William Rees is a professor at the University of British Columbia and former director of the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) at UBC.
Rees has taught at the University of British Columbia since 1969-70. His primary interest is in public policy and planning relating to global environmental trends and the ecological conditions for sustainable socioeconomic development. He is the originator of the “ecological footprint” concept and co-developer of the method.
William Rees is a Professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia (UBC). His teaching and research emphasize the public policy and planning implications of global environmental trends and the necessary ecological conditions for sustaining socioeconomic activity. Much of his work is in the realm of ecological economics and human ecology. He is best known in this field for his invention of ‘ecological footprint analysis’, a quantitative tool that estimates humanity’s ecological impact on the ecosphere in terms of appropriated ecosystem (land and water) area. Dr. Rees was awarded a UBC Killam Research Prize (1996) in acknowledgement of his research achievements.
In 2012, Rees won the Blue Planet Prize – the coveted award given to global leaders who make a difference in safeguarding biodiversity.