Glossary of terms related to the CBD

safe or safety
the conditions determined with reasonable certainty to have acceptable or negligible risk to human health or to managed or natural ecosystems. [BSWG/2/5: Proposed USDA Guidelines for Research Involving the Planned Introduction in the Environment of Organisms with Deliberate modified Hereditary Traits, US Department of Agriculture, 56 FR 4134, 1 February 1991]
safe minimum standard
a restriction (taboo, prohibition, harvesting season) which limits the use of resources to levels that are thought to be safe, e.g. conservation of a sufficient area of habitat to ensure the continued provision of ecological functions and services, at the ecosystem level. [GBA]
safe transfer
is transfer that completely eliminates any adverse effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. [BSWG/2/5: Draft Biosafety Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity, prepared by the Community Nutrition Institute, 910 17th Street NW, Suite 413, Washington, DC 20006]
secondary forest
natural forest growth after some major disturbance (e.g. logging, serious fire, or insect attack). (Opp.: primary forest.)
secondary value
the value of ecosystem functions.
Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity
staffed by international civil servants and responsible for servicing the Conference of the Parties and ensuring its smooth operation, the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity makes arrangements for meetings, compiles and prepares reports, communicates with the Convention Parties, and co-ordinates with other relevant international bodies. The Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity is administered by UNEP and located in Montreal, Canada. [JVG]
seed bank
a facility designed for the ex-situ conservation of individual plant samples through seed preservation and storage.
selection
natural selection is the differential contribution of offspring to the next generation by various genetic types belonging to the same populations. Artificial selection is the intentional manipulation by man of the fitness of individuals in a population to produce a desired evolutionary response. [GBA]
self-pollinated
see in-bred.
sessile
fixed or attached; unable to move.
sibling species
species so similar to each other as to be difficult to distinguish by human observers.
signature
the head of state or government, the minister of foreign affairs, or another designated official indicates his or her country's agreement with the adopted text of the Convention or the Protocol and its intention to become a Party by signing.
silviculture
the science of cultivating forest crops (usually timber), based on a knowledge of forest tree characteristics.
sinks
growing vegetation tends to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Calculating the effect of sinks (by land-use change and forestry) is methodologically complex and still needs to be clarified.
social opportunity cost
the opportunities forgone by society, including externalities, in using a resource in some way. For biological resources this may be different than the market price of that resource. [GBA]
somatic cell
any cell other than a germ cell.
source country
country providing genetic resources.
spawn
the eggs of certain aquatic organisms or the act of producing such eggs or egg masses.
speciality biotechnology products
include enzymes, fine chemicals, speciality food products and food ingredients. Non-medical diagnostics for detection of pesticides in the environment and contaminants in food. [CUB]
speciation
separation of one population into two or more reproductively isolated, independent evolutionary units.
species
- a group of organisms capable of interbreeding freely with each other but not with members of other species. (Note by JVG: this is a simplified definition; species concept is much more complex.)
- a taxonomic rank below a genus, consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding. [CUB]
species diversity
the number and variety of species found in a given area in a region.
species richness
the number of species within a region. (A term commonly used as a measure of species diversity, but technically only one aspect of diversity.)
species selection
the differential multiplication and extinction of species as a result of differences in certain traits possessed by the organisms belonging to the various species, and causing a spread of the favouring traits through the fauna or flora as a whole. [GBA]
spread
expansion of the geographical distribution of a pest [or other organism] within an area. [FAO bis]
square brackets
used during negotiations in UN meetings to indicate that a section of text is being discussed but has not yet being agreed.
stability
the ability of a given assemblage of organisms to withstand disturbance without a major change in the number of species or individuals.
stabilizing selection
selection favouring individuals in the middle of the distribution of phenotypes in a population and disfavouring the extremes. Also called normalizing selection.
stochastic
referring to patterns or processes resulting from random factors.
stock
a specific population or group of populations.
straddling stock
a population of organisms that travels between the exclusive economic zones of two or more countries, or between them and the high seas.
strain
a population of cells all descended from a single cell; also called a clone. A group of organisms within a species or variety distinguished by one or more minor characteristics; a variety of bacterium or fungus used for culturing. The term is mostly associated with cells, bacteria, fungi and viruses, but is sometimes applied to plants. [CUB].
strong sustainable development principle
the opportunity set for future generations can only be assured if the level of biodiversity they inherit is no less than that available to present generations. [GBA]
subsidiary body
a committee that assists the Conference of the Parties.
Subsidiary Body of the Convention on Biological Diversity
The Convention defines one permanent committee: the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA). The Conference of the Parties may establish additional subsidiary bodies as needed; for example in 1996 it set up the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety..
subsidies
government grants to suppliers of goods or services.
subspecies
groupings or populations within a species that are distinguishable by morphological characteristics or, sometimes, by physiological or behavioural traits.
surrogate markets
markets used in place of the missing markets for environmental resources. Surrogate markets are at least existing markets for resources with some of the properties of the non-marketed resource being valued. [GBA]
sustainable development
- development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. [Earth Summit +5]
- development that meets the needs and aspirations of the current generation without compromising the ability to meet those of future generations. [GBA]
sustainable intensification of animal production systems
the manipulation of inputs to, and outputs from, livestock production systems aimed at increasing production and / or productivity and / or changing product quality, while maintaining the long-term integrity of the systems and their surrounding environment, so as to meet the needs of both present and future human generations.
Sustainable agricultural intensification respects the needs and aspirations of local and indigenous people, takes into account the roles and values of their locally adapted genetic resources, and considers the need to achieve long-term environmental sustainability within and beyond the agro-ecosystem. [FAO]
sustainable use
the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations. [CBD]
symbiosis
the close relationship of two organisms in proximity, with one benefiting and the other either benefiting (mutualism), not being significantly affected (commensalism), or being harmed (parasitism).
sympatric
occurring in the same place. (Opp.: allopatric.)
sympatric speciation
speciation via populations with overlapping geographic ranges.
systematics
the study of the historical evolutionary and genetic relationships among organisms and of their phenotypic similarities and differences.

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