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|This article develops eleven criteria focusing on the relative importance and strength of different especially socio-economic drivers of and pressures on biodiversity. These refer to the syndrome concept designed to assess global environmental risks and the DPSIR framework developed to guide integrative assessment of links between human activities and degradation of the natural environment. The aim is (a) coordinating inter-disciplinary research on distinguishing characteristics of drivers and pressures (b) structuring interdisciplinary discussions on scale and cross-scale dynamics in assessment of biodiversity change as well as (c) setting priorities in policy making and implementation of response actions.