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Social analysis: A marine societal analysis. A report prepared for Sweden’s initial assessment as required by the Marine Environmental Ordinance (SFS 2010:1341)

Authors Eva-Lotta Sundblad
Lena Gipperth
Anders Grimvall
Andrea Morf
ISBN 978-91-637-1164-0
Publisher University of Gothenburg
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 2012
Published at Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment
Language en
Keywords Social analysis, societal data, coastal and marine management, DPSIR, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, method development, knowledge integration
Subject categories Social Sciences Interdisciplinary, Environmental Sciences, Environmental law, Environmental psychology, Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology, Fish and Wildlife Management


The Marine Environmental Ordinance (SFS 2010:1341) is part of a strategy to bring about ecosystem-based management and sustainable use of the marine environment in accordance with the EU’s the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC). The ordinance is intended to maintain or achieve good environmental status in the marine environment. Under the Marine Environmental Ordinance, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) must ensure that an initial assessment is carried out on the marine environment in the Swedish waters of the two regions, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea (Articles 13–16). The initial assessment, which is to be completed by 15 July 2012 and reported to the European Commission not later than 15 October of the same year, is to provide a basis for the establishment of good environmental status, environmental targets and environmental monitoring programmes, as well as the preparing of programmes of measures by which established targets may be achieved. The initial assessment will include conducting an economic and social analysis. The former can be divided into two parts, the first of which is designed to analyse the use of the marine region and the second to describe the cost of the degradation of the marine environment (Marine Environmental Ordinance, Article 13, para. 4, and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Article 8.1c). The primary purpose of the social analysis in the initial assessment is to create a picture of the underlying conditions of the upcoming work to achieve the aims of the directive, that is, good environmental status (GES, Article 9). The analysis is also intended to provide basic information for the establishment of environmental targets (Article 10) that will subsequently form the foundation of programmes of measures and administrative funding (Article 13). The assessment includes an analysis of how different groups in society can be affected by how the sea is used and by marine environmental problems and measures taken to address them. This study presents a method by which such an analysis can be conducted. The method includes a conceptual model that consists of the components 'Indirect driving forces, 'Direct driving forces , 'Environmental pressures, state and impact', 'Impact on society', and 'Response'. The model is used in combination with a question template to analyse actors, activities and driving forces. Case studies involving three environmental problems – selective overfishing of cod and the unwanted dispersion of mercury and phosphorous – show that a large number of actors are involved, directly and indirectly. In addition, these actors operate on several levels –local/regional, national and international. Every environmental problem requires its own analysis and has its own set of conditions. The study shows that the information needed for making decisions regarding the measures that should be taken is relatively extensive. The determination of the amount of information necessary and therefore how much should be systematically collected in future can have a great impact on the development of society and the environment. Finally, suggestions are given as to how future social analyses relating to the marine environment might be carried out.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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