African Parks

A non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities.


An area of the planet that can be classified according to the plants and animals that live in it.


The part of the Earth system comprising all ecosystems and living organisms.

Biotic reserves

Resources which are considered biotic and therefore renewable

Carrying capacity

The maximum number of animals (including humans) which can survive in an area while maintaining the environment.

China Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA)

Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the Protection of Migratory Birds and their Environment.

Coastal waters

Waters at the interface between terrestrial environments and the open ocean.

Commission on Ecosystem Management

A commission within the IUCN that promotes ecosystem-based approaches for the management of landscapes and seascapes, provides guidance and support for ecosystem-based management and promotes resilient socio-ecological systems to address global challenges

Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), Canberra, 1980

An international treaty that was adopted at the Conference on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, Canberra, Australia, 7–20 May 1980.

Convention on Nature Protection and Wild Life Preservation in the Western Hemisphere, Washington, DC, 1940

A regional framework applicable to members of the Organization of American States (OAS), this Convention addresses protection of species from human-induced extinction, the establishment of protected areas, the regulation of international trade in wildlife, and special measures for migratory birds, and stresses the need for co-operation in scientific research and other fields relevant to wildlife conservation.

Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, 1979 (Bern Convention)

A binding international legal instrument and regional platform that seeks to protect wildlife, natural habitats and natural heritage in Europe, as well as that in some African countries.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), 1979 (Bonn Convention)

A global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass (the Range States) and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.

Coral bleaching

The process in which, under environmental stress, a coral colony expels the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) that live in symbiosis with their host organisms (polyps). the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) that live in symbiosis with their host organisms (polyps).

Deepwater Horizon

An oil rig operating in the Gulf of Mexico that caught fire on 20 April 2010, leading to the largest marine oil pollution incident in history.

Ecological Footprint

The impact of human activities measured in terms of the area of biologically productive land and water required to produce the goods consumed and to assimilate the wastes generated.

Ecological Impact

The effect of human activities and natural events on living organisms and their non-living environment.

Ecological Risk

The potential for a given event, action or series of actions to affect an ecosystem.

Ecological Sustainability

A condition in which the productivity and biodiversity – and by extension, the health – of an ecosystem remains the same or increases over time.

Ecologically Sustainable Development

A development philosophy that mandates precautionary environmental planning, long-term equity, conservation of ecosystem diversity and integrity, and economics that incentivise environmental health and punish pollution.


The study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment.

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