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(Re)Connecting the Global and Local: Europe's Regional Seas

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Law and Society
DatePublished - Mar 2009
Issue number1
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)75-93
Original languageEnglish


One of the challenges to sustainable development is the disconnection between environmental impacts and their underlying causes. Whilst impacts are often localized and perceptions limited accordingly, sources can often be traced to broader factors, and there is a need for methodologies to establish these linkages between localized effects and global causes. Europe's Regional Seas provide a useful illustration, characterized by a variety of ecological problems influenced by a range of local and wider factors within complex ecosystems. The Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) model is one methodology used to establish connections between ecological conditions and human activity. Whilst there are some significant challenges in developing and using such models, they deepen understanding of ecological systems and the influences of socio-economic forces on them. In particular, they can help in contextualizing the apparent effectiveness of regulatory interventions and understanding the role that the forces of globalization play in creating localized ecosystem degradation.

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