Humanity’s environmental footprint has increased, but at a much slower rate compared to population and economic growth because of more efficient use of natural resources, reports Mongabay

Human activities have taken a heavy toll on our environment. But there may be some hope, researchers say.

Although human pressures continue to expand across our planet, their overall rate of increase is slower than the rates of population and economic growth, a new study published in Nature Communications has found.

Using data from satellites and on-ground surveys, scientists have created maps that show how the impacts of human activities on the environment (or human footprint) have changed over a 16-year period, between 1993 and 2009.

The team found that while human population increased by 23% and the world economy grew by 153% during this period, human footprint increased by only 9%.

“Seeing that our impacts have expanded at a rate that is slower than the rate of economic and population growth is encouraging,” lead author Oscar Venter of the University of Northern British Columbia, said in a statement. “It means we are becoming more efficient in how we use natural resources.”

Source: 24 August, 2016, The Guardian