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Assessments of water resources and their management

 

Glossary over Assessments of water resources and their management

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 )

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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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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Background level(s)

Levels of chemical or physical agents that are normally found in the environment.

Two types of background levels may exist for chemical substances or physical agents: (a) Naturally occurring levels: ambient concentrations of substances or agents present in the environment, without human influence; (b) Anthropogenic levels: Concentrations of substances or agents present in the environment due to human-made, non-site sources (e.g., automobiles, industries). (Source: US EPA Glossary of IRIS Terms  )

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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Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. (Source: /www.cancerresearchuk.org/  )

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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Charge

An electric charge (q or Q) is the quantity of unbalanced electricity in an object (either positive or negative). It is interpreted as an excess or deficiency of electrons. Matter that possesses a charge is influenced by and produces electromagnetic fields.

Electrons, by convention have an elementary charge of -1. Ions are either positively or negatively charged. The unit of measurement of the charge of an object is the coulomb, which represents 6.24 x 1018 elementary charges. (Source: GreenFacts)

Cholera

Cholera is a devastating and, sometimes, lethal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera.

Cholera usually spreads through contaminated water.

The symptoms are intense vomiting and extreme watery diarrhoea leading to dehydration, which, unless immediately treated, may be fatal.

Cholera can easily be cured by rehydration and administration of salts and electrolytes (Source: WHO, Treatment of Cholera  )

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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 )

Contaminant(s)

A substance that is either present in an environment where it does not belong or is present at levels that might cause harmful effects to humans or the environment. (Source: GreenFacts)

Controlled study

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

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Degradation of ecosystems

A persistent reduction in the capacity to provide ecosystem services. (Source: MA  Glossary )

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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  )

Diversity

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

Dryland systems

Dryland systems are ecosystems characterised by a lack of water. They include cultivated lands, scrublands, shrublands, grasslands, savannas, semi-deserts and true deserts.

The lack of water constrains the production of crops, forage, wood, and other ecosystem services.

Four dryland subtypes are widely recognized: dry sub-humid, semiarid, arid, and hyperarid, showing an increasing level of aridity or moisture deficit. (Source: GreenFacts based on Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

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Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment

RIVM works to prevent and control outbreaks of infectious diseases.

We promote public health and consumer safety, and we help to protect the quality of the environment.

RIVM collects and collates knowledge and information from various sources, both national and international.

We apply this knowledge ourselves, and we place it at the disposal of policy-makers, researchers, regulatory authorities and the general public.

Each year, RIVM produces numerous reports on all aspects of public health, nutrition and diet, health care, disaster management, nature and the environment. (Source: www.rivm.nl/en  )

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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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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Equity

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

European Chemicals Agency

"ECHA is the driving force among regulatory authorities in implementing the EU's groundbreaking chemicals legislation for the benefit of human health and the environment as well as for innovation and competitiveness. ECHA helps companies to comply with the legislation, advances the safe use of chemicals, provides information on chemicals and addresses chemicals of concern." (Source: https://echa.europa.eu/home   )

Exposure

Contact of the cells of an organism with a substance, micro-organism or radiation. In the case of humans, this may involve contact with a substance or agent by swallowing, breathing, or through the skin or eyes. Exposure may be short-term [acute exposure], of intermediate duration, or long-term [chronic exposure].

Exposure can be divided into external and internal.

External exposure refers to the whole dose to which an organism is exposed.

Internal exposure refers only to that fraction of the initial chemical dose that is absorbed and distributed throughout the body via systemic circulation. (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 )

Fishery production

In the context of the 'State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture' reports of the FAO, fishery production refers to the output of fish by humans both from capture fisheries and aquaculture.

In this particular context, it does not refer to the biological production of fish. (Source: GreenFacts)

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. "
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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Frequency

Frequency is the measurement of the number of times that a repeated event occurs per unit of time.

The frequency of wave-like patterns including sound, electromagnetic waves (such as radio or light), electrical signals, or other waves, expresses the number of cycles of the repetitive waveform per second.

In SI units, the result is measured in Hertz (Hz), named after the German physicist, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz. 1 Hz means one cycle (or wave) per second.

Frequency has an inverse relationship to the concept of wavelength (the distance between two peeks) such that the frequency is equal to the velocity divided by the wavelength. (Source: GreenFacts)

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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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Glacier

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  )

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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  )

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  )

Groundwater

Water beneath the Earth's surface in the spaces between soil particles and between rock surfaces. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

Habitat

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

Hepatitis

Inflammation of the liver caused by viruses (viral hepatitis) or by chronic exposure to medicines or toxins such as alcohol.

Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skin caused by the buildup of bile pigments in the body), fever, appetite loss and gastrointestinal upset. (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  )

Ice cap, ice sheet, polar ice cap

An ice cap is a dome-shaped mass of glacier ice that spreads out in all directions; usually larger than an icefield but less than 50 000 km2.

An ice sheet is a dome-shaped mass of glacier ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50 000 km2, such as the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

A polar ice cap, also called polar ice sheet, is a high-latitude region of land or water covered in ice-

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Infection

It is the growth of a parasite within the human body that causes illness. It can be a virus, a bacteria, a fungus or a protozoa. (Source: GreenFacts )

Land use

The human use of a piece of land for a certain purpose (such as irrigated agriculture or recreation). Influenced by, but not synonymous with, land cover. (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 )

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  )

Model

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

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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Organic solvent

A chemical compound (usually liquid) containing carbon used to dissolve other substances such as paints, varnishes, grease, oil, etc. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Dow Product Safety Glossary  )

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

POST is Parliament's in-house source of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology. (Source: www.parliament.uk/post  )

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 )

Primary & Secondary pollutant

A primary pollutant is an air pollutant emitted directly from a source.

A secondary pollutant is not directly emitted as such, but forms when other pollutants (primary pollutants) react in the atmosphere.

Examples of a secondary pollutant include ozone, which is formed when hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) combine in the presence of sunlight; NO2, which is formed as NO combines with oxygen in the air; and acid rain, which is formed when sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides react with water. (Source: GreenFacts)

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)

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  )

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

"The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is Australia’s largest professional general practice organisation and represents urban and rural general practitioners. We represent more than 35,000 members working in or towards a career in general practice.

The RACGP's mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of all people in Australia by supporting GPs, general practice registrars and medical students through its principal activities of education, training and research and by assessing doctors' skills and knowledge, supplying ongoing professional development activities, developing resources and guidelines, helping GPs with issues that affect their practice, and developing standards that general practices use to ensure high quality healthcare." (Source: http://www.racgp.org.au/home  )

Salinization

The buildup of salts in soils. (Source: 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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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 

Sewage

Sewage refers to waste-water from homes and industry which is collected and carried away in sewers (pipes or tunnels). When raw waste-water is cleaned in treatment plants the waste product is sewage sludge, which can be used as a fertiliser under certain conditions or deposited in landfills. (Source: GreenFacts )

Shale

A type of soft sedimentary rock, formed by the deposition of successive layers of fine particles (such as clay, silt or mud) carried mainly by water. (Source: GreenFacts )

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 )

Sound

Sound is caused by vibrations and carries energy as a wave through all media – air, water, walls, windows etc. – but not through vacuum. In most situations sound is a complex sum of many signals from different sources which may interfere with each other. Like all waves, a particular sound can be described by a combination of individual frequencies which together form a pattern called the spectrum of the sound waves.

When sound waves reach the ear or measuring instrument the resulting change of pressure can be measured. Sound intensity is usually expressed in decibels of sound pressure level (dB SPL). (Source: GreenFacts, based on SCENIHR   "Potential health risks of exposure to noise from personal music players" )

Stakeholder

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

Stimulus

Anything capable of evoking a response in an organism. Examples of stimuli include irritants, sights, sounds, heat, cold, smells, or other sensations. (Source: Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia   )

Storm surge

Storm surge is a rise in coastal water level caused by a regional low pressure area and water pushed toward coastal shores by prolonged wind forces.

A storm surge can significantly raise the mean water level if combined with astronomical high tides. This rise in water level can cause severe flooding on coastal areas, particularly along shallow slopes along the shoreline. (Source: British Columbia Flood Hazard Definitions   )

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Surface water

Water on the surface of the Earth, such as in lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and springs. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms   )

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 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 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/  )

Therapy

Measures taken to treat a physical or mental disease.

First-line therapy is the first type of therapy given for a condition or disease.

Second-line therapy is the treatment that is given when initial treatment (first-line therapy) doesn't work, or stops working. (Source: based on St Jude Hospital Medical Terminology & Drug Database )

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 )

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  )

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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Virus

A virus is a small organism which can infect other biological organisms.

Viruses can only reproduce by invading and taking over cells as they lack the cellular machinery for self reproduction.

They cause diseases in human beings, animals, plants and bacteria.

Examples of human diseases caused by viruses include the common cold, influenza, small pox, AIDS, and cold sores. (Source: GreenFacts)

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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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Vulnerability (in health science)

The likelihood of being unusually severely affected by a substance either as a result of susceptibility to the effects of these substances or as a result of a greater than average [exposure]. (Source: WHO Europe  Answers to follow-up questions from CAFE )

Wikipedia

Wikipedia an open-content encyclopedia in many languages. It is managed by Wikimedia Foundation Inc. which is "a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of Florida, USA".

Wikiverse  is an up-to-date high speed static mirror of Wikipedia, (Source: Wikipedia website )

Withdrawal

Withdrawal refers to the physical and mental symptoms drug-dependent people experience when they stop taking the drug they depend upon or when they drastically reduce its use. (Source: GreenFacts)

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wmo

(Source:   )

World Bank

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. With the aim to reduce global poverty and improve living standards, the World Bank provides low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, communications and many other purposes. (Source: World Bank website  )

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   )

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)

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