Glossary of terms related to the CBD


captive breeding
the propagation or preservation of animals outside their natural habitat (see ex-situ conservation), involving control by humans of the animals chosen to constitute a population and of mating choices within that population. [GBA]
carrying capacity
the maximum number of people, or individuals of species, that a particular environment can sustain without environmental damage. [JVG]
Cartagena Protocol
Belgium has ratified the Carthagena Protocol (or Protocol on Biosafety) on 15 April 2004.
cell fusion
a technique of fusing two cells from different species to create one hybrid cell for the purpose of combining some of the genetic characteristics of each original. [CUB]
centers of origin and diversity
places in the world where crops have the greatest genetic diversity in the form of traditional crop and varieties and/or wild relatives. Centers of diversity are typically, but not always, the same locations as the centers of origin or oldest cultivation of the crop. [BSWG/2/5: UNIDO BINAS Website: Biotechnology Library: Perils amidst the promise: glossary]
center of diversity
an area with a high number of species, which might be recognized on a global, regional or local scale.
any recognizable trait, feature, or property of an organism.
characterization of animal genetic resources
all activities associated with the description of AnGR aimed at better knowledge of these resources and their state.
Characterization by a country of its AnGR will incorporate development of necessary descriptors for use, identification of the country's sovereign AnGR; baseline and advanced surveying of these populations including their enumeration and visual description, their comparative genetic description in one or more production environments, their valuation, and ongoing monitoring of those AnGR at risk. [FAO]
accumulation of unnatural concentrations of certain chemical compounds.
set of species from a common ancestral species.
the removal of the entire standing crop of trees. In practice, may refer to exploitation that leaves much unsaleable material standing (e.g. a commercial clear-cutting). [GBA]
originally used in the business sector, a clearing-house is a service which facilitates and simplifies transactions among multiple parties. [JVG]
- a set of genetically identical organisms, asexually reproduced from one ancestral organism.
- a genetic replica of another organism obtained through a non-sexual (no fertilization) reproduction process.
Cloning by nucleus transfer involves the transfer of a donor nucleus from (cultured) cells of embryonic, fetal or adult origin into the recipient cytoplasm of an enucleated oocyte or zygote, and the subsequent development of embryos and animals. These clones usually have different mitochondrial genomes. [FAO]
- cell or organism identical to an ancestor with respect to genotype and phenotype. [CUB]
evolution of characteristics of two or more species to their mutual advantage.
evolution in two or more interacting species in which the evolutionary changes of each species influence the evolution of the other species.
the sharing of authority, responsibility, and benefits between government and local communities in the management of natural resources. [GBA]
coastal waters
marine benthic and pelagic ecosystems having substantial influence from the land.
Committee of the Whole
sometimes created by a COP to facilitate the process of negotiating text. When the Committee finishes its work it turns the text over to the COP which finalises and then formally adopts it during a plenary session.
a type of plant, plant product or other regulated article being moved for trade or other purpose [FAO bis]
common property resource management
the management of a specific resource (such as a forest or pasture) by a well defined group of resource users with the authority to regulate its use by members and outsiders. [GBA]
- all the organisms that live in a given habitat and affect one another as part of the food web or through their various influences on the physical environment. [GBA]
- an integrated group of species inhabiting a given area; the organisms within a community influence one another's distribution, abundance and evolution. (A Human Community is a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality.) [WRI et al.]
compensating variation
the change in income necessary to restore the consumer to its original level of utility after a price change. [GBA]
competent authority
a government agency or agencies responsible for regulating biotechnology, biosafety, intellectual property rights and other relevant aspects. [BSWG/2/5: FAO Draft International Code of Conduct for Plant Biotechnology as it Affects the Conservation and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources]
use or defense of a resource by one individual that reduces the availability of the resource to other individuals.
competitive exclusion
the extinction of one species by another species in the same area through competition.
Conference of the Parties  (COP)
the COP is the supreme body of the Convention. It currently meets every two year to review and steer the Convention's progress. The word 'conference' is not used here in the sense of 'meeting' but rather of 'association', which explains the seemingly redundant expression 'fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties'.
Overview of COP meetings.
Conference Room Papers (CRPs)
a category of in-session documents containing new proposals or outcomes of in-session work for use only during the session.
an agreement can be adopted by consensus rather than by a vote when there are no stated objections from delegations
- judicious use and management of nature and natural resources for the benefit of human society and for ethical reasons. [GBA]
- artificial control of ecological relationships in an environment in order to maintain a particular balance among the species present.
- the management of human use of the biosphere so that many yield the greatest sustainable benefit to current generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations: Thus conservation in positive, embracing preservations, maintenance, sustainable utilization, restoration, and enhancement of the natural environment. [WRI et al.]
conservation biology
the science of conserving biological diversity.
conservation of biodiversity
the management of human interactions with genes, species, and ecosystems so as to provide the maximum benefit to the present generation while maintaining their potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations; encompasses elements of saving, studying, and using biodiversity. [WRI et al.]
conservation of farm animal genetic resources
refers to all human activities including strategies, plans, policies and actions undertaken to ensure that the diversity of farm animal genetic resources is being maintained to contribute to food and agricultural production and productivity, now and in the future. [FAO]
conservation values
the value to society of conserving environmental resources.
contact group
the COP or the Committee of the Whole may establish an open-ended meeting wherein Parties can negotiate before forwarding agreed text to the plenary for formal adoption. Observers can generally attend.
contained use
- any operation involving organisms which are controlled by physical barriers or a combination of physical and/or biological barriers which limit their contact with, or their impacts on, the potentially receiving environment, which includes humans. [BSWG/2/5: UNEP International Technical Guidelines for Safety in Biotechnology]
- any operation in which microorganisms are genetically modified or in which such genetically modified microorganisms are cultured, stored, used, transported, destroyed or disposed of and for which physical barriers, or a combination of physical barriers together with chemical and/or biological barriers are used to limit their contact with the general population and the environment. [BSWG/2/5: Council Directive 90/219/EEC on the contained use of genetically modified microorganisms]
application of phytosanitary [or other] measures in and around an infested area to prevent spread of a pest or a disease [FAO bis]
continental shelf
the edges of continental landmasses, now covered with seawater; generally the most productive parts of the ocean.
suppression, containment or eradication of a pest population [FAO bis]
coral bleaching
a phenomenon occurring when corals under stress expel their mutualistic microscopic algae, called zooxanthellae. This results in a severe decrease or even total loss of photosynthetic pigments. Since most reef building corals have white calcium carbonate skeletons, the latter show through the corals' tissue, and the coral reef appears bleached. [JVG]
in biogeography, having an extremely broad or global distribution.
cost-benefit analysis
the appraisal of a investment project which includes all social and financial costs and benefits accruing to the project. [GBA]
countries with economies in transition
those Central and East European countries and former republics of the Soviet Union that are in transition to a market economy.
country of origin of genetic resources
the country which possesses those genetic resources in in-situ conditions. [CBD]
country providing genetic resources
the country supplying genetic resources collected from in-situ sources, including populations of both wild and domesticated species, or taken from ex-situ sources, which may or may not have originated in that country. [CBD]
critical breed
a breed where the total number of breeding females is less than 100 or the total number of breeding males is less than or equal to five; or the overall population size is close to, but slightly above 100 and decreasing, and the percentage of pure-bred females is below 80 percent. [FAO]
critical-maintained breed and endangered-maintained breed
categories where critical or endangered breeds are being maintained by an active public conservation programme or within a commercial or research facility. [FAO]
the act or product of cross-fertilization between different individuals. [CUB]
the breeding of distinct and genotypic types or forms in plants. This may entail the transfer of pollen from one individual to the stigma of another of different genotype. [CUB]
the transfer of pollen from the stamen of a flower to the stigma of a flower of different genotype, but usually of the same species. [CUB]
cryogenic storage
the preservation of seeds, semen, embryos, or micro-organisms at extremely low temperatures, below -130 C; at these temperatures, water is absent, molecular kinetic energy is low, diffusion is virtually nil, and storage potential is expected to be extremely long. [GBA]
the storage of plant material at very low temperatures (-196C) in liquid nitrogen. [CUB]
- a variety of a plant produced by selective breeding.
- a cultivated variety (genetic strain) of a domesticated crop plant.
- distinct form or variety of domesticated plant derived through breeding and selection and maintained through cultivation. [CUB]
cultivated species
see: domesticated species.
cultural diversity
variety or multiformity of human social structures, belief systems, and strategies for adapting to situations in different parts of the world. [WRI et al.]

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