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Biodiversity and Ecosystem services: a global assessment of their trends

 

Glossary over Biodiversity and Ecosystem services: a global assessment of their trends

Adaptation

Adjustment in natural or human systems to a new or changing environment.

Various types of adaptation can be distinguished, including anticipatory and reactive adaptation, private and public adaptation, and autonomous and planned adaptation. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
 Glossary )

Adverse health effect

A change in body function or cell structure that might lead to disease or health problems. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

Afforestation

The establishment of a forest through tree planting or seeding on land that has lacked forest cover for a very long time or has never been forested. (Source: GreenFacts)

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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Anthropogenic

Originating from the activity of humans. (Source: GreenFacts )

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 )

Belgian Federal Public Service for Health

The Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment was set up in 2001. Its competencies were transferred from :

  • the former Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Environment
  • the regionalized Ministry of Agriculture

The following scientific establishments are linked to the FPS and carry out research into policy-supporting matters or issue advisory reports :

  • VAR, Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre
  • IPH, Scientific Institute of Public Health
  • SHC, Superior Health Council

The Federal Agency for Food Chain Security is responsible for all verifications with regard to food safety. (Source: http://www.health.belgium.be/en/about-fps  )

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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Bioenergy

Renewable energy made from materials from biological sources. Wood, charcoal, manure and crop residues are all traditional forms of bioenergy.

Bioenergy carriers produced from crops like maize or sugarcane are known as biofuels, while biogas refers to the mixture of methane and carbon dioxide produced by the bacterial decomposition of organic wastes. (Source: GreenFacts )

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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Biosphere

The part of the Earth and its atmosphere in which living organisms exist or that is capable of supporting life. (Source: NRDC glossary  )

Cancer

Any one of a group of diseases that occur when cells in the body become abnormal and have the potential to spread and establish growth in nearby tissues and other parts of the body (malignancy). (Source: GreenFacts )

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Carbon monoxide (CO)

An odorless, colorless, and highly poisonous gas.

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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 )

Condition (of ecosystems)

The condition of an ecosystem is the capacity of that ecosystem to yield services, relative to its potential capacity.

The condition of an ecosystem service is the capacity of that ecosystem service to yield benefits to people, relative to its potential capacity. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Controlled study

An experiment or clinical trial in which two groups are used for comparison purpose.

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Developmental effects

Effects in the developing offspring due to exposure before conception (either parent), prenatally, or postnatally to the time of sexual maturation. Developmental effects may be expressed at any time in the life span of the organism. Developmental effects are a subset of reproductive effects. (Source: CSIRO CSIRO biological effects and safety of EMR Glossary  )

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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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 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   )

Electric current

The electrical current is a physical phenomenon caused by the displacement of electrons or ions that induce electric fields. By convention, current is considered to be a flux of positive charges.

The intensity of the current is the quantity of charge which passes in a conductor per unit of time. The intensity of the current is measured in Amperes (A). (Source: Belgian BioElectroMagnetic Group Dictionary   )

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Endemic

Found only in a certain strictly limited geographical region, i.e. restricted to a specified region or locality. Can apply for instance to a disease or to an animal or plant species. (Source: GreenFacts)

Equity

Fairness of rights, distribution, and access. Depending on context, this can refer to resources, services, or power. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

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 )

Forest

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines “forest” as a portion of land bigger than half a hectare (5 000m2) with trees higher than 5 meters and a tree canopy cover of more than 10 %, or with trees that will be able to meet these criteria.

It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use.

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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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Genes

The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein. (Source: NHGRI Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms  )

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 )

Governance

The process of regulating human behavior in accordance with shared objectives. The term includes both governmental and nongovernmental mechanisms. (Source: MA Glossary  )

Habitat

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

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  )

Invasiveness

In the context of genetically modified crops, invasiveness refers to the ability of a plant to spread beyond its introduction site and become established in new locations, where it may have a deleterious effect on organisms already existing there. (Source: GreenFacts, based on FAO Glossary of biotechnology & genetic engineering  )

Market-based instruments

Instruments of environmental policies in which a change in technology, behaviour or products is encouraged through financial incentives (either subsidies, taxes, price differentiation or market creation). (Source: Environmental Programme for the Danube River Basin Glossary   )

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative (MITEI) was built according to a template laid out in the 2006 Report of the Energy Research Council commissioned by President Hockfield. The report called for new approaches to multidisciplinary research, education across school and department boundaries, a more energy efficient campus reached in part through student-led projects, and outreach to the policy world through technically grounded analysis. It also emphasized the importance of another MIT strength – partnering with industry as a prime locus for the clean energy transformation needed to address economic, environmental, and security concerns associated with the current energy system. (Source: http://mitei.mit.edu  )

Mean / Median

In statistics, mean and median both provide an idea of where the “middle” of a sample is.

The mean (or average) is the sum of all scores divided by the number of scores. For instance the sum of individual ages of persons in a group divided by the number of persons in the group, gives the average age.

The median is the number in a range of scores that falls exactly in the middle so that 50% of the cases are above or below. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Pathogenic organisms

Organisms, including bacteria, viruses or cysts, capable of causing diseases (typhoid, cholera, dysentery) in a host (such as a person). There are many types of organisms which do NOT cause disease. These organisms are called non-pathogenic. (Source: US EPA US EPA Drinking Water Glossary, A Dictionary of Technical and Legal Terms Related to Drinking Water  )

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Pathway(s)

Exposure pathway is the physical route by which a chemical substance transfers from a source to exposed organisms.

Potential pathways include air, surface water, groundwater, soil, plants, animals and humans. May not necessarily always refer to contaminants. (Source: GreenFacts)

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)

Public good

A good or service in which the benefit received by any one party does not diminish the availability of the benefits to others, and where access to the good cannot be restricted. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

Reduction (in fish processing)

Transformation of fish into fish meal and oil. (Source: FAO Fisheries Glossary  )

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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Risk

The probability that something will cause injury or harm. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

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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Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety

The SCCS provides opinions on questions concerning all types of health and safety risks (notably chemical, biological, mechanical and other physical risks) of non-food consumer products (for example: cosmetic products and their ingredients, toys, textiles, clothing, personal care and household products such as detergents, etc.) and services (for example: tattooing, artificial sun tanning, etc.). For further information on the SCCS, see:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/index_en.htm 

Soluble

A substance is soluble if it dissolves in certain fluids. The fluid [gas or liquid] (present in excess) is called the solvent and the substance dissolved in it is called the solute which together form a solution. The process of dissolving is called solvation. A solution that can not hold any more solute is said to be saturated. (Source: GreenFacts )

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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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 )

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration

"The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is part of the Australian Government Department of Health and is responsible for regulating therapeutic goods including prescription medicines, vaccines, sunscreens, vitamins and minerals, medical devices, blood and blood products.

Almost any product for which therapeutic claims are made must be entered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) before it can be supplied in Australia." (Source: https://www.tga.gov.au  )

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) was established in 1993.

Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies.

The EMCDDA exists to provide the EU and its Member States with a factual overview of European drug problems and a solid evidence base to support the drugs debate.

Today it offers policymakers the data they need for drawing up informed drug laws and strategies. It also helps professionals and practitioners working in the field pinpoint best practice and new areas of research. (Source: www.emcdda.europa.eu   )

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an independent intergovernmental body, established by member States in 2012. The objective of IPBES is to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.

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(Source: https://ipbes.net/  )

The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection

The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) is an advisory body, established in 1969, that advises the United Nations (UN) system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection.

At present GESAMP is jointly sponsored by nine UN organizations with responsibilities relating to the marine environment, and they utilize GESAMP as a mechanism for coordination and collaboration among them. GESAMP functions are to conduct and support marine environmental assessments, to undertake in-depth studies, analyses, and reviews of specific topics, and to identify emerging issues regarding the state of the marine environment. GESAMP itself today consists of 16 experts, drawn from a wide range of relevant disciplines, who act in an independent and individual capacity. Studies and assessments are usually carried out by dedicated working groups, most of whose members are not sitting members of GESAMP but part of the broader GESAMP network.

GESAMP's UN sponsors: IMO, FAO, UNESCO-IOC, WMO, IAEA, UN, UNEP, UNIDO, UNDP.GESAMP

Source: (Source: www.gesamp.org/about  )

The World Ocean Review

The World Ocean Review series is published by maribus, a non-profit company founded by the mareverlag publishing house. maribus is dedicated to raising the public’s awareness of interrelationships in marine science, thus contributing to a more effective protection of the seas. Our publications are not for sale, but are made available free of charge.

Contributions to the publications have been received from numerous partners and researchers whose many years’ involvement with the marine environment has put them at the cutting edge of science:

  • a team of experts from the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”, an initiative supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) comprising more than 200 scientists representing diverse disciplines
  • the International Ocean Institute (IOI) founded by Elisabeth Mann Borgese in 1972
  • mare – the magazine of the seas

The purpose of our publications is to present scientifically robust knowledge in a form accessible to any reader, and thus to serve all those who wish to engage actively and knowledgably in debate on the issues surrounding marine science. (Source: http://worldoceanreview.com/en/  )

Trend

A pattern of change over time, over and above short-term fluctuations. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

Uncertainty

An expression of the degree to which a future condition (e.g., of an ecosystem) is unknown.

Uncertainty can result from lack of information or from disagreement about what is known or even knowable. It may have many types of sources, from quantifiable errors in the data to ambiguously defined terminology or uncertain projections of human behavior. Uncertainty can therefore be represented by quantitative measures (e.g., a range of values calculated by various models) or by qualitative statements (e.g., reflecting the judgment of a team of experts). (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

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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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 Energy Council

The World Energy Council is the principal impartial network of leaders and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all.

Formed in 1923, the Council is the UN-accredited global energy body, representing the entire energy spectrum, with more than 3000 member organisations located in over 90 countries and drawn from governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy-related stakeholders.

The World Energy Council informs global, regional and national energy strategies by hosting high-level events, publishing authoritative studies, and working through its extensive member network to facilitate the world’s energy policy dialogue. (Source: www.worldenergy.org   )


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