The ecological footprint is a new method to estimate the level of natural resources utilization and the ecological carrying capacity of the nature.Its theoretical framework and calculation method are introduced in this paper.The ecological footprint ledger is composed of four main sections.The first is basic biotic resources consumption; the second is water resources consumption; the third is energy consumption; and the forth is trade balance.Based on the ecological footprint concept and analysis framework, the ecological footprint of Huizhou city in 2002 was calculated.The results show that the ecological footprint was 1.335hm2/cap; the ecological carrying capacity was 0.610 hm2/cap; the ecological deficit was 0.725hm2/cap; the ecological footprint diversity was 1.3808; the ecological footprint per 10000 yuan GDP was 0.719 hm2.There were some problems in sustainable development of Huizhou, because ecological footprint was much more than ecological carrying capacity.However, comparing Huizhou City with Guangdong Province and China, it was shown by footprint diversity, ecological carrying development capacity and the ecological footprint per 10000yuan GDP that the utilization mileage of natural capacity in Huizhou is higher and its development potential is stronger.
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