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MODULE 3: Frameworks for Environmental Assessment and Reporting

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1 MODULE 3: Frameworks for Environmental Assessment and Reporting

2 The DPSIR Framework The UNEP Human-Environment Interaction analytical approach is built on: the Driving Forces-Pressure-State-Impact- Response (DPSIR) framework, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) Conceptual Framework, and vulnerability considerations. It is multi-scalable and indicates generic cause-and-effect relations.

3 Components of the GEO-4 Analytical Framework
DRIVERS: Sometimes referred to as indirect or underlying drivers or driving forces and refer to fundamental processes in society, which drive activities having a direct impact on the environment.

4 PRESSURES: Sometimes referred to as direct drivers, as in the MA framework. They include, in this case, the social and economic sectors of society (also sometimes considered as Drivers). Human interventions may be directed towards causing a desired environmental change and may be subject to feedbacks in terms of environmental change, or could be intentional or unintentional by-products of other human activities (i.e. pollution).

5 PRESSURES (cont’d): increase stress on the environment, e.g. rapidly increasing population, high per capita consumption of resources, overuse of forest resources, (negative) imbalance of trade, overgrazing. Are considered: from a policy perspective as the starting point for tackling environmental issues, and from an indicator viewpoint, where they are the most readily available, since they are derived from socioeconomic databases.

6 STATE: the condition of the environment resulting from the pressures outlined above, e.g. polluted water resources, degraded land, deforested areas. Is important in affecting human health and well-being, and socioeconomic activities either directly or indirectly, e.g. degraded land  reduced food production increased food insecurity malnutrition Knowledge about the “state” and “pressures” is the staring point for planning how the environment can be influenced to improve human well-being.

7 STATE (cont’d): Also includes trends, that may reveal environmental change, which could be both natural and human induced. One form of change, such as climate change (referred to as a direct driver in the MA framework), may lead to other forms of change, such as biodiversity loss (a secondary effect of climate gas emissions).

8 IMPACTS: These are functional changes resulting from changes in the characteristics of the environment. E.g. in deforestation: the “State” of the forest may change to a forest with reduced canopy cover. A rise in the price of fuelwood resulting from this change would be an “impact”.

9 IMPACTS (cont’d): May be environmental, social or economic, contributing to the vulnerability of both people and the environment. For people, the magnitude of impact may depend on a society’s vulnerability. Vulnerability to change varies among social groups depending on their geographic, economic and social location, exposure to change and capacity to mitigate or adapt to change.

10 RESPONSES: Societal or individual actions taken to overcome, reduce, correct or prevent negative environmental impacts; correct environmental damage; or conserve natural resources. May include regulatory action, environmental or research expenditures, public opinion and consumer preferences, changes in management strategies, and the provision of environmental information. Satisfactory indicators of societal response tend to be the most difficult to develop and interpret.

11 RESPONSES (cont’d): May be made as elements among the drivers, pressures, or impacts which may be used for managing society in order to alter the human-environment interactions. May be made at different levels, for example, environmental laws and institutions at national level, and MEAs and institutions at the regional and international levels

12 Local IEAR Alemaya lakes in the Ethiopian Highlands
The Alemaya lakes in the Ethiopian Highlands originally covered more than ha but had shrunk to ha in 1985 and to a mere in It is now believed that the lakes have all but completely dried up.

13 Local IEAR Alemaya lakes in the Ethiopian Highlands (cont’d)
The loss of the lakes, which were a source of drinking water and were used for irrigation and fisheries, has affected the livelihoods and well-being of more than people in the Ethiopian towns of Alemaya and Harar.

14 Local IEAR Alemaya lakes in the Ethiopian Highlands (cont’d)
Some pressures and impacts responsible for the reduction of Alemaya Lakes: A dramatic increase in both urban and rural settlements has put tremendous pressure on natural resources in the area, including water resources Engineering works, including the construction of roads and other infrastructure, loosened topsoil, leading to soil erosion and siltation of the lakes

15 DPSIR Model

Global Local Regional TIME: (short term) (medium term) (long term) P – PRESSURES: Human interventions in the environment: Land-use Resource extraction External inputs (fertilizers, chemicals, irrigation) Emissions (pollutants and waste) - Modification and movement of organisms Natural processes: Solar radiation Volcanoes Earthquakes S – STATE and trends: Natural capital: atmosphere, land, water and biodiversity Environmental impacts and change: - Climate Change and Depletion of the Stratospheric Ozone Layer Biodiversity change Pollution, degradation and/or depletion of air, water, minerals and land (including desertification) D – DRIVERS: Material, Human and Social Capitals Human development: - Population demographics - Economic processes (consumption, production, markets and trade) - Scientific and technological innovation Distribution pattern processes (inter- and intra- generational) Cultural, social, political and institutional (including production and service sectors) processes R – RESPONSES to environmental challenges: formal and informal adaptation to, and mitigation of, environmental change (including restoration) by altering human activity and development patterns within and between the D, P and I boxes through inter alia: science and technology, policy, law and institutions. I – IMPACTS Change in human well-being broadly defined as human freedoms of choice and actions, to achieve, inter alia: - security - basic material needs - good health good social relations which may result in human development or poverty, inequity and human vulnerability. Demographic, social (institutional) and material factors determining human well-being Environmental factors determining human well-being - Ecological services such as Provisioning services (consumptive use), Cultural services (non-consumptive use), Regulating services and Supporting services (indirect use) - Non-ecosystem natural resources i.e. hydrocarbons, minerals and renewable energy - Stress inter alia diseases, pests, radiation and hazards

17 The Opportunities Framework
AEO-2 used an analytical model referred to as the Opportunities Framework. It: Starts by developing an inventory of existing resources Looks at these as offering opportunities for developing policies and strategies for sustainable development Evaluates the effort required to improve existing opportunities to reach sustainable development

18 The Opportunities Framework (cont’d)
The opportunities framework methodology tries to address the following questions: What resources are available at the regional and sub-regional levels (resource state-and-trends)? What opportunities exist for using the resources to promote poverty reduction and sustainable development (value/opportunities and potential)? What are the main challenges that face Africa in capitalizing on the opportunities to utilize the resources (demands/pressures)?

19 The Opportunities Framework (cont’d)
What policy and institutional actions should be taken in order to capitalize on the opportunities? What is the impact (including potential) of each policy on the assets and the environment? (policy actions)? What would be the consequences of Africa’s success/failure to seize the opportunities? What would be the consequences of Africa’s seizing the opportunities (outlook)?

20 AEO-2 Opportunities Framework Model

21 Other analytical frameworks
The Issues Framework Highlights priority issues such as land degradation, loss of biodiversity, etc., in its assessment Lacks a systematic and comprehensive basis for analysis However, focus on priority issues may easily increase public awareness and receive political support for emerging issues

22 Other analytical frameworks (cont’d)
The Resource Sector framework Uses a human activity classification (e.g. agriculture, tourism, forestry) as a basis for organizing environmental assessment. Takes advantage of the way national governments and statistical systems are organized. Provides information on benefits and products derived from the environment and the economic consequences of environmental trends. However, it is narrow in focus and may neglect broader ecosystems linkages and implications.

23 Other analytical frameworks (cont’d)
Environmental Media Framework Represents the traditional way of reporting on the state of the environment. Reflects the way we commonly divide the environment into components and the way environmental monitoring is undertaken. Reflects legislative mandates and national goals. Facilitates comprehensive analysis within each environmental component. However, it is weak at accommodating ecological processes or problems affecting more than one environmental medium.

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