Kolkata: After China and USA, India has the third largest ecological footprint in the world, according to a report released Tuesday.
China's share of ecological footprint, which is a measure humanity's demand on the planet, is a massive 19 per cent, followed by USA's 13.7 per cent and India at 7.1 per cent, The Living Planet Report 2014 said.
The top five countries, which includes Brazil and Russia, make up about half the global total.
"Humanity currently needs the regenerative capacity of 1.5 earths to provide the ecological goods and services we use each year," the report brought out by WWF and Global Footprint Network said.
China is ranked 76th in its per capita footprint but has the world's biggest national population and hence has the planet's largest national footprint.
India shifts from having the 136th largest footprint per capita to the third largest in total after multiplying population with per capita demand.
"The report underlines the importance of the choices we are making every day and their impact on the planet. It is imperative to take steps to ensure that all future development is sustainable," Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India commented on the report.
As per the report the population of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have declined by 52 per cent in the 40-year period.
It also highlights the dire situation of local populations due to increasing water scarcity and the alarming situation of depleting ground water resources and aquifers in countries like India, Australia and the United States.
These three countries with the highest water footprint also contain eight of the top ten most populous river basins experiencing almost year-round scarcity, a problem that is likely only to get compounded by climate change, population growth and developmental imperatives, the report added.