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Biodiversity & Human Well-being

 

Glossary over Biodiversity

Algal bloom

The rapid excessive growth of algae, generally caused by high nutrient levels and favourable conditions. Can result in deoxygenation of the water mass when the algae die, leading to the death of aquatic flora and fauna. (Source: Water resources Management Practicum 2000 Biology )

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Alien species

An alien species is a species introduced outside its normal distribution.

Invasive alien species are alien species whose establishment and spread modify ecosystems, habitats, or species. (Source: MA  Glossary )

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Alliance of Communicators for Sustainable Development

"Com+ is a partnership of international organizations and communications professionals from diverse sectors committed to using communications to advance a vision of sustainable development that integrates its three pillars: economic, social and environmental.

By offering a platform to share expertise, develop best practice and create synergies, Com+ hopes to actively support creative and inspiring communications across the world."

"Com+ envisions societies that advance and strengthen the three pillars of sustainable development — economic development, social equity and environmental conservation — at local, national, regional, and global levels." (Source: Com+ website  )

Aquaculture

Breeding and rearing of fish, shellfish, or plants in ponds, enclosures, or other forms of confinement in fresh or marine waters for the direct harvest of the product. (Source: MA   Glossary )

Bacteria

Bacteria are a major group of micro-organisms that live in soil, water, plants, organic matter, or the bodies of animals or people. They are microscopic and mostly unicellular, with a relatively simple cell structure.

Some bacteria cause diseases such as tetanus, typhoid fever, pneumonia, syphilis, cholera, and tuberculosis.

Bacteria play a role in the decomposition of organic matter and other chemical processes. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Belgian Science Policy

"The mission of the Federal Science Policy Office is to prepare, execute and evaluate science policy and its extensions, in particular :

  • the implementation, at the Government’s behest, via the Directorates-General Research & Space and Coordination & Information, of scientific and technical resources in support of the areas of competence of the Federal Authority,
  • the formation of a permanent expert capability in the universities and research centres to serve the Federal Authority in the scientific and technical fields,
  • the provision of support to the ten Federal Scientific Institutions, placed under the supervision of the Federal Science Policy Office, as well as to the Scientific and Technical Information Service (SIST) and to Belnet, the research communications network, in their administrative, financial and material management and the coordination and development of their research and scientific public service activities,
  • in addition, in January 2002, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Science Policy agreed to give the department responsibility for the question of the cultural artefacts seized from the Jewish community during the war."
Belgian Science Policy

"The Belgian Federal Science Policy Office has the following mission:

  • preparation, execution and evaluation of science policy and its extensions
  • in particular, on Belgian Government instructions, implementation of scientific and technical means in support of Federal Authority competences
  • development of a permanent knowledge resource within scientific and technical spheres at the service of the Federal Authority.
  • in addition, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Science policy agreed in January 2002 to charge the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office with the question of the cultural goods of the Jewish Community plundered during the war."
Biodiversity

Biodiversity is a contraction of biological diversity. Biodiversity reflects the number, variety and variability of living organisms.

It includes diversity within species (genetic diversity), between species (species diversity), and between ecosystems (ecosystem diversity). (Source: GreenFacts)

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Biome

Ecological communities of living things, such as microorganisms, plants and animals; the communities form as a result of the physical surroundings, including the land, air, and water of an area. For example, deserts, grasslands, and tropical rainforests are biomes. (Source: Exploring the Environment Glossary  )

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Bushmeat

Bushmeat refers to the meat of wild animals.

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Carbon sequestration

The removal and storage of carbon from the atmosphere in carbon sinks (such as oceans, forests or soils) through physical or biological processes, such as photosynthesis.

Humans have tried to increase carbon sequestration by growing new forests. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Climate change

The long-term fluctuations in temperature, precipitation, wind, and all other aspects of the Earth's climate.

It is also defined by the United Nations Convention on Climate Change as “change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods” (Source: CoRIS glossary  )

Community

When referring to humans, a community is defined as:

A collection of human beings who have something in common.

A local community is a fairly small group of people who share a common place of residence and a set of institutions based on this fact, but the word ‘community’ is also used to refer to larger collections of people who have something else in common (e.g., national community, donor community).

When referring to other living organisms, a community is defined as:

An assemblage of species occurring in the same space or time, often linked by biotic interactions such as competition or predation. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

Convention on Biological Diversity

"Signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. Conceived as a practical tool for translating the principles of Agenda 21 into reality, the Convention recognizes that biological diversity is about more than plants, animals and micro organisms and their ecosystems – it is about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live." (Source: CBD website )

Countdown 2010

"Governments worldwide have promised to save biodiversity by 2010. Countdown 2010 helps them move from words to action."

"Objectives:

  • Encourage and support the full implementation of all the existing binding international commitments and necessary actions to save biodiversity;
  • Demonstrate clearly what progress Europe makes in meeting the 2010 Biodiversity Commitment;
  • Gain maximum public attention across Europe for the challenge of saving biodiversity by 2010."
Cycads

Cycads are woody plants which produce seeds. Because of their general appearance, they are usually linked to palms or ferns, when in fact they are not related to either. Cycads are actually a unique assemblage of plants unrelated to any other group of living plants. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Andy Boze's website Cycads  )

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Desertification

Land degradation in drylands resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.

Land degradation in drylands resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities. (Source: MA  Glossary )

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Development Gateway Foundation

"The Development Gateway Foundation is an enabler of development. We help improve people’s lives in developing countries by building partnerships and information systems that provide access to knowledge for development. We exploit powerful and affordable information and communication technologies (ICT) that were previously unavailable to:

Increase knowledge sharing;The Development Gateway is an independent not-for-profit organization. It was conceived by World Bank President James Wolfensohn and initially developed in the World Bank. Operations began in July 2001." Enhance development effectiveness; Improve public sector transparency; and Build local capacity to empower communities.

The Development Gateway is an independent not-for-profit organization. It was conceived by World Bank President James Wolfensohn and initially developed in the World Bank. Operations began in July 2001." (Source: DGF website )

DG Health and Consumers

"The Health and Consumers DG (formally known as Health and Consumer Protection DG) is one of 36 Directorates-General (DGs) and specialised services which make up the European Commission."

The mission statement of the Health and Consumers DG is: "to promote a better quality of life by ensuring a high level of protection of consumers' health, safety and economic interests as well as of public health"

"This overall goal is addressed through legislative and non-legislative actions in three inter-related policy areas: 1. Consumer policy (...), 2. Public Health (...), 3. Food safety, animal health, animal welfare and plant health (...)". (Source: DG Health and Consumers website  )

Diversity

The variety and relative abundance of different entities in a sample. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Driver

Any natural or human-induced factor that directly or indirectly causes a change. (Source: MA  Glossary )

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Ecological surprises

Unexpected - and often disproportionately large - consequences of changes in the environment (such as change in climate or invasions of alien species). (Source: MA Glossary  )

Ecosystem change

Any variation in the state, outputs, or structure of an ecosystem. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Ecosystem management

An approach to natural resource management which aims to sustain ecosystems to meet both ecological and human needs in the future. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Ecosystem processes

The physical, chemical and biological actions or events that link organisms and their environment. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Ecosystem services

The benefits people obtain from ecosystems.

These include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as flood and disease control; cultural services such as spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits; and supporting services such as nutrient cycling that maintain the conditions for life on Earth. (Source: MA  Summary )

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Ecosystem(s)

The complex system of plant, animal, fungal, and microorganism communities and their associated non-living environment interacting as an ecological unit.

Ecosystems have no fixed boundaries; instead their parameters are set to the scientific, management, or policy question being examined. Depending upon the purpose of analysis, a single lake, a watershed, or an entire region could be considered an ecosystem. (Source: US EPA Glossary of Climate Change Terms   )

Environment DG

"The Environment DG is one of 36 Directorates-General (DGs) and specialised services which make up the European Commission. Its main role is to initiate and define new environmental legislation and to ensure that measures, which have been agreed, are actually put into practice in the Member States."

The mission statement of the Environment DG is: "to promote Sustainable Development, preserving the rights of future generations to a viable environment; to work towards a high level of environmental and health protection and improvement of the quality of life; to promote environmental efficiency; to encourage the equitable use, as well as the sound and effective management, of common environmental resources" (Source: EC DG ENVI website )

Environmental cycles

A natural process in which elements are continuously cycled in various forms between different compartments of the environment (e.g., air, water, soil, organisms).

Examples include the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles (nutrient cycles) and the water cycle. (Source: GreenFacts)

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EurActiv.com

EurActiv is the leading internet portal fully dedicated to European public affairs. It brings together daily EU news, weekly "Update" e-mails, in-depth analysis of selected policy topics, and a directory of 10,000 names of names of people and organizations acting on the EU level, the "Guide". All content is free of charge.

EurActiv aims to "facilitate efficiency and transparency (...) by providing news monitoring, policy positions, discussion forums and contacts on selected EU affairs topics, complementing the existing institutional websites."

(Source: EurActiv website )

European Commission

"The European Commission (EC) embodies and upholds the general interest of the [European] Union and is the driving force in the Union's institutional system. Its four main roles are to propose legislation to Parliament and the Council, to administer and implement Community policies, to enforce Community law (jointly with the Court of Justice) and to negotiate international agreements, mainly those relating to trade and cooperation."

The Commission's staff is organised into 36 Directorates-General (DGs) and specialised services, such as the Environment DG and the Research DG. (Source: EC website  )

European Environmental Agency

The European Environmental Agency (EEA) is one of the 15 specialised agencies of the European Union, which handle specific technical, scientific or management tasks. Operational since 1994, the EEA is based in Copenhagen.

"Its mission is to collect, prepare and disseminate timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information on the state and trends of the environment at European level. The founding regulation of EEA stipulates that it is open to countries that do not belong to the European Union but share its concern for the environment. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have been members from the start, and 12 out of 13 candidate countries have joined in 2002 (...)." (Source: EEA website )

Eutrophication

The increase in additions of nutrients [especially nitrogen and phosphorus] to freshwater or marine systems, which leads to increases in plant growth and often to undesirable changes in ecosystem structure and function. (Source: MA  Glossary )

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Fish stock

The population or [total mass] of a fishery resource. Such stocks are usually identified by their location. They can be, but are not always, genetically discrete from other stocks. (Source: MA  Glossary )

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Fishery

A particular kind of fishing activity, e.g., a trawl fishery or a particular species targeted, e.g., a cod fishery or salmon fishery. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Food & Agriculture Organization

"The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. We help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since our founding in 1945, we have focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people. FAO's activities comprise four main areas:

  • Putting information within reach
  • Sharing policy expertise.
  • Providing a meeting place for nations.
  • Bringing knowledge to the field. "
Freshwater

Water that is not salty, for instance water found in lakes, streams, and rivers, but not the ocean. Also used to refer to things living in or related to freshwater (e.g., "freshwater fish"). (Source: GreenFacts)

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Genetic diversity

The variety of different types of genes in a species or population. Genetic diversity is really a form of biodiversity. (Source: NOVA Glossary  )

Global scale

The geographical realm encompassing all of Earth. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Globalization

The increasing integration of economies and societies around the world, particularly through trade and financial flows, and the transfer of culture and technology. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Gross Domestic Product

The total market value of goods and services produced within a nation during a given period (usually 1 year).

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Habitat

The location and environmental conditions in which a particular organism normally lives. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Habitat change

Change in the local environmental conditions in which a particular organism lives.

Habitat change can occur naturally through droughts, disease, fire, hurricanes, mudslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, slight increases or decreases in seasonal temperature or precipitation, etc.

However, it is generally induced by human activities such as land use change and physical modification of rivers or water withdrawal from rivers. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Human health

A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

The health of a whole community or population is reflected in measurements of disease incidence and prevalence, age-specific death rates, and life expectancy. (Source: MA Glossary  )

innovations-report

"The innovations-report is a modern forum for Science, Industry and Business for the advancement of innovation dynamics as well as the production of new contacts for a more intensive use of the existing innovation and performance potential. [...]

In more than 2,000 reports every year, the innovations-report offers current information on new technologies, highly interesting research and development results, innovative products and services, and lots more." (Source: IR website )

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been established by WMO and UNEP to assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

IPCC publications are prepared by three Working Groups (WG I, II and III) composed of hundreds of scientists from many countries. The IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (4AR), published in 2007, is available at www.ipcc.ch/ .

The "Summaries for Policymakers" by the three Working Groups, which were used as the source for the GreenFacts Digest on Climate Change (2007), can be found below:

The IPCC's previous report on climate change, the 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR), was also summarised by GreenFacts (click here for the Digest).

In 2007, the IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change". (Source: IPCC website  )

Land cover

The physical coverage of land, usually expressed in terms of vegetation cover or lack of it. Related to, but not synonymous with, land use. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Landscape

An area of land that contains a mosaic of ecosystems, including human-dominated ecosystems.

The term cultural landscape is often used when referring to landscapes containing significant human populations or in which there has been significant human influence on the land. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Mangrove

A general name for several species of halophyte (plant that grows in soils that have a high content of various salts) belonging to different families of plants (including trees, shrubs, a palm tree and a ground fern) occurring in intertidal zones of tropical and subtropical sheltered coastlines and exceeding one half meter in height.

The term is applied to both the individual and the ecosystem, the latter of which is termed mangal. (Source: CoRIS glossary  )

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Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), endorsed by governments at the United Nations in September 2000, aim to improve human well-being by reducing poverty, hunger, child and maternal mortality, ensuring education for all, controlling and managing diseases, tackling gender disparity, ensuring sustainable development and pursuing global partnerships.

The eight MDGs are:

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other disease
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development (Source: GreenFacts, based on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment )

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Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

"The MA is an international work program designed to meet the needs of decision makers and the public for scientific information concerning the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and options for responding to those changes.

The MA was launched by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in June 2001 and it will help to meet assessment needs of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention to Combat Desertification, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the Convention on Migratory Species, as well as needs of other users in the private sector and civil society.

If the MA proves to be useful to its stakeholders, it is anticipated that an assessment process modeled on the MA will be repeated every 5–10 years and that ecosystem assessments will be regularly conducted at national or sub-national scales." (Source: MA website  )

Natural capital

An extension of the economic notion of capital (manufactured means of production) to environmental 'goods and services'. It refers to a stock (e.g., a forest) which produces a flow of goods (e.g., new trees) and services (e.g., carbon sequestration, erosion control, habitat). (Source: EEA Multilingual Environmental Glossary   )

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Non-market value

Most environmental goods and services, such as clean air and water, and healthy fish and wildlife populations, are not traded in markets. Their economic value -how much people would be willing to pay for them- is not revealed in market prices. The only option for assigning monetary values to them is to rely on non-market valuation methods.

Without these value estimates, these resources may be implicitly undervalued and decisions regarding their use and stewardship may not accurately reflect their true value to society. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Ecosystem Valuation  )

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Nutrients

The approximately 20 chemical elements known to be essential for the growth of living organisms, including nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, and carbon. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Glossary   )

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Policy-maker

A person with power to influence or determine policies and practices at an international, national, regional, or local level. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary)

Population

A group or number of people living within a specified area or sharing similar characteristics (such as occupation or age). (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

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Poverty

The pronounced deprivation of well-being.

Income poverty refers to a particular formulation expressed solely in terms of per capita or household income. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

Production / Productivity

Production is the process of creating, growing, manufacturing, or improving goods and services. It also refers to the quantity produced.

In economics, productivity is used to measure the efficiency or rate of production. It is the amount of output (e.g. number of goods produced) per unit of input (e.g. labor, equipment, and capital).

In biology, productivity is a measure of the efficiency with which a biological system converts energy into growth. (Source: GreenFacts)

Regionalization

Regionalization is the tendency to form regions or the process of doing so.

When used in opposition to globalization, this often means a world that is less connected, with a stronger regional focus. (Source: GreenFacts)

Resilience

Refers to the amount of disturbance or stress that an ecosystem can absorb and still remain capable of returning to its pre- disturbance state. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

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Scenario

A plausible and often simplified description of how the future may develop, based on a coherent and internally consistent set of assumptions about key driving forces (e.g., rate of technology change, prices) and relationships.

Scenarios are neither predictions nor projections and sometimes may be based on a “narrative storyline.”

Scenarios may include projections but are often based on additional information from other sources. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

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Science and Development Network

"The overall aim of the Science and Development Network (SciDev.Net) is to enhance the provision of reliable and authoritative information on science- and technology-related issues that impact on the economic and social development of developing countries.

Our goal is to ensure that both individuals and organisations in the developing world are better placed to make informed decisions on these issues.

We seek to achieve this objective primarily through running a free-access website, but also by building regional networks of individuals and institutions who share our goals, and by organising capacity-building workshops and other events in the developing world." (Source: SciDev.Net )

Species

A group of organisms that differ from all other groups of organisms and that are capable of breeding and producing fertile offspring. This is the smallest unit of classification for plants and animals. (Source: OceanLink Glossary of Common Terms and Definitions in Marine Biology  )

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Stakeholder

Individuals or groups that are affected by a decision and have an interest in its outcome. (Source: TDM Encyclopedia Glossary   )

Sustainability

A characteristic or state whereby the needs of the present and local population can be met without compromising the ability of future generations or populations in other locations to meet their needs.

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Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

"Poverty reduction and sustainable development are the principal tasks of the SDC. To facilitate the achievement of these goals, the SDC focuses on various thematic priorities. In each thematic domain, a sub-goal is targeted while ever keeping in mind the fact that the priority themes are intimately linked to one another." (Source: SDC website )

Synergy

When the combined effect of several forces operating is greater than the sum of the separate effects of the forces. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

Threshold (in an ecosystem)

The level of magnitude of a system process at which sudden or rapid change occurs. (Source: PhysicalGeography.net Glossary of terms  )

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Time lag

An interval of time between two related phenomena (such as a cause and its effect). (Source: GreenFacts)

Trade-off

An exchange of one thing in return for another, especially relinquishment of one benefit or advantage for another regarded as more desirable. (Source: Answers.com Dictionary  )

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United Nations

"The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 191 countries*.

When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes: to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations." (Source: UN website )

United Nations Development Programme

"UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners." (Source: UNDP website  )

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

"Today, UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues. The Organization also serves as a clearinghouse – for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge – while helping Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields. In short, UNESCO promotes international co-operation among its 191 [as of March 2005] Member States and six Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication." (Source: UNESCO website  )

United Nations Environment Programme

"The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), established in 1972, works to encourage sustainable development through sound environmental practices everywhere. Its activities cover (...) the promotion of environmental science and information, to an early warning and emergency response capacity to deal with environmental disasters and emergencies."

See also UNEP.Net , which "delivers authoritative environmental information from a broad range of information and data providers (...)". (Source: UNEP website )

United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre

"The United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is the biodiversity assessment and policy implementation arm of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the world's foremost intergovernmental environmental organization. The centre has been in operation since 1989, combining scientific research with practical policy advice.

UNEP-WCMC provides objective, scientifically rigorous products and services to help decision makers recognize the value of biodiversity and apply this knowledge to all that they do. Its core business is managing data about ecosystems and biodiversity, interpreting and analysing that data to provide assessments and policy analysis, and making the results available to international decision makers and businesses." (Source: UNEP-WCMC website )

Value

Defined by Webster to be the quality of a thing according to which it is thought of as being more or less desirable, useful, estimable or important.

Using this definition the value of an ecosystem might be defined in terms of its beauty, its uniqueness, its irreplacability, its contribution to life support functions or commercial or recreational opportunities, or its role in supporting wildlife or reducing environmental or human health risks, or providing many other services that benefit humans. (Source: Ecosystem Valuation Definition of Terms  )

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Vulnerability (in ecosystems)

Exposure to contingencies and stress, and the difficulty in coping with them. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

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Water regime

The water regime of a freshwater ecosystem is the prevailing pattern of water flow over a given time.

More specifically, it refers to the duration and timing of flooding resulting from surface water (overland flow), precipitation, and ground water inflow. (Source: GreenFacts)

Well-being

A context- and situation-dependent state, comprising basic material for a good life: freedom and choice, health and bodily well-being, good social relations, security, peace of mind, and spiritual experience. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

"The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a coalition of 170 international companies united by a shared commitment to sustainable development via the three pillars of economic growth, ecological balance and social progress.

Our members are drawn from more than 35 countries and 20 major industrial sectors. We also benefit from a global network of 45 national and regional business councils and partner organizations located in 40 countries, involving some 1,000 business leaders globally.

The WBCSD's activities reflect our belief that the pursuit of sustainable development is good for business and business is good for sustainable development." (Source: WBCSD website )

World Conservation Union

"IUCN is a unique Union. Its members from some 140 countries include 77 States, 114 government agencies, and 800-plus NGOs. More than 10,000 internationally-recognised scientists and experts from more than 180 countries volunteer their services to its six global commissions. Its 1000 staff members in offices around the world are working on some 500 projects"

"Our Mission is 'to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.' "

GreenFacts is a member of IUCN. (Source: IUCN website )

World Health Organization

"The World Health Organization  (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations’ system. WHO experts produce health guidelines and standards, and help countries to address public health issues. WHO also supports and promotes health research. Through WHO, governments can jointly tackle global health problems and improve people’s well-being.

193 countries and two associate members are WHO’s membership. They meet every year at the World Health Assembly in Geneva to set policy for the Organization, approve the Organization’s budget, and every five years, to appoint the Director-General. Their work is supported by the 34-member Executive Board, which is elected by the Health Assembly. Six regional committees focus on health matters of a regional nature."

WHO's scientific publications are widely recognized as a reference source.

The WHO has a number of regional offices which address the specific issues of those regions.

WHO World Regional Offices
  WHO African Region  (46 countries)
  WHO European Region  (53 countries)
  WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region  (21 countries)
  WHO Region of the Americas  (35 countries)
  WHO South-East Asia Region  (11 countries)
  WHO Western Pacific Region  (27 countries)
World Wide Fund for Nature

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) was founded in 1961 (formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund) and today is the world's largest conservation organization.

"WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:

  • conserving the world's biological diversity
  • .
  • resources is sustainable
  • promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption."

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