Glossary of terms related to the CBD


Darwin Day
an international celebration of science and humanity. Darwin Day, February 12.
Darwin Declaration (1998), The
The governments of the world that recognise the Convention on Biological Diversity have affirmed the existence of a taxonomic impediment to sound management and conservation of biodiversity. Removal of this impediment is a crucial, rate-determining step in the proper implementation of the Convention's objectives. There is an urgent need to train and support more taxonomic experts, and to strengthen the infrastructure required to discover and understand the relationships among the world's biological diversity. The Darwin Declaration.
debt-for-nature swaps
a conservation agency buys up some of a developing country's international debt ("secondary" debt) on the world's money market. The agency then promises to dispose of the debt in return for a promise from the indebted country that it will look after a conservation area. [GBA]
decision of the Conference of the Parties
a formal agreement of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD that leads to binding actions. It becomes part of the agreed body of decisions by the Conference of the Parties that direct the future work of the Conference of the Parties and guide action at the national level. [CUB]
isolating the active compound out of a natural product mixture. [CUB]
deliberate release
- any use of an organism that is not a contained use. [BSWG/2/5: UNEP International Technical Guidelines for Safety in Biotechnology]
- introduction into the environment for scientific or commercial purposes of transgenic plants and microorganisms. [BSWG/2/5: FAO Draft International Code of Conduct for Plant Biotechnology as it Affects the Conservation and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources]
- any intentional introduction into the environment of a GMO or a combination of GMOs without provisions for containment such as physical barriers or a combination of physical barriers together with chemical and/or biological barriers used to limit their contact with the general population and the environment. [BSWG/2/5: Council Directive 90/220/EEC on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms]
the study of birth rates, death rates, age distributions, and size of populations. It is a fundamental discipline within the larger field of population biology and ecology.
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
- the molecule that controls inheritance.
- the molecule that generally encodes all genetic information. It consists of two strands or chains of sub-units, known as nucleotides. [CUB]
a major food-source in a variety of ecosystems, consisting of organic remains of plants and animals, often heavily colonised by bacteria.
development values
the value to society of converting environmental resources to development uses. [GBA]
a protozoan, characterised by having two lash-like structures (flagella) used for locomotion, often abundant in the open ocean. Many produce light and are one of the primary contributors to bioluminescence (green or red) in the ocean. Some dinoflagellates, known as zooxanthellae, are symbiotic in the tissues of corals and some other tropical invertebrates
- having two sets of genes and two sets of chromosomes - one from the female parent, one from the male parent.
- having a pair of homologous chromosomes with the exception of the sex chromosome, the total number of chromosomes being twice that of a gamete. [CUB]
direct use value
economic values derived from direct use or interaction with a biological resource or resource system. [GBA]
directional selection
selection leading to a consistent directional change in any character of a population through time, for example selection for larger eggs. [GBA]
movement of organisms away from place of birth.
disruptive selection
selection favouring individuals that deviate in either direction from the population average. Selection favours individuals that are larger or smaller than average. [GBA]
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
the long chain of molecules in most cells that carries the genetic message and controls all cellular functions in most forms of life. [FAO]
DNA bank
storage of DNA, which may or may not be the complete genome, but should always be accompanied by inventory information. (Note: at the present time, animals cannot be reestablished from DNA alone.) [FAO]
do-no-harm principle
see: precautionary principle.
domestic animal diversity (DAD)
the spectrum of genetic differences within each breed, and across all breeds within each domestic animal species, together with the species differences; all of which are available for the sustainable intensification of food and agriculture production. [FAO]
domestic biodiversity
the genetic variation existing among the species, breeds, cultivars and individuals of animal, plant and microbial species that have been domesticated, often including their immediate wild relatives. [GBA]
domesticated species
species in which the evolutionary process has been influenced by humans to meet their needs (syn.: cultivated species). [CBD]
organisms that have undergone domestication.
the process by which plants, animals or microbes selected from the wild adapt to a special habitat created for them by humans.
a process by which surface waters increase in density and sink. Strong downwelling occurs mainly off Greenland and Antarctica.
drafting groups
to facilitate negotiations, the President or the Chair of a meeting may establish smaller drafting groups to meet separately and in private to prepare text. Observers may generally not attend.
see: genetic drift.
a gill net suspended vertically from floats at a specific depth and left to drift freely.

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