Empirical research on constructing Taiwan’s ecoenvironmental stress indicators system
In this paper, the material flow indicators and ecological footprint approach structured are adopted to construct eco-environmental stress indicators. We use relevant data to proceed with the empirical analyses on environmental stress and ecological impacts in Taiwan between the years of 1998 and 2007. Analysis of research results brings several important findings. (1) Taiwan’s economic activities are highly dependent on imported materials, in which fossil fuel represents the largest percentage; and that increases in greenhouse gas emission are at almost a constant rate of economic growth. (2) The average growth in the ecological footprint of the Taiwanese people is a response to an increase in demand for energy land and grazing land, and a reflection of change in the consumer and industrial structure. (3) At 3.774, Taiwan’s ecological overshoot indicator shows that its ecological system is in a state of overshoot. Therefore, if proper measures are not adopted in time, the current weak sustainability will lead into the vicious circle which departs from sustainable development.
Key words: Sustainable development (SD), eco-environmental stress indicators (ESI), environmental stress, environmental load.