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Indirect drivers

Indirect drivers can be defined as overarching developments or factors behind human decisions that affect nature as a whole and biodiversity in particular (IPBES, 2019). Indirect drivers affect direct drivers and, through them, the status and trends of biodiversity. They often cannot be measured directly, but can only be assessed empirically through hypotheses. The chapter on indirect drivers of biodiversity change is being developed by an interdisciplinary team.

We classify indirect drivers into three groups:

  1. Economic and technological drivers
  2. Political and legal drivers
  3. Sociocultural drivers

Since indirect drivers by definition cannot have a direct effect on biodiversity, the task of the chapter group is to create respective relationships to direct drivers based on data and literature. Indirect drivers are often difficult to clearly differentiate and distinctly classify. For example, if a policy instrument is applied to improve biodiversity, we also treat it as an indirect driver in this assessment. Another goal is to describe the indirect drivers over time and quantify their level of impact on direct drivers and biodiversity. The trends of indirect drivers are validated by scientific papers, gray literature, and empirical data. At the same time, this chapter identifies barriers and facilitating factors for the development of biodiversity.


IPBES (2019): Global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. E. S. Brondizio, J. Settele, S. Díaz, and H. T. Ngo (editors). IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany. 1148 pages. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3831673


Information about the team can be found on the German page.