Although Environmental Efficiency theory was evolved with long years of contemplation Carrying Capacity theory was evolved all on a sudden while compiling my thesis dissertation. It is nothing but Capacity by Consumption and in this case, bio-capacity of the system divided by per person ecological footprint. Both biocapacity and ecological footprint values are published by the Global Footprint Network constituted by Dr Mathis Wackernagel who was a PhD researcher at the University of British Columbia. Carrying Capacity values are compiled from the Global Footprint Network spreadsheets shared by them. Earth is going Carrying Capacity deficient from the 1960s as the values were below one. If the Carrying Capacity of the earth in 2005 was 0.79 it is 0.65 in 2013. This indicates that the earth was overloaded by 26% in 2005 while it is aggravated to 54% in 2013. As per the latest published calculations of Global Footprint Network it is again aggravated to a figure of 75% in 2019.
Carrying Capacity values of earth and biosphere can be improved by taking the concept from Global to Local Level subsystems. With the aid of Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing capabilities, it is possible to prepare the Carrying Capacity maps of Cities and Metropolitan Regions by taking proxy indicators of Carrying Capacity.
Those parcels of land having less accessibility, less built-up areas etc may be possible proxy indicators which contribute to carrying capacity which includes productive capacity, supportive capacity, regulatory capacity and social/cultural capacity. It is high time to protect the carrying-capacity-rich regions from built-up disturbance to ensure the ecosystem services to be delivered. Undisturbed ecosystems will maintain our rich biodiversity which is quintessential requirements for the ecosystems to function properly.
Declining Carrying Capacity of the immediate region of the human settlements causes importing of fruits and vegetables which are antioxidants to our body, the nutrient value of which is diminished manyfold on transit apart from possible adulteration. Importing of food items causes more ecological footprint due to more and more fossil fuel consumption which affects the economy of the human settlements. More and more emissions only cause ecological overshoot wherein ecological footprint is exceeding biocapacity of the subsystem.
To increase the Environmental Efficiency of human systems enhancement of Carrying Capacity is very much essential. Carrying Capacity of the subsystems ensure healthy living by ensuring clean air, quality water, fresh fruits and vegetables etc apart from protection from natural disasters like flood, drought, landslides, forest fires etc. Similarly, Environmentally-Efficient human settlements contribute to more Carrying Capacity as ecological-footprint has a reduced value. Yes, Environmental Efficiency and Carrying Capacity contribute to each other and they are like two sides of a coin.
If the development rights are transferred (TDR) from carrying-capacity rich regions to environmentally-efficient human settlements it can create WONDERS as transportation losses and spare capacity are contained and efficiency of the human settlements are streamlined.