Regional Monitoring of Natural Environment 2002, No 3, 25-27
INTEGRATED INDICATORS OF THE STATE OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
In the 1970s and 1980s in world literature were described many different methods and techniques of the assessment of the environment, both in cognitive and practical aspects. This was caused by a huge demand on such opinions, without which it is impossible to understand the basic regularities that determine the mutual relationships between man and his environment. A characteristic feature of many of the most important environmental issues at present is the fact that we recognize them only when their causes disappeared without investigation, whereas their outcomes and pressures intensified continuously, and at a certain moment it became obvious that they have a significant effect on man and the environment. In the 1990s research work was initiated into the developing indicatory systems which would reflect the relationships among the state of the natural environment, economic processes and the effectiveness of environmental protection. The D-P-S-I-R method [Driving Forces – Pressures – State – Impact – Response] was developed in the European Environment Agency (EEA), and the P-S-R method [Pressures-State-Response] was developed in the United Nations Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Most of the coefficients developed so far are focused on the presentation of causes, the current state and public response. They concern the questions of sustainable development in the economic, social, environmental and institutional aspects. The P-S-R method, developed in Poland, presents the cause-and-effect relationships occurring between man’s effect on the environment, the quality of individual components of the environment and taking of remedial actions aimed at the improvement of the existing situation.