- Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
- a natural enemy of insects which was isolated from dead silk worms. This
bacterium kills insects with the help of a protein, the so-called
Bt-toxin. More than 50 Bt-toxins have been detected, each with its own
- the cross of a hybrid with either of its parents (or a genetically
equivalent individual). [CUB]
- members of a group of diverse single-celled organisms; organisms lacking
a nucleus. [CUB]
- a group of viruses whose hosts are specifically bacteria. [CUB]
- baseline data
- fundamental units of basic inventory information that are crucial for
biodiversity conservation planning and management. These are both biotic
and abiotic and usually include: (1) the presence and/or abundance of
species and other units; (2) other dependent biotic data (e.g. plant cover
for macroarthropods); (3) the appropriate influential abiotic variables,
and (4) human variables. [GBA]
- living on or in the bottom (in contrast to pelagic).
- organisms living on or in the bottom of oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and
other water bodies. [JVG]
- Depending on the size of the organisms, benthos is regarded as
macrobenthos (organisms > 1000 µm), meiobenthos (organisms between 42
µm and 1000 µm) and nanobenthos or microbenthos (organisms < 42 µm).
Depending on the depth distribution, benthos is regarded as epibenthos
(living between low water line and 200 m depth), mesobenthos (living at
depths between 200 and 1000 m), hypobenthos (living between 1000 and 2000
m) and abyssal benthos (living below 2000 m).
- bequest value
- value, defined by willingness to pay, to ensure that peoples' offspring
or future generations inherit a particular environmental asset. [GBA]
- Berlin Declaration (under the biodiversity convention, CBD)
- a global initiative for the promotion of sustainable
tourism, Berlin, 8
- Berlin Mandate (under the climate change convention, UNFCCC)
- adopted at COP-1
(1995), the Berlin Mandate launched the talks that led to the adoption
of the Kyoto
- the determination of the activity or concentration of a chemical by its
effect on the growth of an organism under experimental conditions. [CUB]
- the degree of availability to biodegradation of pollutants in
contaminated soil or land. [CUB]
- an enzyme, used to catalyze a chemical reaction. [CUB]
- a product produced by chemical reactions in living organisms. [CUB]
- varied community of organisms living in the same small area, e.g. in the
bark of a tree, on a wall, in a pond. [JVG]
- the conversion of a compound from one form to another by the actions of
organisms or enzymes; synonym: biotransformation. [CUB]
- the microbially mediated process of chemical breakdown of a substance to
smaller products caused by micro-organisms or their enzymes. [CUB]
- is a synonym of biological diversity, see below. The contracted
form 'biodiversity' was apparently coined by W.G. Rosen (1985) for the
first planning meeting of the 'National Forum on Biodiversity' held in
Washington DC (September 1986), the proceedings of which (E.O. Wilson and
F.M. Peter, 1988) brought the notion of biodiversity to the attention of a
wide field of scientists and others. [GBA]
- Biodiversity Liaison Group
- CBD Decision
VII/26 (2) requests the formation of a Biodiversity Liaison Group in
order to enhance coherence and cooperation in the implementation of the
five biodiversity-related conventions (CBD,
A potential role of the Biodiversity Liaison Group is to coordinate
international reporting activities, with the support of appropriate
international organisations and other experts.
- energy made available by the combustion of materials derived from
biological sources. [CUB]
- the erosion of material such as coral rock and shells, that results from the direct action of living organisms such as boring sponges, fungi, worms, molluscs, or sea urchins.
- the scientific study of the geographic distribution of organisms.
- a scientific discipline that comprises all aspects of the gathering,
storing, handling, analysing, interpreting and spreading of biological
information. Involves powerful computers and innovative programmes which
handle vast amounts of coding information on genes and proteins from
genomics programmes. Comprises the development and application of
computational algorithms for the purpose of analysis, interpretation, and
prediction of data for the design of experiments in the biosciences. [CUB]
- in molecular biology, a method developed to inject DNA into cells by
mixing the DNA with small metal particles and then firing the particles
into the host cell at very high speeds. [CUB]
- biological control
- - control of pests by using predators to eat them.
- - pest control strategy making use of living natural enemies,
antagonists or competitors and other self-replicating biotic entities. [FAO
- biological control agent
- - the use of living organisms to control pests or disease. May be a
single organism or a combination of a number of different ones. [CUB]
- - a natural enemy, antagonist or competitor, and other self-replicating
biotic entity used for pest control. [FAO bis]
- biological diversity
- - the variability among living organisms from all sources including,
inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the
ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity
within species, between species and of ecosystems. [CBD]
- (Syn.: biodiversity)
- It appears that the term 'biological diversity' was first defined as
including two related concepts, genetic diversity (the amount of genetic
variability within species) and ecological diversity (the number of
species in a community of organisms) by Norse and McManus (1980). There
are at least 25 more definitions of biological diversity. The one given on
top is the definition used in the Convention text. Other definitions:
- - the totality of genes, species, and ecosystems in a region or the
- - the variety of life in all its forms, levels and combinations,
encompassing genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity.
- a variety or multiformity, the condition of being different in character
or quality (R.Patrick,1983)
- - the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological
complexes in which they occur.
Diversity can be defined as the number of different items and their
relative frequency. For biological diversity, these items are organized at
many levels, ranging from complete ecosystems to the chemical structures
that are the molecular basis of heredity. Thus, the term encompasses
different ecosystems, species, genes, and their relative abundance (OTA,
- the variety of the world's organisms, including their genetic diversity
and the assemblages they form. It is the blanket term for the natural
biological wealth that undergirds human life and well-being. The breadth
of the concept reflects the interrelatedness of genes, species and
ecosystems (Reid & Miller, 1989).
- the wealth of life on earth including the millions of plants, animals,
and micro-organisms as well as the genetic information they contain and
the ecosystems that they create (AID, 1989).
- the variety of life and its processes (U.S. Forest Service, 1990).
- encompasses all species of plants, animals, and microorganisms and the
ecosystems and ecological processes of which they are parts. It is an
umbrella term for the degree of nature's variety, including both the
number and frequency of ecosystems, species, or genes in a given
assemblage (McNeely et al., 1990).
- the variety of life on all levels of organization, represented by the
number and relative frequencies of items (genes, organisms and ecosystems
- the variety of genes, genotypes and genepools and their relationships
with the environment at molecular, population, species and ecosystem
levels (FAO, 1990).
- the genetic, taxonomic and ecosystem variety in living organisms of a
given area, environment, ecosystem or the whole planet (McAllister, 1991).
- the full range of variety and variability within and among living
organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur; encompasses
ecosystems or community diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity
(Pending legislation, U.S. Congres 1991).
- those environmental goals that go beyond human health concerns
(Environmental Law Institute, Fischman, 1991).
- the variety of life and its processes. It includes the variety of living
organisms, the genetic differences among them, and the communities and
ecosystems in which they occur (Keystone Dialogue, 1991)
- the variety and variability of all animals, plants and micro-organisms
on earth, - can be considered at three levels - genetic diversity
(variability within species), species diversity, and habitat diversity
(Overseas Development Administration, 1991).
- I suggest a fourth category - functional diversity - the variety of
different responses to environmental change, especially the diverse space
and time scales with which organisms react to each other and the
environment (J. Steele, 1991).
- the totality of genes, species, and ecosystems in a region (WRI, IUCN
and UNEP, 1992).
- the total variety of life on earth. It includes all genes, species and
ecosystems and the ecological processes of which they are part (ICBP,
- full range of variety and variability within and among living organisms,
their associations, and habitat-oriented ecological complexes. Term
encompasses ecosystem, species, and landscape as well as intraspecific
(genetic) levels of diversity (Fiedler & Jain, 1992).
- the variety of organisms considered at all levels, from genetic variants
belonging to the same species through arrays of species to arrays of
genera, families, and still higher taxonomic levels; includes the variety
of ecosystems, which comprise both the communities of organisms within
particular habitats and the physical conditions under which they live
- complex beyond understanding and valuable beyond measure, biodiversity
is the total variety of life on Earth (Ryan, 1992).
- the structural and functional variety of life forms at genetic,
population, species, community, and ecosystems levels (Sandlund et al.,
- is the ensemble and the interactions of the genetic, the species and the
ecological diversity, in a given place and at a given time (di Castri,
- is the ensemble and the hierarchical interactions of the genetic,
taxonomic and ecological scales of organization, at different levels of
integration (di Castri & Younès, 1996).
- biological pesticide (biopesticide)
- a generic term, not specifically definable, but generally applied to a
biological control agent, usually a pathogen, formulated and applied in a
manner similar to a chemical pesticide, and normally used for the rapid
reduction of a pest population for short term pest control [FAO bis]
- biological resources
- includes genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof, populations, or
any other biotic component of ecosystems with direct, indirect or
potential use or value for humanity. (Syn.: biotic resources) [CBD]
- vaccines, therapeutic serums, toxoids, antitoxins and analogous
biological products used to induce immunity to infectious diseases or
harmful substances of biological origin. [CUB]
- all organic matter that derives from the photosynthetic conversion of
solar energy. [CUB]
- a major portion of the living environment of a particular region (such
as a coniferous forest or grassland), characterized by its distinctive
vegetation and maintained by local climatic conditions. [GBA]
- - pesticide made from biological sources, that is from toxins which
- - naturally occurring biological agents used to kill pests by causing
specific biological effects rather than by inducing chemical poisoning.
The idea is based on mimicking processes that arise naturally (e.g.
protecting the coffee bean by its caffeine content), and is argued to be
favorable to conventional chemical pesticides as it is more easily
biodegradable and more target specific. A pesticide in which the active
ingredient is a virus, fungus, or bacteria, or a natural product derived
from a plant source. A biopesticide's mechanism of action is based on
specific biological effects and not on chemical poisons. [CUB]
- recombinant protein drugs, recombinant vaccines and monoclonal
antibodies (for therapeutic roles). Biopharmaceuticals are still only a
small part of the pharmaceutical industry, but of increasing importance.
(See biologics.) [CUB]
- bioprospecting regarded as the perpetuation of the colonial habit of
plundering other countries' biological resources without fair and
equitable compensation, resulting in environmental, economic and social
detriment (ref.: K. ten Kate, 1995. Biopiracy or Green Petroleum?
Expectations & Best Practice in Bioprospecting. - Overseas Development
Administration, Environment Policy Department, London).
- any process that uses complete living cells or their components (e.g.
enzymes, chloroplasts) to effect desired physical or chemical changes.
- entails the search for economically valuable genetic and biochemical
resources from nature (ref.: K. ten Kate, 1995. Biopiracy or Green
Petroleum? Expectations & Best Practice in Bioprospecting. - Overseas
Development Administration, Environment Policy Department, London).
- a contained vessel or other structure in which chemical reactions are
carried out (usually on an industrial scale), mediated by a biological
system, enzymes or cells. A bioreactor can range in size from a small
container to an entire building. CUB]
- a territory defined by a combination of biological, social, and
geographic criteria, rather than geopolitical considerations; generally, a
system of related, interconnected ecosystems. [GBA]
- the use of biological agents to reclaim soils and waters polluted by
substances hazardous to human health and/or the environment; it is an
extension of biological treatment processes that have been used
traditionally to treat wastes in which micro-organisms typically are used
to biodegrade environmental pollutants. [CUB]
- safety aspects related to the application of biotechnologies and to the
release into the environment of transgenic plants and other organisms
particularly microorganisms that could negatively affect plant genetic
resources, plant, animal or human health, or the environment. [BSWG/2/5:
FAO Draft International Code of Conduct for Plant Biotechnology as it
Affects the Conservation and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources]
- biosphere reserve
- established under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme,
biosphere reserves are a series of protected areas linked through a global
network, intended to demonstrate the relationship between conservation and
- the synthesis of molecules by living organisms or their components.
- all of the organisms, including animals, plants, fungi, and
microorganisms, found in a given area.
- - any technological application that uses biological systems, living
organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes
for specific use. [CBD]
- - any technology that is applied to living organisms to make them more
valuable to people.
- pertaining to any aspect of life, especially to characteristics of
entire populations or ecosystems.
- biotic resources
- see: biological resources
- small area with uniform biological conditions (climate, soil, altitude,
- the conversion of a compound from one form to another by the actions of
organisms or enzymes; synonym: bioconversion. [CUB]
- group of genetically identical individuals.
- a sharp increase in density of phytoplankton or benthic algae in a given area.
- Bonn guidelines
- The Bonn guidelines on access to genetic resources and the fair and
equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their utilization were
adopted at COP-6 (CBD Decision
VI/24). These Guidelines are making a useful contribution to the
development of national regimes and contractual arrangements for access
and benefit-sharing and to the implementation of the objectives of the
Convention (CBD Decision
VII/19 A.). The Bonn guidelines are available on the website of the
CBD at the following URL: http://www.biodiv.org/doc/publications/cbd-bonn-gdls-en.pdf
- a substance derived from plants; a vegetable drug, especially in its
crude state. [CUB]
- botanical medicine
- a medicine of plant origin, in crude or processed form; used to
represent herbal, or plant-based, medicines that are not consumed as
isolated compounds (as are pharmaceuticals); includes single herb, herb
combination, and herb combined with non-herbal ingredient products;
delivery formats include capsules, tablets, herbal teas, extracts,
tinctures, and bulk herbs. [CUB]
- - a group of animals or plants related by descent from common ancestors
and visibly similar in most characteristics. Taxonomically, a species can
have numerous breeds.
- - either a sub specific group of domestic livestock with definable and
identifiable external characteristics that enable it to be separated by
visual appraisal from other similarly defined groups within the same
species or a group for which geographical and / or cultural separation
from phenotypically similar groups has led to acceptance of its separate
- breed at risk
- any breed that may become extinct if the factors causing its decline in
numbers are not eliminated or mitigated.
Breeds may be in danger of becoming extinct for a variety of reasons. Risk
of extinction may result from, inter alia, low population size;
direct and indirect impacts of policy at the farm, country or
international levels; lack of proper breed organization; or lack of
adaptation to market demands. Breeds are categorized as to their risk
status on the basis of, inter alia, the actual numbers of male and
/ or female breeding individuals and the percentage of pure-bred females.
FAO has established categories of risk status: critical, endangered,
critical-maintained, endangered-maintained, and not at risk. [FAO]
- breed not at risk
- a breed where the total number of breeding females and males is greater
than 1,000 and 20 respectively; or the population size approaches 1,000
and the percentage of pure-bred females is close to 100 percent, and the
overall population size is increasing. [FAO]
- broad spectrum
- a pesticide which is active towards a wide variety of weeds or other
pests; often used to describe an antibiotic that is effective against a
wide range of micro-organisms. [CUB]
- brown bag sales
- sales by farmers to other farmers of seed they have saved. [CUB]
- buffer zone
- - the region near the border of a protected area.
- a transition zone between areas managed for different objectives.
- is responsible for directing the work of the COP or of the SBSTTA. Its ten members are delegates elected by each of the five
regional groups and they include,
- for the COP: the COP President, eight Vice-Presidents, and a rapporteur;
- for the SBSTTA: the SBSTTA Chair, eight Vice-Chairs, and a rapporteur.
- incidental take; also called non-target species.
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