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HTML Document Glossary

Release date 11/04/2014

Adaptive management: Form of management concerned with the complex and dynamic nature of ecosystems and their uses and the absence of complete knowledge of their functioning. Because circumstances change and uncertainties are inherent in all managed uses of components of biodiversity, adaptive management is able to respond to uncertainties and it contains elements of "learning-by-doing" or research feedback. Monitoring is a key component of adaptive management. The concept is explained in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/INF/8 (2003).

Agricultural biodiversity is a broad term that includes all the components of biodiversity relevant to food and agriculture, and all the components of biodiversity that constitute the agro-ecosystem: the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms, at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels, which are necessary to sustain key functions of the agro-ecosystem, its structure and processes.

Aquaculture is defined by the FAO as “the farming of aquatic organisms, including fish, molluscs, crustaceans, and aquatic plants. Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. It also implies ownership of the stock being cultivated.”

Biofuels are transport fuels produced from biomass feed-stocks (i.e. organic material).

Biomass includes non-food products for various purposes derived from plants, algae, animals or fungi. It has an important role to play as feedstock material for renewable energy generation whether for electricity, heating and cooling or for transport fuels, but also as raw material for other uses.

Biological diversity (biodiversity): The variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they form part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

Biomanipulation (of lakes): (Lake) restoration technique by top-down management, mainly by reducing and/or restructuring the fish populations, in order to enhance grazing by herbivorous zooplankton to control phytoplankton biomass and, consequently, to obtain and maintain a clear water system with high species diversity.

Biotechnology: Any technological application that makes use of biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific uses and purposes. The scope of biotechnology thus ranges from ‘classical’ processes such as the brewing of beer and the making of yoghurt (fermentation) to genetic modification through methods that could not happen naturally through microbiological processes improved simply by natural selection, such as the synthesis of a natural material.

Bioregional approach: approach at the level of a bioregion, with this concept involving a territory defined by a combination of biological, social, and geographic criteria, rather than geopolitical considerations; a bioregion is generally a system of related, interconnected ecosystems.

Cryobank: A place of storage that uses very low temperatures to preserve seeds or other genetic material.

Driving forces, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses (DPSIR) method: a feedback mechanism based on a chain of causal links from Driving forces, to Pressures, and changes in the State of the environment, leading to Impacts on ecosystems and society and finally prompting political Responses.

Ecological Compensation Areas: areas that provide a refuge for native flora and fauna (such as hedges, ditches, extensively used meadows, fallow land, etc.).

Ecological footprint: The ecological footprint tries to show the surface on Earth needed to meet the consumptive needs of a group of people or a person based on the life pattern of this group or person.

Ecological network: a coherent system of representative core areas, corridors, stepping stones and buffer zones designed and managed in such a way as to preserve biodiversity, maintain or restore ecosystem services and allow a suitable and sustainable use of natural resources through interconnectivity of its physical elements with the landscape and existing social/institutional structures.

Ecosystem: A dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.

Ecosystem services are the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems. They include provisioning

services, regulating services, cultural services and supporting services.

Ecotourism: Tourism activity aiming to discover protected or preserved natural areas, in the respect of local populations, patrimony, and environment protection (sustainable tourism). The concept of ecotourism is widely misunderstood and, in practice, is often simply used as a marketing tool to promote tourism that is related to nature.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process for evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account interrelated socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse.

Executive terms of school programmes: Executive terms of school programmes are the minimum objectives to be reached in the fields of knowledge, understanding, abilities and attitudes that the education authority considers to be necessary and useful for a given student population.

Ex situ conservation means the conservation of components of biodiversity outside their natural habitats.

Favourable conservation status is defined in the EU Habitats and Birds Directive by reference to factors such as species population dynamics, trends in the natural range of species and habitats, the area of habitat remaining and the proportion in a Member State.

Flagship species: Species that appeal to the public and have other features that make them suitable for communicating conservation concerns.

Gene: the functional unit of heredity; the part of the DNA molecule that encodes a single enzyme or structural protein unit.

Genetic resources: genetic resources are any material of actual or potential value of plant, animal and microbial origin; this includes genes and gene pools of species.

Green infrastructure is defined as a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services.

Introgression: the introduction of genes from the gene pool of one species into that of another during hybridization.

Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC): a procedure for planning recreation resources. It consists of a series of interrelated steps leading to development of a set of measurable objectives that define desired wilderness conditions. The planning process also identifies the management actions necessary to maintain or achieve these conditions.

Mutually Agreed Terms: The CBD (Article 15(4)) states that “Access, where granted, shall be on mutually agreed terms...” This means that there must be an agreement – formal or informal – that is acceptable to both the country or group giving access to their genetic resources and the group desiring access to these resources.

No net loss: the concept of no net loss is that conservation/biodiversity losses in one geographically or otherwise defined area are balanced by a gain elsewhere provided that this principle does not entail any impairment of existing biodiversity as protected by EU nature legislation.

Prior informed consent: The owners of knowledge or resources must be informed about the purpose of the collection or use of their knowledge or biodiversity and that their agreement must be obtained before the activity takes place.

Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) is a system for planning and managing recreation resources, such as visits to protected areas, that categorises recreation opportunities into three classes: semi-primitive, roaded natural, and rural.

Set-aside: area of land withdrawn from agricultural production - arable, horticultural or livestock, including grazing - for a certain given period.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is the formalised, systematic and comprehensive process of identifying and evaluating the environmental consequences of proposed policies, plans or programmes to ensure that they are fully included and appropriately addressed at the earliest possible stage of decision-making on a par with economic and social considerations. Strategic environmental assessment covers a wider range of activities, over a wider area, and often over a longer time span, than the environmental impact assessment of projects.

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