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Sustainability expert to deliver free public presentation in downtown Denver

Release Date: 2/3/2003
Contact Information:
303 312-7814,

Release Date: 2/3/2003
Contact Information:
303 312-6389

      Denver -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 office is hosting Dr. Mathis Wackernagel -- an internationally known sustainability expert -- for a free public presentation in downtown Denver Thursday, February 13th from 1-4 p.m. Wackernagel is most famous for developing the "Ecological Footprint" concept, a widely used measure of sustainability.

      The Ecological Footprint is an accounting tool that measures how human consumption and generation of waste are exceeding nature's capacity. It tracks how much natural resources we consume compared to how much is available, much like a business tracks overhead, expenditures, sales and profits. Dr. Wackernagel will explain how the Ecological Footprint's measures human consumption using these core principles:

      Natural Capital: the planet's essential ecological services, including natural resources, waste absorption and stable climate conditions.
      Sustainability: satisfying lives for all within the means of nature -- now and in the future.
      Ecological overshoot: taking more than nature can renew, depleting the planet's natural capital, just as a businessman weakens his operation by drawing down assets to finance ongoing operations.
      1. Intergenerational equity: between generations, over time.
      2. National and international equity: in the present, within and across nations.
      3. Interspecies equity

      Dr. Wackernagel is currently the Sustainability Program Director for Redefining Progress in Oakland, CA. Redefining Progress is a nonprofit public policy organization that develops policies and tools to internalize the economy's hidden social and environmental costs, to protect our common social and natural assets, and to foster social, environmental and environmental sustainability. He will be in Denver to deliver a presentation at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science the following Friday.

      WHAT: Dr. Wackernagel presents "Lighten up: get serious about sustainability with the Ecological Footprint!"
      WHERE: QWEST Auditorium, 1005 17th St., in downtown Denver between Arapahoe and Curtis Streets. Take the escalator up to the Plaza Level. Go right through the double glass doors. Take the elevator to the A (Auditorium) level.
      WHEN: Thursday, February 13th from 1-4 p.m.
      BEFORE YOU COME: Calculate your own ecological footprint at Select Ecological Footprints from the Projects list on the left side of the home page.

      This event is FREE and open to the public. Please pre-register with Barbara McAlpine-Johnson at (303) 312-6700 or

      This event is co-sponsored by the following organizations. Contacts:
      Ellen Drew, Colorado Environmental Business Association, 303 277-0932
      Bob Duprey, Sustainable Futures Society, 303 293-3771
      Paul Aldretti, Colorado Environmental Partnership, 303 433-1020
      Gerald Owens, U.S. Army Western Regional Environmental Office, 303 844-0953