The ecological footprint of individual members at the Army Support Base Eastern Cape

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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Ecological Footprint (EF) is a measurement that is used to calculate the demand for resources placed on the environment because of the needs and wants of humans in their daily lives. It is important that each individual is aware of their EF because resources need to be conserved for future generations. In the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa environmental rights are entrenched, and the protection thereof against pollution, ecological degradation and overexploitation specified. The calculation of the EF by means of the Global Footprint Network (GFN) online calculator was used to measure the EF of the individuals of the Army Support Base Eastern Cape (ASB EC). Such a calculation has never been done at any military installation of the South African National Defence Force, a hiatus this research aims to fill. The Ecological Footprint can be measured by either using a mathematical calculation or an online calculator. The mathematical calculation or the Ecological Footprint Analysis (EFA) is based on either a compound - or component EF calculation. The GFN online ecological footprint calculator is currently the most used method to determine the EF of an individual and displays the land use type of each consumption category. These categories include food, shelter, mobility, goods and services, the EF, carbon footprint and carbon footprint as part of the EF as well as the number of Earths needed for a specific lifestyle. The EF online calculator was used to calculate the EF of the individual members at the Army Support Base Eastern Cape, a military support base situated in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The main function of the ASB EC is to supply support services. The ASB EC is situated in a larger Garrison area which houses other units and Arms of Services and has an average strength of 460 individuals. The methodology was based on a quantitative approach, using research questions and research objectives to classify the research study as a descriptive and exploratory study. A random sample of the population was used to complete the online EF calculation. The EF online survey method, a questionnaire, was used to obtain the quantitative data from the online results from each participant. The different categories and EF calculations were tabulated in a data matrix table to be able to complete the data analysis process. This data matrix table was in the format of an Excel spreadsheet and with the help of the Centre of Statistical Consultation at Stellenbosch University, the statistical analysis was done. The statistical data was analysed by using the STATISTICA 14.0 programme. The qualitative data that was available from the data matrix table was then used to calculate the EF of the individual members of the ASB EC as well as their combined EF. The ASB EC has a total of 460 personnel. On average the strength per day is 300 members. An attempt was made to include a total of 140 members, which is close to 30% of the overall personnel in the unit. The official unit’s name list was used to randomly select the participants. The analysis of the data was based on the examination of each variable which in all cases were expressed on a numerical or quantitative measuring scale. The sum of the variables was determined by computer program analysis. The descriptive EF online calculation data was used to determine the individual and combined EF of the individuals at the ASB EC to answer the research questions and the research objectives. The data-matrix table which contained the individual results of the GFN online EF calculation completed by the ASB EC participants were used to calculate the EF of everyone, and by adding them up, to determine the combined EF of the ASB EC. The results are described in relation to the rank groups, different departments, and gender of the participants. Officers recorded the highest EF across most categories, with NCOs, PSAP, and privates generally recording the lowest scores. The departments rendered fairly similar results across all categories of the EF. Even where differences existed, they were not always significant, however there were significant differences between male and female participants. In almost all categories, males scored higher than females, indicating that they have a higher EF than females. These trends are corroborated by the results of other studies. According to the results, officers have the highest scores in the different categories of ranks. Group 4 (Emergency Services and PTSR) and Group 1 (Headquarters (HQ), Communication, Human Resources, Senior warrant officer (SWO) and Control) dominate the calculation of the different departments, and in terms of gender, males recorded the overall highest scores. Secondly, officers play a dominant role in both the rank groups and the department compositions. Officers are a high-income group which is one of the main reasons for the high EF. Thirdly, males rather than females have the highest EF especially because of a high CF and mobility footprint because of their higher income. The combined results for the ASB EC indicated that the average planet score is 3.6, the EF 5,8gha, and the carbon footprint 10.6 (T per year) which means that 62% is part of the EF. According to the land use categories, the highest land type scores include forest land (0.7) and cropland (1.0), and the lowest score is grazing land (0.1). When considering the consumer categories, the carbon (3.5) and shelter footprints (1.7) are the highest as well as the food (1.1) and mobility footprints (1.0). The main findings from the study can be summarised as follows: level of income plays the most significant part in the calculation of the EF of an individual. A high income can influence 90% of the other categories because the lifestyle of an individual is directly related to their income. The study shows a direct link between higher income (proxied by rank, in this case officers with high income), and a high EF. Officers who fall in a high-income bracket play a dominant role in both the rank group as well as the different Groups because where the participants in the Group where mostly officers, high scores were recorded in the different categories. This means a high income reflects a more lavish lifestyle and a higher EF. The EF of males and females can both be high or low depending on the role that females play in their home and society. In this study, males dominated the EF calculation, evidenced by an overall high score in the different categories. Since almost no statistically significant differences between the different genders were found, it can be postulated that, because of the same working environment, males and females in the ASB EC may not have such a different EF as the raw results may suggest. More research is needed regarding this phenomenon.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geen opsomming beskikbaar nie.
Thesis (MMil)--Stellenbosch University, 2022.
Environmental protection -- Citizen participation, Conservation of natural resources, Nature -- Effect of human beings on, Ecological footprint, Sustainable development, Ecology, South Africa. National Defence Force, Special forces (Military science), Office equipment and supplies -- Energy conservation, Office equipment and supplies -- Environmental aspects, Military bases -- South Africa -- Port Elizabeth, UCTD