Escaping the lock-in of continuous insecticide spraying in rice: Developing an integrated ecological and socio-political DPSIR analysis uri icon


  • A double-DPSIR scheme is suggested as a heuristic device, and as a communication tool conveying the message in a simplified way. It shows that the Responses of one loop are the Drivers of the other, leading to different conclusions based on different pre-analytical visions. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • A narrow perception of causality chains can be counterproductive and self-defeating, as the case of pesticide use in Asian rice production shows. Using the Driving Forces - Pressures - State - Impact - Response (DPSIR) scheme developed by EEA and Eurostat we analyse the logic inherent to the application of insecticides. Its underlying biology-to-society perspective considers insects as the initial Pressure, spraying insecticides as adequate Response and yield protection as result.
  • Once the system has gone through both loops, the State of the system has changed, enhancing its sensitivity to planthopper infestations. The changed State leads to unexpected Impacts - in particular, the standard Response is no longer capable of reducing the Drivers (the numbers of planthoppers) as expected. This does not become obvious, however, before a new pressure arises and cannot be understood inside the standard management loop but requires combining it with the society-to-biology loop.
  • This view is apparently supported by positive results in the early growth phase, but this short term success is paid for by increased system sensitivity, possibly leading to severe damages in the later stages when a seemingly similar situation is indeed very different. This is due to the complementary but ignored society-to-biology loop: insecticide spraying leads to biocontrol loss enhancing vulnerability.

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015
  • 2015