Biodiversity : Glossary

There are 62 documents in this section.

  • Restoration

    16 March 2001

    Conversion of an ecosystem to the condition it was in prior human disturbance.

  • Sustainable management

    16 March 2001

    Management that makes best use of present resource potentials and does not diminish the availability of these resources in the future integrity of the ecosystems through which these resources are provided.

  • Sustainable use

    16 March 2001

    Use of an organism, ecosystem or other renewable resource at a rate within its capacity for renewal.

  • Vulnerability

    16 March 2001

    Extent to which livelihoods are at risk from factors, trends and shocks beyond their control.

  • World Wide Fund for Nature

    16 March 2001

    A private international organisation founded in the 1960s as the World Wildlife Fund, it has been primarily concerned with the survival of endangered species - both plant and animal - but has expanded its interests to include all aspects of conservation.

  • Wilderness

    16 March 2001

    An area still in its natural state, that has not been significantly disturbed by humans. For example, the high Arctic or mountainous areas such as the Himalayas, are sufficiently remote or difficult to access that humans are only temporary visitors, often for recreational purposes.

  • Taxonomy

    16 March 2001

    The classification of organisms into hierarchical groups. In addition to the description and cataloguing of individual plants and animals, modern taxonomy includes consideration of the causes and effects of the variations among organisms.

  • Species

    16 March 2001

    A group of organisms that, because of close genetic and physical similiarities, can naturally mate with each other and produce viable offspring (individuals that can also produce naturally). Within species are often other levels of similiarity, including sub-species, varieties and breeding populations. Organisms that reproduce only through asexual means (such as micro-organisms that reproduce by diving or budding) are sometimes difficult to separate using the species concept.

  • Renewable resource

    16 March 2001

    A resource that is replaced at a rate which is faster than, or at least as fast as, it can be used. The oxygen (O) in the air, the plants and animals in the environment, the water in the hydrological system and energy from the sun are all renewable, for example.

  • ICUN Red List

    16 March 2001

    A global listing of endangered species (plant and animal), provided by the World Conservation Union (ICUN).