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State of­ the Environment Norway 1997

30 May 1997

    An environmental indicator is meant to indicate the state or development of important aspects of the natural environment, what causes these changes, and how society responds to them.

    This report is predominantly based on a cause- and effect chain, according to a Pressure - State - Response (PSR) concept.

    Pressure: Human activities put pressure on the environment in different ways, e.g. through emissions of SO2 and NOx.
    State: The pressure is reflected in an altered quality and quantity of the natural resources. E.g. increased acidity in fresh water.
    Response: Society responds to limit these alterations or try to repair the damages on the environment. E.g . liming.

    The state of certain environmental indicators can be used to bring scientific findings from the field and lab to the general public and decision-makers.
    To be effective, in the sense that the indicators steer action, the indicators should as a rule, have an explicit target group in a particular country or region in mind.

    A set of indicators should not only give information on the development in specific environmental problem areas, but also give a general impression of the state of the environment. Ideally,a set of indicators is a means devised to reduce a large quantity of data to a simpler form, while retaining essential meaning for the questions that are being asked of the data.

    Environmental indicators are used:

    · to assess environmental conditions and trends on a national, regional and global scale;

    · to compare countries and regions;

    · to forecast and project trends;

    · to provide early warning information, and

    · to assess conditions in relation to goals and targets.

    The pdf file is available by purchase in the link:


Status: Completed

Type: Staff Publications

Author: Åke Bjørke

Year of publication: 1997

Publisher: UNEP/GRID-Arendal

Place of publication: Arendal, Norway

Tags: Norway

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