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Journey to a more sustainable future

Media Releases

Mon, 29 Jul 2019
Journey to a more sustainable future

We are nurturing future leaders for a more sustainable Earth.

earth overshoot day chart

Did you know that 29 July marks Earth Overshoot Day in 2019?

This date represents the day that humanity has used more from nature than our planet can renew in that entire year, which means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate – almost as much as two Earths’ worth of resources1.

This is an alarming fact. And it’s one we hope to address by educating future leaders on the importance of caring for the environment, and by equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to create change.

For example, our environmental science courses train students in the application of business and environmental principles, to tackle global challenges and considerations such as waste management and sustainable practices.

By majoring in aquaculture, students will also learn about the sustainable production of aquaculture species. Currently, food production uses over half of our planet’s biocapacity3. Sustainable production will help Singapore and the rest of the world achieve its food security strategy and ensure that there is enough to go around.

On the other hand, the Master of Planning and Urban Design (Majoring in Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Tropical Urbanism) at James Cook University in Singapore gives students the opportunity to discover design solutions to relevant issues such as dwindling land resources and sustainable urbanism.

Equipped with this knowledge, graduates of the Planning and Urban Design program will be able to plan and create urban environments that can accommodate the growing population and its increasing consumption habits. Having a grasp of smart city planning and urban development strategies is also instrumental to regulating both heating and cooling needs and promoting energy efficiency.

These efforts can help to push back Earth Overshoot Day by reducing the strain we put on the planet’s resources.

You must wonder – how is Earth Overshoot Day determined? The truth is, it’s calculated by dividing the planet’s biocapacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in a year2:

(Planet’s Biocapacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365 = Earth Overshoot Day

In 1970, Earth Overshoot Day fell on December 29. Over the decades, the date has moved up the calendar, and 29 July is the earliest it has ever been.

What’s more, if the world’s population lived like Singapore, Earth Overshoot Day would have landed on 12 April. Living like Australia, on the other hand, would bring the date up to 31 March, equivalent to 4.1 Earths’ worth of resources1.

This is a stark reminder of our excessive consumption habits. In contrast, James Cook University is committed to addressing such critical challenges faced by the Tropics and the natural world, so that we may achieve our goal of living sustainably.

On top of conducting meaningful teaching and research to address critical issues on sustainability, we also lead by example through actions such as reducing the use of single-use plastics and planting more trees to contribute to the environment.

So, what can you do to #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day? As we train future professionals to take on the challenge of creating a more sustainable world, your passion and knowledge for sustainability will propel this cause forward to create research-led changes.

Find out more information about our Environmental Science courses here.

For further information on areas of research strength in Aquaculture and future collaborative opportunities at James Cook University in Singapore, view our booklet here.





Media: Pinky Sibal [email protected]