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In the context of IPBES, drivers of change are all the factors that, directly or indirectly, cause changes in nature, anthropogenic assets, nature’s contributions to people and a good quality of life.

  • Direct drivers of change can be both natural and anthropogenic. Direct drivers have direct physical (mechanical, chemical, noise, light etc.) and behaviour-affecting impacts on nature. They include, inter alia, climate change, pollution, different types of land use change, invasive alien species and zoonoses, and exploitation.
  • Indirect drivers are drivers that operate diffusely by altering and influencing direct drivers, as well as other indirect drivers. They do not impact nature directly. Rather, they do it by affecting the level, direction or rate of direct drivers.
  • Interactions between indirect and direct drivers create different chains of relationship, attribution, and impacts, which may vary according to type, intensity, duration, and distance. These relationships can also lead to different types of spill-over effects.
  • Global indirect drivers include economic, demographic, governance, technological and cultural ones. Special attention is given, among indirect drivers, to the role of institutions (both formal and informal) and impacts of the patterns of production, supply and consumption on nature, nature’s contributions to people and good quality of life.