Glossary of terms related to the CBD


the period during which land is left to recover its productivity (reduced by cropping) mainly through accumulation of water, nutrients, attrition of pathogens, or a combination of all three. During this period, the land may be bare or covered by natural or planted vegetation. The term may be applied to the land itself or to the crop growing on it. [GBA]
- having enough information to be able to judge the safety or risks of an LMO. It can be used to indicate ways of handling risks. It is not synonymous with safety. Relatively low degree of familiarity may be compensated for by appropriate management practices. Familiarity can be increased as a result of a trial or experiment. This increased familiarity can then form a basis for future risk assessment. [BSWG/2/5: Panel of Experts on Biosafety, Cairo 1995]
- knowledge and experience with an organism, the intended application and the potential receiving environment. [BSWG/2/5: UNEP International Technical Guidelines for Safety in Biotechnology]
- familiarity comes from the knowledge and experience available for conducting a risk/safety analysis prior to scale-up of any new plant line or crop cultivar in a particular environment. Familiarity takes into account of but need not be restricted to knowledge and experience with: the crop plant, including its flowering/reproductive characteristics, ecological requirements, and past breeding experiences; the agricultural and surrounding environment of the trial site; specific trait(s) transferred to plant line(s); results from previous basic research including greenhouse/glasshouse and small-scale field research with the new plant line or with other plant lines having the same trait; the scale-up of lines of the crop plant developed by more traditional techniques of plant breeding; the scale-up of other plant lines developed by the same technique; the presence of related (and sexually compatible) plants in the surrounding natural environment, and knowledge of the potential for gene transfer between the crop plant and the relative; and interactions between/among the crop plant, environment and trait. [BSWG/2/5: Safety Considerations for Biotechnology Scale-up of Crop Plants: OECD 1993]
farm animal genetic resources (AnGR)
those animal species that are used, or may be used, for the production of food and agriculture, and the populations within each of them. These populations within each species can be classified as wild and feral populations, landraces and primary populations, standardized breeds, selected lines, and any conserved genetic material. [FAO]
farmers' rights
rights arising from the past, present and future contributions of farmers in conserving, improving and making available plant or animal genetic resources, particularly those in centres of origin. [JVG]
all of the animals found in a given area.
a book listing, with descriptions and illustrations, all animals that live in a given area. [JVG]
rate at which females produce offspring.
financial mechanism
as defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity, its role is to provide under the guidance of the COP financial resources to help developing countries implement the Convention; the GEF is operating the mechanism on an interim basis.
- the genetic contribution to future generations; the average number of descendants.
- the expected contribution of an allele, genotype, or phenotype to future generations. The fitness of genes and organisms is always relative to the other genes and organisms that are present in the same population. Usually it is measured as the average number of offspring produced by individuals with a certain genotype, relative to the number produced by other genotypes. [GBA]
flagship species
popular, charismatic species that serve as symbols and rallying points to stimulate conservation awareness and action.
all of the plants found in a given area.
a book listing, with descriptions and illustrations, all plants that grow in a given area. [JVG]
food web
an abstract representation of the feeding relationships of organisms within a community or an ecosystem. [JVG]
fouling communities
benthic organisms attached to submerged objects of economic importance, such as pilings or boat-bottoms.
founder effect
the loss of genetic diversity when a new colony is formed (e.g. on an oceanic island) by a very small number of individuals from a larger population elsewhere. [JVG]
the breaking up of extensive landscape features into disjunct, isolated, or semi-isolated patches as a result of land-use changes.
free-rider problem of public goods
because the use of public goods by one person does not exclude others, of each user has an incentive to allow others to pay the cost of the public good. [GBA]
friends of the chair
delegates who are called upon by the Chair (who takes into account the need for a political balance among various interests) to assist in carrying out specific tasks.
functional foods
foods that are considered to have a positive beneficial effect on health, by the addition of active ingredients, or by making bioavailable existing ingredients. Includes 'functional' modified or fortified soft drinks and other beverages, bread, dairy products, cereals, and snacks. [CUB]

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