Research Paper on Ecological Footprint in 47 Prefectures in Japan in Journal of Cleaner Prodcution

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WG1 members co-authored a peer-reviewed paper “Decentralization & local food: Japan’s regional Ecological Footprints indicate localized sustainability strategies” on their research results of Ecological Footprint analysis in 47 prefectures in Japan, collaboratively with researchers from Global Footprint Network and WWF Japan, which was published in “Journal of Cleaner Production”. You can access the full paper by clicking the paper title below.

“Decentralization & local food: Japan’s regional Ecological Footprints indicate localized sustainability strategies”

Authors: Kazuaki Tsuchiya (WG1-FEAST, the University of Tokyo), Katsunori Iha (WG1-FEAST, Global Footprint Network), Adeline Murthy (Global Footprint Network) David Lin (Global Footprint Network), Selen Altiok (Global Footprint Network), Christoph D.D. Rupprecht (FEAST), Kiyono Hisako (WWF Japan), Steven R. McGreevy (FEAST)

Highlights:
•A replicable top-down Footprint approach was used for Japan’s 47 prefectures.
•Ecological Footprint varied considerable among prefectures.
•Total and food footprints increase with urbanization, ageing and income.
•Economic decentralization & local food are key regional sustainability strategies.

Abstract: Sustainable management and informed policy making at the sub-national level requires an understanding of regional resource base regeneration and the demand it places on wider geographical areas. Ecological Footprint is one of the most widely used and accepted ecological accounting methodologies and available for calculating multiple consumption categories such as food, housing and transportation. Japan’s 47 prefectures are diverse in their urbanization and ageing situations and provide an opportunity for understanding the relationship between regional socioeconomic and demographic factors and Ecological Footprint outcomes. To assess potential environmental impacts and planning implications of future urbanization and ageing, we analyzed the existing relationships between the proportion of urban and elderly populations and incomes, and the total and categorical Ecological Footprint per capita. We used a standard top-down scaling methodology to quantify the Ecological Footprint of prefectures, that included three steps: 1) acquiring national level data of Ecological Footprints, 2) applying environmental extended multi-regional input-output model to derive Ecological Footprint values by economic sector, and 3) scaling down Ecological Footprints to the prefecture level with household expenditure survey and other data sources. We show that Ecological Footprint varies considerable among prefectures, being highest in Tokyo (5.24 global hectare) and lowest in Yamanashi (4.06 global hectare). Prefectures with a higher proportion of urban and elderly population had high total and food Ecological Footprint per capita. Prefectures with higher income per capita also had higher total and food Ecological Footprint per capita. Lower Ecological Footprints of less urbanized prefectures provide an argument for economic decentralization. Policy makers in ageing regions should consider supporting local food activities with elderly populations, as processed food dominates majority part of the food Ecological Footprint.

Keywords:
multi-regional input output table; household expenditure; land use; carbon footprint; food; sustainable consumption

Citation: : Tsuchiya K, Iha K, Murthy A, Lin D, Altiok S, Rupprecht CDD, Hisako K, McGreevy SR, Decentralization & local food: Japan’s regional Ecological Footprints indicate localizedsustainability strategies, Journal of Cleaner Production, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.126043.