Monday, November 7, 2011

Visit of Cienfuegos, Cuba
photograph by Patrick Nouhailler

I was browsing through available data on ecological footprint - the previous article about overconsumption made me want to know more.

A type of graph that often pops up on the internet is the one below, showing, for each country, human development index vs. ecological footprint:

 graph by the Global Footprint Network
(they have great reports, by the way)

The Human Development Index is a single statistic which serves 'as a frame of reference for both social and economic development'. It combines 'indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income'.  

The Ecological Footprint represents 'the amount of biologically productive land and sea area necessary to supply the resources a human population consumes, and to mitigate associated waste'.
(source: wikipedia

Looking at this graph, it is striking that the only country which consumes less than its share of the earth's biocapacity AND has reached significantly high human development is Cuba.

I know very little about Cuba, beyond the postcard pictures and the occasional political bits in the media. Regardless (but not disregarding) of what one may think of the Cuban regime, the fact that it is up there, alone, in the green window, makes me immensely curious about the details of its functionning.
I want to research and post more on this - meanwhile, if any of you have stories to share about Cuba's economy, things you've experienced yourselves there, feel free to tell in the comment section.

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