Vienna's global biodiversity footprint. A multi-scale analysis outlining options to reduce urban pressures on biodiversity
Urban governments are increasingly engaging in biodiversity conservation within their own city's territories. While these conservation efforts are important, cities exert much higher pressures on biodiversity beyond their own territories related to the provision of resources to supply urban populations with food, energy and other products. This project develops an approach to quantify, map and predict the "biodiversity footprint" of large cities by combining methods from socio-ecological sustainability science (material flow analysis, human appropriation of net primary production) and biodiversity research (macro-ecological modelling). It goes beyond existing research on teleconnections which has focussed at the national scale or individual products. Here we calculate and map the national and global biodiversity footprint of Vienna's consumption of biomass-based products (food, fiber, bioenergy) for a recent year and explore possible reductions of the city's biodiversity footprint resulting from changes in consumption and increased efficiency in the biomass provision chains. The project will involve participatory tools to prioritize potential options for policy interventions based on the experience of policy makers and stakeholders from civil society organizations (producer and consumer organizations and environmental groups). It will contribute to the exploration of options that exploit the considerable potential of cities towards UN sustainable development goals.