Glossary

Biological diversity / biodiversity The variety of life forms: the different plants, animals and microorganisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems they form. It is usually considered at three levels: genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity.

Conservation The protection, maintenance, management, sustainable use, restoration and enhancement of the natural environment.

Ecosystem A dynamic complex of plant, animal, fungal, and microorganism communities and the associated non-living environment interacting as an ecological unit.

Endangered species A species of animal or plant in danger of becoming extinct.

Germplasm The genetic material that carries the inherited characteristics of an organism.

Habitat The place or type of site in which an organism naturally occurs.

Management for biological diversity Taking action aimed at the maintenance of biological diversity conservation and the environment, including protection, intervention and non-intervention.

Species A group of organisms capable of interbreeding freely with each other but not with members of other species.

Threatened A species or community that is vulnerable, endangered or presumed extinct.

Treaty An international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation (Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Article 2, paragraph 1[f]).