India achievements towards the Millennium Development Goals


Glossary over India achievements towards the Millennium Development Goals


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


Unit of measurement for energy.

One calorie is formally defined as the amount of energy required to raise one cubic centimeter of water by one degree Centigrade. For purpose of measuring the amount of energy in food, nutritionists most commonly use kilocalories (equal to 1000 calories), and label the measurement either as "kcal" or as "Calories" with a capital "C".

One kcal is also equivalent to approximately 4.184 kilojoules. (Source: Nutrition Data Nutrition Glossary  )

Capacity building

A process of strengthening or developing human resources, institutions, organizations, or networks.

Also referred to as capacity development or capacity enhancement. (Source: MA,  Glossary )

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  )

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  )

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 )



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   )


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.


Forest cover

Percentage of land within a specific area covered by forests. (Source: FAO  Forests and energy glossary )


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)


Geothermal energy

The word geothermal comes from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat). So, geothermal energy is heat from within the earth. We can use the steam and hot water produced inside the earth to heat buildings or generate electricity. Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source because the water is replenished by rainfall and the heat is continuously produced inside the earth. (Source: The U.S. Energy Information Administration, Energy Kids page   )



A moving body of ice that forms on land from the accumulation and compaction of snow, and that flows downslope or outward due to gravity and the pressure of its own weight. (Source: Alcwin Dictionary of Geology  )


Greenhouse gas

Greenhouse gases are those gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere and clouds.

This property causes the greenhouse effect.

Water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and ozone (O3) are the primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Moreover there are a number of entirely human-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as the halocarbons and other chlorine and bromine containing substances, dealt with under the Montreal Protocol. Beside CO2, N2O and CH4, the Kyoto Protocol deals with the greenhouse gases sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). (Source: IPCC Glossary  )


Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected [female] mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells.

Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, and vomiting, and usually appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines.

Key interventions to control malaria include: prompt and effective treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies; use of insecticidal nets by people at risk; and indoor residual spraying with insecticide to control the vector mosquitoes. (Source: WHO Malaria  )


A state of bad nourishment.

Malnutrition refers both to undernutrition and overnutrition, as well as to conditions arising from dietary imbalances leading to diet-related noncommunicable diseases. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )


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  )



Death. Usually the cause (a specific disease, a condition, or an injury) is stated. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms   )


Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children.

The Poliovirus is transmitted through contaminated food and water, and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system.

Many infected people have no symptoms, but do excrete the virus in their faeces, hence transmitting infection to others.

Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent.

Polio can only be prevented by immunization. (Source: WHO, Poliomyelitis  )


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 )


A large molecule composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order, formed according to genetic information.


Renewable energy

Energy produced from sources that can be renewed indefinitely, for example, hydro-, solar, geothermal, and wind power, as well as sustainably produced biomass. (Source: FAO  Forests and energy glossary )


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.


The International Renewable Energy Agency

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity. (Source:  )

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.


Source: (Source:  )


Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium, most commonly Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It affects tissues in the human body, mainly the lungs (pulmonary tuberculosis). It causes small tumors that destroy the tissue.

Symptoms include cough, fatigue, weight loss, difficulty breathing, and fever. (Source: GreenFacts)


UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

"The regional arm of the United Nations Secretariat for the Asian and Pacific region is the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). It is located in the United Nations Building, Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue, Bangkok, Thailand. The functions of UNESCAP have been defined by the Secretary- General as follows:

Promoting economic and social development through regional and subregional cooperation and integration;
Serving as the main economic and social development forum within the United Nations system for the UNESCAP region;
Formulating and promoting development assistance activities and projects commensurate with the needs and priorities of the region while acting as an executing agency for relevant operational projects;
Providing substantive and secretariat services and documentation for the Commission and its subsidiary bodies;
Carrying out studies, research and other activities within the terms of reference of the Commission;
Providing advisory services to governments at their request;
Developing and executing programmes of technical cooperation;
Coordinating UNESCAP activities with those of the major departments/offices of the United Nations at Headquarters and specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations."

Vulnerability (in ecosystems)

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


Other articles you might like...
Biological Diversity home
Key decisions adopted in 2018 by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in preparation for a 2050 Biodiversity Vision for the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 report published in 2020.
Single-use plastics home
Reusable tableware consistently outperforms single-use tableware in all the studies and across most environmental impact categories
Water Resources Assessments home
Water is essential for life, but humanity faces complex challenges related to increasing demand.
A-Z List
Themes covered
Publications A-Z

Get involved!

This summary is free and ad-free, as is all of our content. You can help us remain free and independant as well as to develop new ways to communicate science by becoming a Patron!