Extending the DPSIR (Driving forces, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses) framework

By Will Allen

Will Allen (biography)

What is the DPSIR framework? How can it be extended to improve the ability to describe the interactions between society and the environment?

DPSIR (Driving forces, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses) is a framework for describing and analysing the important and interlinked relationships between social and environmental factors (see the first figure below).

Different groups use these terms in slightly different ways, dependent on their disciplinary backgrounds – and given the diverse range of uses that the framework is put to, it probably does not make sense to attempt to create rigid definitions. What is important is that those stakeholders involved in any particular situation use the development of the model to clarify their understanding of the terms, and it is equally important to develop an integrative and shared understanding and communication of the causal links and mechanisms involved.

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