State of the Environment

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The term State of the Environment normally relates to an analysis of trends in the environment of a particular place. This analysis can encompass aspects such as water quality, air quality, land use, ecosystem health and function, along with social and cultural matters.

Pressure-State-Response Framework[edit]

Human activity places pressure on many aspects of the environment. For instance, deforestation results in the invasion of weed species, habitat displacement, and, when undertaken on a large scale, adversely affects air quality and carbon dioxide sequestration.

Examples of pressures under the Pressure-State-Response ("PSR") framework include: pollutants discharged from factories, or draining into a river from the land; it could be the removal of forest from the land or over-harvesting by fishermen or hunters.[1]

In this framework, only pressures introduced by human interaction with the environment are considered. Natural pressures such as extreme weather are only considered in the context of human-induced climate change (i.e. global warming).

A "state" is the condition of the environment at a particular time. This is assessed by measuring various aspects of the atmosphere, air, water, land and organisms.[1]

The European Environment Agency has extended the pressure-state-response framework to include driving forces and impacts (see DPSIR).

State of the Environment reporting[edit]

State of Environment reports have been prepared by countries such as New Zealand[2] and Australia.[3] State of the Environment reporting is also undertaken fairly extensively throughout New Zealand by territorial and regional authorities.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Box 1.2: The Pressure-State-Response framework, Chapter One: Introduction, The State of New Zealand’s Environment 1997, Report Ref. ME612, Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, New Zealand.
  2. ^ The State of New Zealand’s Environment 1997, Report Ref. ME612, Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, New Zealand.
  3. ^ State of the Environment 2006 (SoE 2006), On line web page, Portable document format, Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra, Australia.

External links[edit]