Gari et al 2015 review DPSIR in coastal systems

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Gari, Sirak Robele; Alice Newton; John D. Icely. 2015. A review of the application and evolution of the DPSIR framework with an emphasis on coastal social-ecological systems. Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 103, Pages 63-77. ISSN 0964-5691,

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  • The author reviewed 79 journal articles, 41 from coastal ecosystems.
  • DPSIR was developed in current form in 1993 by the Organization for European Development.
  • Definition of “states” as physical, biological, and chemical is consistent with PSNERP and current wiki categories, but does not consider social states as part of the system and maleable.
  • DPSIR is proposed as framework for organizing adaptive management. Many authors describe the importance of data collection as initial activity in validating proposed models.
  • Different authors place human enterprises inconsistently as drivers or pressures or states (for example species invasion, aquaculture, or is eutrophication a state change or a pressure?
  • Different analysts create subcategories to differentiate within a category.
  • Suggests wide use is because 1) it can structure narrative around political objectives, 2) it focuses on simple causation, appealing to policy actors.
  • It can serve as a framework for comparing and contrasting different cases (for example, a collection of coastal lagoons).
  • Some analysts equate Impacts with the gain or loss of ecosystem services or even more human-centered analysis approaches.
  • Critiques:
    • The real world is complicated, so real data is necessary to validate assumptions.
    • The strength and qualities of the connecting arrows are very important, and can be weakly considered.
    • DPSIR can underestimate feedback loops, synergies, and threshold effects and may suggests unidirectional, linear, and simple causation when it is not warranted.
    • Models are created and used by "experts" empowered by nation states who may ignore knowledge of people with less power.
    • It does not capture variation in values, and is predisposed to conservation viewpoints.
    • The framework imposed by the user (how the user defines context of analysis and categorized and links elements) can ignore important factors in the effects chain because that are outside the frame.