This is a funny map that I found when I was writing about the One Planet Challenge. It shows the ecological footprint of all the countries in the world. On this map, the normal size and shape of countries are affected by population and consumption. Each country is like a ballon. When the footprint is larger than the area of a country, then it is blown up and when it is small, it is shrunk. For example Britain is fatter than Australia and Japan is nearly as big as India.
I was surprised by the shape of Africa. My father explained that Africa had vast areas of untouched and undeveloped land and that most people’s ecological footprint there were very small. This is partly why there is still so much wildlife in Africa.
What the map does not show is how much land other species need. Two months ago, I was looking for a picture of an elephant to make a drawing and found the beautiful black and white photographs of Nick Brandt.
Elephant Drinking, Amboseli, 2007 by Nick Brandt – Source: www.nickbrandt.com
African elephants are the world’s largest terrestrial animals and although a lot of effort goes into protecting them, their population has reduced by 85% in the last sixty years (source: WWF). Some animal need a lot of land to roam. Leaving land for wildlife is very important. We must learn to share the planet not just with elephants but with all the other creatures.
This online journal is also a kind of portfolio, where I can share some of my work. I have created a new section called Y’s Sketchbook where you can see my drawing of the elephant drinking: Yo El.