- after signing the Convention, a country must ratify it, for which it often needs the approval of the parliament or other
legislature. For the CBD the instrument of ratification is submitted to the UN
Secretary-General in New York, who acts as the
Depositary. At the date of submission the country becomes a Party to the
Convention; 90 days later the Convention enters into force for that
country. Presently the Convention has 188
parties (newest is Thailand on 29.01.2004). [JVG]
- rational expectations
- the hypothesis that decision-makers base their decisions on predictions
which contain no systematic errors.
- a substance used to cause a reaction, especially to detect another substance.
- a term applied to pollutants which are not biodegradable or are only biodegradable with difficulty. [CUB]
- recalcitrant seed
- - seed that does not survive drying and freezing.
- seed that cannot withstand either drying or temperatures of less than
10° C and cannot therefore be stored for long periods as orthodox seeds
- reciprocal externality
- these are externalities where all parties using some resource impose
external costs on all others.
- recombinant DNA (r-DNA)
- - any DNA molecule formed by joining DNA segments from different sources.
- a strand of DNA synthesised in the laboratory by splicing together selected parts of DNA strands from different organic species, or by adding a selected part to an existing DNA strand.
- recombinant DNA technology
- the process of excising segments of DNA from one species of organism and
inserting them into the DNA of another species. [CUB]
- recommendation of the SBSTTA
- the SBSTTA delivers its advice to the COP in the form of recommendations that are numbered sequentially.
- recurrent selection
- a breeding method aimed at increasing the frequency of favourable genes
through repeated cycles of selection and selected crossing of individuals. [CUB]
- red tide
- reddish-brown discoloring of surface water from blooming populations of dinoflagellate phytoplankton;
since long associated with nutrient pollution.
- reef ball
- a designed artificial reef used to restore ailing coral reefs and to
create new fishing and scuba diving sites.
More info: What's
a Reef Ball?
- regional economic integration organisation
- an organisation constituted by sovereign States of a given region, to
which its member States have transferred competence in respect of matters
governed by this Convention and which has been duly authorised, in
accordance with its internal procedures, to sign, ratify, accept, approve
or accede to it. [CBD]
- regional group
- based on the tradition of the UN, Parties are organised into five regional groups. These groups are: Africa,
Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) and the
Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG). The "others" in WEOG
include Australia, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and
the US, but not Japan, which is in the Asian Group.
The regional groups meet privately to discuss issues and nominate bureau
members and other officials.
- a Party may accept a decision of the COP while noting its reservations and concerns for the record. However, no reservations may be made to the Convention itself or to the
- unlike decisions, resolutions do not generally become part of the formal
body of decisions that guide the work of the COP. They are directives that
guide, opinions rather than permanent legal acts.
- a substance or place required by an organism for its growth, maintenance
- the return of an ecosystem or habitat to its original community
structure, natural complement of species, and natural functions.
- revealed preference approach
- these approaches, which include derived demand approaches and indirect
valuation methods, infer values from data on behavioural changes in actual
markets related in some way to the missing market(s.) [GBA]
- entitlements assured by custom, law or property.
- Rio Earth Summit
- see: 'Earth Summit', Rio de Janeiro.
- the outcome of an action is said to involve risk where: the set of all
possible outcomes of that action is known, and where the probability
distribution of all possible outcomes is also known. [GBA]
- risk assessment
- - the use of scientific data to identify and characterize the nature and
magnitude of hazards, if any, and the likelihood of hazards being
realized. [BSWG/2/5: Report of Panel of Experts on Biosafety]
- - the measure to estimate what harm might be caused, how likely it would
be to occur and the scale of the estimated damage. [BSWG/2/5: UNEP
International Technical Guidelines for Safety in Biotechnology]
- risk management
- - the implementation of the most appropriate measures to minimize the
identified risks and mitigate their effects while achieving the
anticipated results. [BSWG/2/5: Report of Panel of Experts on Biosafety]
- - refers to the ways that appropriate methods are applied in order to
minimize risks and should not be determined by and in proportion to the
results of the risk/safety analysis. It does not include broader
considerations of a political, socio-economic, value and/or ethical
nature. [BSWG/2/5: Safety Considerations for Biotechnology Scale-up of
Crop Plants OECD 1993]
- - the measures to ensure that the production and handling of an organism
is safe. [BSWG/2/5: UNEP International Technical Guidelines for Safety in
- a molecule with similar structure to DNA that is involved in a number of cell activities, especially protein synthesis. Some viruses have RNA as their genetic material.
- rules of procedure
- the rules that govern the proceedings of the COP, including the procedures for decision-making and participation.
Back to GLOSSARY title page
(Convention on Biological Diversity)
© Belgian Clearing-House Mechanism, 2001.
On the Internet since 7 October 1996.