The Driver–Pressure–State–Impact–Response (DPSIR) framework has been used by environmental agencies and others to assess environmental challenges and policy responses. However, in doing so, social justice or equity issues tend to come as an afterthought, while there is evidence that environmental challenges and policy responses are not equity (including gender-) neutral. Hence, this paper addresses the question: why should, and how can, equity issues and environmental justice be incorporated into the DPSIR framework? It presents a structure for including equity within DPSIR and applies it. It reviews the literature to bring together data that demonstrates that there is a clear equity perspective along the entire DPSIR analysis. It concludes that although individual environmental policies may succeed to achieve their specific goal in the short term; if they ignore the equity aspects, the policy strategies as a whole are likely to be environmentally unjust, and lead to exclusive and unsustainable development, which, in turn, could further exacerbate environmental challenges. This highlights the need for an integrated approach in efforts to achieve environmentally sustainable development.

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