A rural landscape in Tuusula, Southern Finland, on 3 July 2022. Earth Overshoot Day in Finland occurred this year on 31 March, almost four months before the global one. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

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HUMANKIND exhausted its natural resources for the year on Thursday, 28 July, reports the Global Footprint Network.

Earth Overshoot Day – the day when humans used up all the biological resources that mother nature is capable of regenerating in a year – took place this year one day earlier than last year. Our production and consumption habits, thereby, continued to exert a strain on the planet that is roughly 1.75 times higher than the regenerative capacity.

Earth Overshoot Day is calculated each year for each country based on roughly 15,000 data points. The data is provided by the United Nations.

Finns used up all of their natural resources for this year on 31 March, a couple of days after Danes and Belgians but a couple of days before Koreans and Swedes.

Qatar and Luxembourg were the first two countries to exhaust their resources for the year, doing so respectively on 10 and 14 February. People in Indonesia, Ecuador and Jamaica, by contrast, are not expected to use up their resources for the year until December.

“Earth Overshoot Day demonstrates that the current system of production is not compatible with the intention to continue to inhabit this planet,” Ecuadorian Minister of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition Gustavo Manrique commented at a special event marking the dubious milestone in Quito, Ecuador.

“To better protect our natural resources and manage our demand for them, it is necessary to take concrete joint actions aimed at a new development model based on sustainability and regeneration.”

YLE on Thursday wrote that the main reasons for the continuing overconsumption of natural resources are energy production, transport and food production.

The exploitation of natural resources is creating problems particularly in developing countries that produce commodities for more advanced ones. South America, for example, has continued to cut down forest to produce the soya that is largely used as animal feed, threatening the existence of scores of species. Rainforests in Southeast Asia, in turn, are being felled to ramp up the production of palm oil.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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