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Xalapa, Mexico, Universidad Anahuac de Xalapa, Centro de Estudios para la Sustentabilidad, 1997 Mar 10. 32,  p.This "Ecological Footprints of Nations" initiative compares the ecological impact of 52 large nations, inhabited by 80% of the world population. It also shows to what extent their consumption can be supported by their local ecological capacity. All the calculations are based on official UN statistics. This document provides solid evidence that the human enterprise already far exceeds the long-term biophysical carrying capacity of the planet. About one-third more resources and eco-services are used by humanity than what nature can regenerate. People are living on the biophysical heritage of their children. Most significantly, eco-footprint analysis shows that it is the high-income countries that have appropriated most of the world's ecological output. In conclusion, sustainability begins with accepting the fact that people are dependent on nature and should acknowledge the problems posed by unsustainable lifestyles. Progress is only possible if there is a clear vision and measurable goals toward it. The contribution of this study was to show that the ecological bottom-line of sustainability can be measured. This document also presents systemic assessment to give direction for local, national, and global efforts to close the sustainability gap, which became an effective strategic planning tool and a guidepost for a more secure, equitable, and sustainable future.