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The impact of palm oil culture on biodiversity

 

Glossary over The impact of palm oil culture on biodiversity

Aerosol

An aerosol is a collection of microscopic particles, solid or liquid, suspended in a gas.

In the context of air pollution, an aerosol refers to fine particulate matter, that is larger than a molecule, but small enough to remain suspended in the atmosphere for at least several hours.

The term aerosol is also commonly used for a pressurized container (aerosol can) which is designed to release a fine spray of a material such as paint. It has also come to be associated, erroneously, with the gas (propellant) used to expel materials from an aerosol can. (Source: GreenFacts )

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Agroforestry

A system of land use in which harvestable trees or shrubs are grown among or around crops or on pastureland in order to increase production, generate short-term income, and benefit the environment (for example, by erosion control). (Source: Murray-Darling Basin Commission, The River Glossary  )

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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Atmosphere

The mass of air surrounding the Earth.

The atmosphere consists of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and traces of other gases such as argon, helium, carbon dioxide, and ozone.

The atmosphere plays an important role in the protection of life on Earth; it absorbs ultraviolet solar radiation and reduces temperature extremes between day and night. (Source: GreenFacts)

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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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Biofuels

Biofuels are non-fossil fuels. They are energy carriers that store the energy derived from organic materials (biomass), including plant materials and animal waste.

They may be solid, such as fuelwood, charcoal and wood pellets; liquid, such as ethanol, biodiesel and pyrolysis oils; or gaseous, such as biogas. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Biomass

The total quantity or mass of organic material produced by living organisms in a particular area, at a given time. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Carbon dioxide (CO2)

A colorless, odorless, non-combustible gas, present in low concentrations in the air we breathe (about three hundredths of one percent by volume).

Carbon dioxide is produced when any substance containing carbon is burned. It is also a product of breathing and fermentation. Plants absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. (Source: The Pacific Forest Trust Glossary )

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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  )

Deforestation

The conversion of forested land to non-forested land as a direct result of human activities. (Source: Forest Carbon Accounting Definitions  )

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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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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 )

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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   )

Feedstock

Feedstock refers to the raw material that is required for some industrial process. (Source: GreenFacts )

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Fish oil

An oil extracted from body (body oil) or liver (liver oil) of fish and marine mammals; mostly a byproduct of fish meal production. (Source: NOAA  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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Fossil fuel(s)

A general term for buried combustible geologic deposits of organic materials, formed from decayed plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil, coal, natural gas, or heavy oils by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years. (Source: US EPA Glossary of Climate Change terms  )

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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Global warming potential

The global warming potential of a gas refers to the total contribution to global warming resulting from the emission of one unit of that gas relative to one unit of the reference gas, carbon dioxide, which is assigned a value of 1.

For example, if methane has a global warming potential of 21, it means that 1 kg of methane has the same impact on climate change as 21 kg of carbon dioxide and thus 1 kg of methane would count as 21 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent. (Source: based on American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment  Implementation Guide )

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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  )

Habitat

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

Hybrid (plant or animal)

In breeding, hybrids are plants or animals produced by the cross-breeding of two genetically different varieties or species. (Source: GreenFacts)

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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  )

Lipid

An essential structural component of living cells, lipids are a class of oily organic compounds which are insoluble in water but soluble in fats and oils. The lipid class of molecules mainly consists of fats, oils and waxes. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Litter (in Forests)

Surface layer on the forest floor of loose non-living organic debris consisting of freshly fallen or slightly decomposed plant parts (below a certain diameter), such as leaves, bark, twigs, flowers, fruits, and other vegetable matter. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Alaska Geobotany Center   )

Methane

Methane is a colorless, flammable, nontoxic gas with the chemical formula CH4.

This gas is formed naturally by the decomposition of organic matter. Wetlands, livestock and energy are the main sources of methane emissions to the atmosphere, where it acts as a greenhouse gas.

Methane is also a major component of natural gas. It is mainly extracted from geological deposits for fuel and industrial uses (Source: GreenFacts )

Model

Mathematical representation or simulation of an actual situation. (Source: GreenFacts)

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide is a colourless non-flammable gas with the chemical formula N2O.

This gas is naturally emitted by bacteria. The livestock sector and industry are the main anthropogenic sources of nitrous oxide emissions.

When released into the atmosphere it acts as a powerful greenhouse gas. (Source: GreenFacts)

Peatlands

Wetlands where the soil is highly organic because is it formed mostly from incompletely decomposed plants.

This soil is called peat and its presence is what defines peatlands. (Source: Hamilton Naturalists' Club Glossary )

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Pesticide

A toxic chemical product that kills harmful organisms (e.g., insecticides, fungicide, weedicides, rodenticides, acaricides). (Source: FAO Glossary of biotechnology & genetic engineering  )

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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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Radiation

Energy moving in the form of particles or waves. Familiar radiations are heat, light, radio waves, and microwaves. Ionizing radiation is a very high-energy form of electromagnetic radiation. (Source: US Center for Disease Control and Prevention Glossary of Radiological Terms   )

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Rodent

A group of small mammals with continuously-growing front teeth used for gnawing or nibbling. Examples of rodents are mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, beavers, and squirrels,

Historically, some rodent species have been considered as pests, because they eat stored crops and spread disease. (Source: GreenFacts)

Silt

Rock worn into tiny pieces (coarser than clay, but finer than sand). It is found sometimes as the deposit of sediment at the mouth of a river. (Source: Ecohealth Glossary   )

Stakeholder

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

Stratosphere

The highly stratified region of the atmosphere above the troposphere extending from about 10 km (ranging from 9 km in high latitudes to 16 km in the tropics on average) to about 50 km. (Source: Climate Change Glossary)

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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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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  )

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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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)

Water vapor

Water in its gaseous form.

In the atmosphere it acts as a natural greenhouse gas. (Source: GreenFacts)

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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 )

Yeast

Single-celled micro-organism that converts its food (sugar or starch) into alcohol and carbon dioxide through fermentation.

Yeast are used for making beer, wine, cheese and some breads. When making bread, the carbon dioxide produced by yeast makes the dough rise.

Yeast needs sugar or starch and a warm environment in order to grow. (Source: GreenFacts, based on WGBY Glossary )


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