' eco footprint
Recycling bags
People are being urged to recycle more of their household waste
If everyone in the world lived like the average person in Wales, we would need almost three planets to support our lifestyles, WWF Cymru has claimed.

A new report, called Reducing Wales' Ecological Footprint, has analysed the impact of the entire Welsh population on the planet.

The findings have been discussed at a meeting of experts in Cardiff Bay.

A WWF Cymru spokesman said most Welsh people were willing to change their lifestyles to help the environment.

The research found 74% of people thought their lifestyles were damaging the environment and 68% believed that government could do more through positive leadership.

Researchers found that the planet can support 1.8 global hectares per person, but Wales' so-called ecological footprint is 5.25 global hectares per person.

Ways to reduce your footprint
Fly less
Take public transport, walk or cycle
Use energy from a green electricity provider
Buy local food
Recycle more
Insulate your home
Switch off lights
Use energy-efficient appliances

The figure for the UK as a whole is 5.4 global hectares.

The report were presented to First Minister Rhodri Morgan at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay on Thursday.

Stuart Bond, Sustainable Development Officer for WWF Cymru, said that people's footprint was a measure of the resources they use, the land they use and the sea they use.

"Every person in Wales uses about six football pitches worth of land, and there is only about two to go round per person in the world," he said.

He said that everything from products people buy to more eco-friendly forms of transport.

'Children and grandchildren'

"Every time we make a small little step towards a positive environmental change we are reducing our footprint," he added.

The report has proposed a range of policy recommendations for the Welsh Assembly Government, including the promotion of organic food production and consumption, waste minimisation and energy efficiency in homes.

One of its authors, Dr John Barrett, said good work had been done in Wales towards a more sustainable society, but the present policies were not enough.

"A more radical agenda is required that helps to prepare Wales for a more sustainable future," he said.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "The Welsh Assembly Government is one of only a handful of governments in the world with a duty to promote sustainable development in all it does.

"We must to make decisions that make Wales more sustainable in the long term and this plan makes these issues a priority, so that our children and grandchildren can benefit."




SEE ALSO
Warning over 'rubbish crisis'
02 Mar 05 |  Wales
'Robinwood' brings tree job hopes
15 Feb 05 |  Mid Wales
Bid to safeguard rare fish
02 Feb 05 |  North West Wales

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