8 February 2022

On February 1st 2022 OSPAR held a joint ICG-ESA / ICG-EcoC workshop on DAPSIR (Drivers-Activities-Pressures-State-Impact-Response) implementation and cumulative impact assessment within the context of the Quality Status Report 2023. More than 40 participants joined the meeting with representatives of Contracting Parties, various OSPAR thematic assessments, different OSPAR bodies and Observers.

The morning session focused on the left-hand side of the DAPSIR framework, with a presentation and groups discussions on the linkages between the “Activities”, “Pressures” and “State” sections of the thematic assessments template. The objective of the morning session was to exchange on a possible methodology to weigh the activity-pressure-state connections.

In the afternoon session draft results on the impacts on ecosystem services were presented, which were then further discussed in breakout groups. The afternoon session pursued two separate but related objectives:

  • To support thematic assessment leads in the development of the “Impact on Ecosystem Services” sections of their thematic assessments.

  • To progress the thinking on the relationship between changes in state and ecosystem services based on expert judgement.

The workshop showed significant progress in the steps OSPAR is taking towards integrated ecosystem-based management; with every QSR one step further to this goal. With this workshop, OSPAR has taken another step in previously unknown territory.


The DAPSIR framework describes the relationships (and flows) of the causes and consequences of changes in the quality status of the North-East Atlantic from environmental, social and economic perspectives. Assessments for the OSPAR Quality Status Report 2023 include a mix of quantitative, semi-quantitative and qualitative analyses. Figure 1 provides an outline of the analyses at each point in the DAPSIR cycle.

All the Thematic Assessments to be delivered within the QSR 2023 context are following a template with sections based on the DAPSIR framework. ICG-ESA, ICG-ECoC and the OSPAR Secretariat are providing support to the thematic assessment leads on the DAPSIR implementation.

This workshop focused on providing support on the elements shown in red in Figure 1, due to their complexity or specificity. These elements are the Pressures section and associated arrow, and the Impact on Ecosystem Services section and associated arrow.