Glossary

See also our table of area measurements.

  A   B   Ca-Cl   Cm-Cz   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z
TERM or ACRONYMEXPLANATION  
AZE site The Alliance for Zero Extinction is a global initiative of biodiversity conservation organizations that aims to prevent extinctions by identifying and safeguarding key sites where species are in imminent danger of disappearing. AZE Sites are those considered the highest conservation priorities globally. up arrow

down
arrow

Association for Biodiversity Information see NatureServe up arrow

down
arrow

biodiversity biological diversity at all levels, from genetic variation within species, diversity of (number of) species, diversity at higher taxonomic levels (orders, families, etc.), and diversity of biological communities and ecosystems up arrow

down
arrow

bilateral donor/agency/aid/funding The bilateral relationship is between a a country acting on its own (through its governmental aid or development agency) and recipient countries

carbon emissions trading The buying and selling of carbon credits within a system of targeted carbon dioxide emission reductions, by which parties exceeding reduction targets or adding to carbon sinks (e.g. through tree planting) receive payments and other parties purchase credits to cover emissions that exceed targeted values. The most economically efficient way to reduce CO2 emissions (explanation). up arrow

down
arrow

carbon sequestration the creation/operation of a 'carbon sink' that stores carbon rather than releasing net CO2 into the atmosphere. up arrow

down
arrow

CBD Convention on Biological Diversity. This agreement, reached at the 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, obligates developed countries to provide "new and additional" funding for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in developing countries, and obligates all signatory countries to develop economic incentives to support the same and to increase their domestic funding for implementing the CBD. The Convention establishes three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. With 193 Parties and 168 Signatures, its provisions call for national surveys of fauna and flora, the establishment of parks and reserves, and the assessment and protection of endangered species. The governing body of the CBD is the Conference of the Parties (CoP), which implements the CBD and holds periodic meetings (the 10th was in Nagoya, Japan in 2010). up arrow

down
arrow

CDCs Conservation Data Centres (see NatureServe) up arrow

down
arrow

CI Conservation International is one of the large U.S. based international conservation organizations. It has recently broadened its mission to include a focus on people and a "sustainable, green development path". up arrow

down
arrow

CITES The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was inaugerated in 1973 and forbids the commercial transport across borders of live specimens and body parts of rare plants and animals. up arrow

down
arrow

conservation concession With this recently developed tool, conservation organizations lease a large tract of land at market rates (competing with logging companies, for example) for conservation purposes. Two early examples: in July 2001, the Amazon Conservation Association signed a contractual agreement with the government of Peru which gives it a long-term, permanently renewable lease on 340,000 acres of old growth Amazonian forest in the Los Amigos watershed of southeastern Peru. A year later, Conservation International, through agreement with the Guyana government, leased 200,000 acres of pristine forest in Guyana; it employs people locally to manage the forest. up arrow

down
arrow

CSD or UNCED United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, also called the "Earth Summit", took place in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro and was convened to address urgent problems of environmental protection and socio-economic development and attended by more than 100 heads of state. The commission produced the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other agreements. up arrow

down
arrow

debt-for-nature swap Two types are recognized:
A commercial debt swap occurs when a conservation agency purchases debt at a discount from a creditor, and negotiates with the debtor government by offering to cancel the purchased debt in exchange for internal conservation project funding.
A bilateral debt swap is an agreement made between a creditor government and a debtor government. The creditor government forgives the debt owed to it, and in exchange the debtor government agrees to set aside a pre-determined amount of money to fund conservation programs within its borders.
up arrow

down
arrow

DFID U.K. Department for International Development up arrow

down
arrow

easement A conservation easement (or conservation restriction) is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust/other conservation group or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Two good articles pro (McLauglin) and con (Echeverria) easements are included among the guest editorials on the website of The Ecosystem Marketplace. up arrow

down
arrow

ecosystem ecological system of interacting biotic and abiotic components through which nutrients cycle and energy flows up arrow

down
arrow

ecosystem services Benefits from natural ecosystems, including: the regulation of water flows and maintenance of water quality, the formation of soil, prevention of soil erosion, pollination, natural waste treatment and pollution, pest and pathogen control, and climate regulation through carbon sequestration. These have been estimated to value $33-trillion a year. up arrow

down
arrow

endemic [species/etc.] a species or other taxonomic group that is found only in the referred to geographic area (e.g. "lemurs are endemic to Madagascar and the Comoro Islands") up arrow

down
arrow

EF
environmental fund
a.k.a. national environmental fund (NEF) or environmental trust fund. These are trust funds (or depending on the legal system, foundations) set up for a specific purpose that are managed by an independent board of directors. They are either endowment funds, in which the capital is preserved, or sinking funds with declining capital, or revolving funds that continually receive new revenues from user fees or earmarked taxes. up arrow

down
arrow

ENGO environmental non-governmental organization up arrow

down
arrow

GCP The Global Conservation Program of USAID is a $45-million biodiversity program in partnership with six NGOs: the African Wildlife Foundation, Conservation International, Enterprise Works Worldwide, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the World Wildlife Fund. Projects include "enterprise-based conservation, protected area management, community-based natural resources management, institutional capacity building, ecoregional planning and management, [etc.] and innovative conservation financing." up arrow

down
arrow

Global 200 Ecoregions WWF has identified about 200 of the most valuable and sometimes vulnerable ecoregions, the Global 200, which best represent the range of the world's biodiversity and ecological processes. up arrow

down
arrow

Global Environment Facility (GEF) Financed by a subset of its 182 member nations, the GEF is an independent financial organization that helps developing countries fund projects and programs that protect the global environment and is the designated financial mechanism for international agreements on biodiversity, climate change, and persistent organic pollutants, notably the Convention on Biological Diversity. In financial year 2008-2009, it financed 234 projects for a total of $5.97 billion. up arrow

down
arrow

"greenwashing" the practice of engaging in environmentally friendly programs to deflect attention from an organization's environmentally unfriendly or less savory activities up arrow

down
arrow

hectare100 m x 100 m; 2.47 acres (See table of area measurements) up arrow

down
arrow

hotspots This concept arose from attempts to determine worldwide conservation priorities. Hotspots are "regions that harbor a great diversity of endemic species and, at the same time, have been significantly impacted and altered by human activities". See Conservation International's hotspots webpages for a more precise definition. up arrow

down
arrow

IBAs Important Bird Areas: BirdLife International, which developed the IBA program, states: "IBAs are priority areas for the conservation of globally threatened, range restricted and congregatory birds. Our data demonstrates that IBAs are also excellent indicators of biodiversity richness and are therefore also important for a wide range of species." up arrow

down
arrow

ICDP integrated conservation and development project (similar term: community-based conservation) up arrow

down
arrow

IFIs International financial institutions, e.g. the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Asian Development Bank up arrow

down
arrow

important natural area a natural area of relatively high value for its biodiversity and/or its environmental "services" (capacity to improve or maintain environmental health, for example water quality) up arrow

down
arrow

IPCC The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed by the World Meteorological Organization and UNEP to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information for understanding climate change, its impacts, and options for adaptation and mitigation. up arrow

down
arrow

IUCN The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (a.k.a. World Conservation Union) describes itself as: "the world's oldest and largest global environmental network — a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries." In 2009, 58% of its funding came from governments. up arrow

down
arrow

land trust land trusts are local or regional (e.g. state/province) nonprofit non-governmental conservation organizations directly involved in helping protect natural, scenic, recreational, agricultural, historic, or cultural property. Land trusts help interested landowners find ways to protect their land in the face of development pressure. They may protect land through donation and purchase, by working with landowners who wish to donate or sell conservation easements (permanent deed restrictions that prevent harmful land uses), or by acquiring land outright to maintain as open space. up arrow

down
arrow

LDCless developed country up arrow

down
arrow

m When used in a monetary figure (e.g. $100m, £120m), m denotes million(s) up arrow

down
arrow

MA or MEA The Millennium Ecological Assessment is a 4-year international study of trends in ecological processes at regional and global scales; their effects on human well-being; what kinds of mitigating actions we can take at various levels, and the outlook for the future under various scenarios of human responses to environmental challenges. up arrow

down
arrow

MPAs marine protected areas up arrow

down
arrow

Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) These are goals to be reached by the year 2015 that were agreed to by the 191 Member States of the United Nations. up arrow

down
arrow

Minimum area requirements (MARs) minimum area required for a viable population of a particular species (a function of minimum viable population times the inverse of population density) or for ecosystems, sufficient to allow for continuance without human interference up arrow

down
arrow

Minimum viable population (MVP) minimum population size required for continuance of a species without human interference up arrow

down
arrow

multilateral donor/organization/aid/fundingThe multilateral relationship is between recipient countries and an international (regional or global) organization or agency comprised of member governments. Important multinational organizations in conservation include the Global Environment Facility, the World Bank, regional development banks such as the Inter-American Development Bank, and U.N. agencies such as the United Nations Environment Programme up arrow

down
arrow

NEF national environmental fund - see EF up arrow

down
arrow

NatureServe Formerly the Association for Biodiversity Information. An organization dedicated to providing reliable information on species and ecosystems for use in conservation and land use planning. Provides support to the approximately 90 conservation data centres (CDCs) located in the Western Hemisphere.  www.natureserve.org up arrow

down
arrow

NGO non-governmental organization up arrow

down
arrow

Norad The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation With generous funding through Norad, Norway punches far above its weight in supporting international conservation up arrow

down
arrow

NPO nonprofit organization up arrow

down
arrow

NTFP non-timber forest product (e.g. Brazil nuts, fruits, medicinal plants) up arrow

down
arrow

ODA Official development assistance by national governments, includes aid for conservation and environment up arrow

down
arrow

PA protected area (park, reserve, etc.) Defined by the IUCN as: "an area of land and/or seas especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means". up arrow

down
arrow

PRI program-related investment. A foundation investment to support a charitable project or activity involving the potential return of capital within an established time frame. up arrow

down
arrow

Ramsar Ramsar refers to The Convention on Wetlands (popularly known as the "Ramsar Convention"), an international treaty aimed at "wetland conservation and wise use" adopted in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, and administered by the Ramsar Convention Bureau, a U.N. secretariat. There are now 124 contracting parties and more than a thousand wetlands included on the "List of Wetlands of International Importance". up arrow

down
arrow

RAP Rapid Assessment Program: created by Conservation International in 1990; small teams of expert tropical field biologists conduct rapid first-cut assessments of the biological value of selected areas over a short time period (three to four weeks). up arrow

down
arrow

Red List The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive body of information on the global conservation status of plant and animal species. up arrow

down
arrow

RFTF The Rain Forest Trust Fund arose from the Pilot Program to Conserve the Brazilian Rainforest in 1992 and is a partnership of the government of Brazil, Brazil's civil society, the international community and the World Bank. Administered by the World Bank Rain Forest Unit and funded by the Group of Seven (G-7), the European Union, the Netherlands and Brazil itself with about US$404 million, it supports projects aimed at reducing the rate of deforestation of Brazil's rainforests.up arrow

down
arrow

species A key concept in biology: Species are groups of interbreeding natural populations whose members are reproductively isolated from other such groups. With asexually reproducing organisms: A group of organisms that shares an ancestor; a lineage that maintains its integrity with respect to other lineages through both time and space. At some point in the progress of such a group, members may diverge from one another: when such a divergence becomes sufficiently clear, the two populations are regarded as separate species. up arrow

down
arrow

taxon, taxa (pl.), taxonomy Taxa: groups or categories of living organisms; the published groups within each of the divisions in the Linnean hierarchy (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Tribe, Genus, Species + sub & super categories). Taxonomy: the naming of organisms and groups of organisms (literally, the naming of taxa); the systematic classification of living, or once living, things, which is encouraged to be consistent with their presumed evolutionary relationships. up arrow

down
arrow

TNC The Nature Conservancy began by conserving natural areas within the United States, but now is a major player in international conservation. up arrow

down
arrow

UNDP United Nations Development Programme up arrow

down
arrow

UNEP United Nations Environment Programme; includes the Ecosystem Conservation Group and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre up arrow

down
arrow

UNESCO United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, includes a Man and the Biosphere Program up arrow

down
arrow

USAID United States Agency for International Development, whose programs includes one for Biodiversity Conservation, which received $125-million in funding in FY 2002. up arrow

down
arrow

UNFCCC The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Rio Convention), held in 1992, agreed on the objective of the "stabilisation of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate syste", leading to the signing of the Kyoto Protocol to the Convention in 1997. up arrow

down
arrow

WCED World Commission on Environment and Development, a UN commissioned study chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland (hence, also called the "Brundtland Report") and published in 1987, whose purpose was to propose environmental strategies to achieve sustainable development and ways to develop international cooperation to deal with large scale environmental problems. up arrow

down
arrow

WCS The Wildlife Conservation Society is one of the large U.S. based international conservation organizations. up arrow

down
arrow

World Bank The World Bank is an international financial institution owned by 184 member countries that provides low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, communications and other pursposes including environmental and conservation programs. up arrow

down
arrow

WCPA The World Commission on Protected Areas, within the IUCN, exists to "promote the establishment and effective management of a world-wide representative network of terrestrial and marine protected areas. up arrow

down
arrow

WCMC The World Conservation Monitoring Centre is a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme and WCMC(UK), a UK-based charity. The group collects and maintains information on global biodiversity and a full range of biodiversity related issues. up arrow

down
arrow

WDPA World Database on Protected Areas of the World Commission on Protected Areas within the IUCN up arrow

down
arrow

Wild Foundation Wild is a small, but influential organization focussed on preserving wilderness globally. up arrow

down
arrow

World Parks Congress Every ten years, the IUCN, with World Commission on Protected Areas, holds the World Parks Congress, which provides a global forum for experts to discuss issues and make recommendations relating to protected areas. The fifth and most recent was held in Durban, South Africa in 2003. up arrow

down
arrow

WRI World Resources Institute up arrow

down
arrow

WSSD The World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg in 2002. up arrow

down
arrow

WWF The World Wide Fund for Nature (a.k.a. World Wildlife Fund) up arrow

down
arrow

  A   B   Ca-Cl   Cm-Cz   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z




ABOUT US
 
About ICFC
Board and Staff
Annual Reports
  & Publications

Project Selection
  Criteria

FAQs
Buzz about ICFC
News
Media
Contact us

OUR PROJECTS
 
Overview
Andean Amazon: Reducing
    development impacts

Argentina: Hooded Grebe
Bolivia: Barba Azul reserve
Brazil: Kayapo
Colombia: Serranía de Perijá
Costa Rica: ACG
Guatemala: Laguna Grande
Indonesia: Tompotika
Mali: Desert elephants
Peru: Los Amigos
Shorebird Conservation Initiative

Wish list
 
Projects awaiting funding


SMALL PROJECTS

Argentina: Pino Paraná


COMPLETED PROJECTS

Bolivia: Tacana
Brazil: Abrolhos MPA
Ecuador: Buenaventura
Guatemala: Sierra Caral
Madagascar: Youth & conservation
Mexico: Sierra de Alamos
Sri Lanka: Morningside


GREEN INFO
 
Fast Facts
Glossary
Videos
ICFC on YouTube

DONATE      
 
Ways to donate


Partners      
 
Our project partners
For prospective partners
Guide for our Agents

International Conservation Fund of Canada Copyright © 2009-2015