The AEO-2 report uses the Opportunities Framework for analysis – this is adapted from the drivers-pressures- state-impact-response (DPSIR) conceptual framework (Figure 1) – focusing the assessment on the available resource base, which provides opportunities for sustainable development and enhanced human well- being. The environmental resources, including goods- and-services, are taken as the asset base available to help reduce human vulnerability to environmental change. The AEO-2 analysis highlights the opportunities and potential (current and future) of the resources to address sustainable development, alleviate extreme poverty and reduce vulnerability, and enhance environmental sustainability. The pressure dimension is used for trend analysis to show the demands or pressures placed upon the resources and their impacts.

The opportunities framework methodology addresses the following questions:

  • What resources are available at the regional and sub- regional levels (resources)?
  • What is the value of these resources ecologically, socially and economically (value/opportunities and potential)?
  • What are the demands/pressures (human and natural) to the sustainable management of these resources (demands/pressures)?
  • What will happen if we don’t act now (outlook)?

What are we doing to enhance opportunities and what should we do to reduce such pressures and sustainably maximize on the potential, including rehabilitation (policy actions which highlight both institutions (law and policy) and governance)?

The framework emphasizes the more positive indicators, highlighting among others, services delivery, increased livelihood options, adaptability and reduced vulnerability. The Opportunities Framework emphasizes hope over despair, resolution over regret, and strategic response over reaction.