Glossary of terms related to the CBD

 

parapatric speciation
speciation in which the new species forms from a population contiguous with the ancestral species' geographic range.
parasite
- an organism that consumes part of the tissues of its host, usually without killing the host.
- an organism which lives on or in another organism, feeding upon it. [FAO bis]
parasitoid
- kind of insect whose larvae develop within and kill their host.
- an insect parasitic only in its immature stages, killing its host in the process of its development, and free living as an adult. [FAO bis]
parataxonomist
field-trained biodiversity collection and inventory specialist recruited from local areas.
Party
a state (or regional economic integration organization such as the EU) that ratifies, accepts or approves the CBD or accedes thereto becomes a Contracting Party.
Each Party to the Convention is represented at sessions of the Convention bodies by a national delegation consisting of one or more officials who are empowered to represent, and negociate on behalf of, their government.
Based on the tradition of the UN, Parties are organised into five regional groups, mainly for the purposes of electing the Bureaus.
passive use value
see: non-consumptive value.
patent
a government grant of temporary monopoly rights on innovative processes or products.
pathogen
a disease-causing micro-organism; a bacterium, fungus or virus.
pathway
- a sequence of reactions undergone in a living organism. [CUB]
- any means that allows the entry or spread of a pest. [FAO bis]
pelagic
- living in the water column. (Opposite: benthic).
- free-swimming (nektonic) or floating (planktonic) organisms that live exclusively in the water column, not on the bottom.
pest
any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal or pathogenic agent injurious to plants or other organisms and/or their products. [JVG]
phenotype
- the observed traits of an organism, resulting from an interaction of its genotype and its environment.
- the characteristics of an organism that result from the interaction of its genetic constitution with the environment. [CUB]
pheromone
- a volatile hormone or behaviour-modifying agent. Normally used to describe sex attractants -for example bombesin for the moth Bombyx- but includes volatile aggression-stimulating agents (e.g. isoamyl acetate in honey bees). [CUB]
- a hormone-like substance secreted into the environment by certain animals, especially insects. [CUB]
photosynthesis
chemical reactions in plants and plant-like organisms whereby the sun's energy is absorbed by the green pigment chlorophyll, permitting carbon dioxide and water to be synthesized into carbohydrates accompanied by the release of water and oxygen.
phyletic evolution
genetic changes that occur within an evolutionary line.
phylogeny
history or evolutionary development of any plant or animal species.
phylogenetic
pertaining to the evolutionary history of a particular group of organisms.
phylum
in taxonomy and systematics, the highest level of classification below the kingdom. For instance, Mollusca (slugs, snails, clams, squids, etc.) constitute a phylum. [JVG]
phytomedicine
medicinal products based on standardised active ingredients within a herbal base. This term is sometimes used more broadly to include all plant-based medicines. [CUB]
phytonutrients
naturally-occurring compounds found in fruits and vegetables, such as beta carotene, capsaicin, and flavonoids. [CUB]
picoplankton
planktonic organisms ranging in size from 0.2 to 2.0 micrometers.
plankton
- floating, drifting or slowly swimming organisms that cannot swim against currents.
- floating and drifting organisms that have limited swimming abilities and that are carried largely passively with water currents (opp. nekton). These include bacteria (bacterioplankton), plants and plant-like organisms (phytoplankton) and the animals (zooplankton) that eat them.
plant functional attributes
readily observable features of vegetation that are considered significant for growth, physiology and survival (for example pollination mechanisms, seed dispersal mechanisms, rooting systems.) [GBA]
Pleistocene
the span of geological time preceding the Recent epochs, during which the human species evolved. It began 2.5 million years ago and ceased with the end of the last Ice Age 10.000 years ago.
plenary
an open session of the entire Conference of the Parties or a subsidiary body where all formal decisions are taken.
pleuston
organisms that float on the sea surface.
policy failure
occurs when government policies do not correct for market failures. [GBA]
pollen culture
a culture of plant cells derived from pollen in a synthetic medium: the progeny generated will have a single set of chromosomes. [CUB]
pollination
- the transfer of pollen from an anther to the stigma in angiosperms, or from the microsporangium to the micropyle in gymnosperms.
- pollination happens when pollen lands on a female part of a flower such as the stigma of a carpel. Pollination can be caused by pollinators such as butterflies, bees, birds, bats but also by the wind or the water.
pollinator
a pollinator is an agent, generally an animal (insect, bird, bat, etc.) that carries pollen to the female part of a flower.
polyploid
organism containing two or more sets of genes or chromosomes.
population
a group of individuals with common ancestry that are much more likely to mate with one another than with individuals from another such group.
population viability analysis
a comprehensive analysis of the many environmental and demographic factors that affect survival of a population, usually small.
post-emergent
a herbicide which acts after the seed has germinated.
pre-breeding
the development of germplasm to a state where it is viable for breeder's use. Primarily involves the evaluation of traits from exotic material and their introduction into more cultivated backgrounds. [CUB]
precautionary principle
- (= do-no-harm principle) a proactive method of dealing with the environment that places the burden of proof on those whose activities could harm the environment. (Opposite: wait-and-see principle)
- if the costs of current activities are uncertain, but are potentially both high and irreversible, the precautionary principle holds that society should take action before the uncertainty is resolved. [GBA]
pre-clinical studies
the various tests conducted in whole animals and other test systems, such as cell cultures, to determine the relative toxicity of a compound to living systems. These are referred to as pre-clinical studies - tests conducted and evaluated prior to the first administration of the compound to humans. Also included in this category are two-year carcinogenicity assays which typically overlap with the chemical testing phase. Pre-clinical tests include: toxicity (how poisonous it is and what side effects might be expected); bioavailability (how effectively it is taken up into the body and delivered to the tissue where it is needed); pharmacokinetics (how it is metabolised, and therefore how long it stays in the body); and whether it has the desired physiological effect. [CUB]
predator
- an animal that kills and eats animals.
- a natural enemy that preys and feeds on other animal organisms, mor than one of which are killed during its lifetime [FAO bis]
preparatory committee (PrepCom)
the establishment of a preparatory committee is a very important administrative step in the process of an international conference because it refines conference issues in seeking consensus. When world leaders meet at the conference itself, their only task is to approve pre-negotiated documents.
President
elected by the Parties to preside over the COP, the President is often a senior official or minister from the state or region hosting the meeting.
primary forest
a forest largely undisturbed by human activities. (Also: natural forest; opp. secondary forest.)
primary metabolites
compounds ubiquitous in living organisms and essential for life, such as carbohydrates, the essential amino acids and polymers derived from them. [CUB]
primary production
amount of organic material synthesised by organisms from inorganic substrata in a given area in a given period.
primary productivity
the transformation of chemical or solar energy to biomass. Most primary production occurs through photosynthesis, whereby green plants convert solar energy, carbon dioxide, and water to glucose and eventually to plant tissue. In addition, some bacteria in the deep sea can convert chemical energy to biomass through chemosynthesis. [UNEP]
primary value
the value of the system characteristics upon which all ecosystem functions depend.
primitive cultivar
crop forms developed from landraces. Improvement through selection restricted to a few specific characteristics and often more uniform in nature than a landrace. [CUB]
prior informed consent (PIC)
the principle that international shipment of a pesticide that is banned or severely restricted in order to protect human health or the environment should not proceed without agreement, where such agreement exists, or contrary to the decision of the designated national authority in the participating importing country. [BSWG/2/5: FAO International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides]

MOSAICC defines the term 'prior informed consent' as follows:
- the consent is to be acquired prior to accessing microbial genetic resources (MGRs),
- the consent is to be based on legally correct and trustworthy information provided by the partners to this PIC-agreement,
- the consent is to be granted by a competent authority of the country providing the MGRs and according to the national legislation and procedures.
The PIC is provided by competent authorities that are entitled to provide the authorization for access to MGRs. For the purpose of MOSAICC these competent authorities will be called 'PIC-authorities'.
More information: Philippe Desmeth, BCCMtm International Co-operation Officer.

PIC is a procedure that helps participating countries learn more about the characteristics of potentially hazardous chemicals that may be shipped to them, initiates a decision making process on the future import of these chemicals by the countries themselves and facilitates the dissemination of this decision to other countries. The aim is to promote a shared responsibility between exporting and importing countries in protecting human health and the environment from the harmful effects of certain hazardous chemicals being traded internationally.
private opportunity cost
the opportunity cost faced by an individual agent of using a resource (not including any externalities.) [GBA]
private value
the value to the private agent of using or refraining from using a resource. [GBA]
prochlorophyte
bacteria that are the smallest photosynthetic cells (less than one micrometers; see picoplankton) in the open ocean; nearly ubiquitous in the sea.
production environment
all input-output relationships, over time, at a particular location. The relationships will include biological, climatic, economic, social, cultural and political factors, which combine to determine the productive potential of a particular livestock enterprise.
- high-input production environment: a production environment where all rate-limiting inputs to animal production can be managed to ensure high levels of survival, reproduction and output. Output and production risks are constrained primarily by managerial decisions.
- medium-input production environment: a production environment where management of the available resources has the scope to overcome the negative effects of the environment on animal production, although it is common for one or more factors to limit output, survival or reproduction in a serious fashion.
- low-input production environment: a production environment where one or more rate-limiting inputs impose continuous or variable severe pressure on livestock, resulting in low survival, reproductive rate or output. Output and production risks are exposed to major influences which may go beyond human management capacity. [FAO]
production function
this describes the outputs that may be obtained from combining different quantities of inputs. [GBA]
production traits
characteristics of animals, such as the quantity or quality of the milk, meat, fiber, eggs, draught, etc. they (or their progeny) produce, which contribute directly to the value of the animals for the farmer, and that are identifiable or measurable at the individual level. Production traits of farm animals are generally quantitatively inherited, i.e. they are influenced by many genes whose expression in a particular animal also reflects environmental influences. [FAO]
progeny testing
procedure to establish the genotype of a parent by recording the genetic status of offspring/progeny. [CUB]
prokaryote
an organism having a cell without a distinct nucleus. Bacteria and blue-green algae are prokaryotes. (Opposite: eukaryote.)
propagule
a dispersal stage of a plant or animal, such as fertilized eggs, larvae, or seeds.
protected area
- a legally established land or water area under either public or private ownership that is regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives. [GBA] - a geographically defined area which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives. [CUB]
protein
any of a class of nitrogenous compounds forming an essential part of living organisms and having large molecules consisting of one or more chains of amino acids linked together. [CUB]
protein engineering
the generation of proteins (specifically enzymes) with subtly modified structures, thus conferring new properties such as changed catalytic specificity or thermal stability. [CUB]
protocol
a protocol is linked to an existing convention, but it is a separate and additional agreement that must be signed and ratified by the Parties to the convention. Protocols typically expand or strengthen a convention by adding new or more detailed commitments. [JVG]
protoplast
a plant cell from which the cell wall has been removed by mechanical or enzymatic means. Protoplasts can be prepared from primary tissues of most plant organs as well as from cultured plant cells. [CUB]
public good
a good which, once provided to one user, must be provided in the same amount to all users due to its non-rival and non-excludable nature. [GBA]

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Last updated  29-11-2004 .


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