Nation-level Ecological Footprint accounts are currently produced for more than 150 nations, with multiple calculations available for some nations. The data sets that result from these national assessments typically serve as the basis for Footprint calculations at smaller scales, including those for regions, cities, businesses, and individuals.

Global Footprint Network’s National Footprint Accounts, supported and used by more than 70 major organizations worldwide, contain the most widely used national accounting methodology today.

The National Footprint Accounts calculations are undergoing continuous improvement as better data becomes available and new methodologies are developed. In this paper, a community of active Ecological Footprint practitioners and users propose key research priorities for improving national Ecological Footprint accounting. For each of the proposed improvements, we briefly review relevant literature, summarize the current state of debate, and suggest approaches for further development.

The research agenda will serve as a reference for a large scale, international research program devoted to furthering the development of national Ecological Footprint accounting methodology.