A glossary of definitions for terms relating to biodiversity, ecosystems services and conservation.
All definitions are referenced, where possible preference has been given to internationally recognised definitions (for example those defined by international conventions or agreements). The terms have been chosen to support understanding of biodiversity and conservation issues, and terms relating to biodiversity loss are complemented by those relating to conservation responses supported by international conservation organisations, governments, scientists and business sectors.
More detailed explanations are provided for a number of key terms, to provide further background information.
The terms can be filtered by category to aid in the navigation of the many definitions.
Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (Helsinki Convention)
The the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area is known as the Helsinki Convention. A Regional Seas Convention for the Baltic Sea, it is concerned with the entire marine environment of the Baltic Sea area. Its purpose is to prevent and eliminate pollution in order to promote the ecological restoration of the Baltic Sea area and the preservation of its ecological balance. Its geographical scope covers the seafloor, coastal zones, and also the drainage area of the Baltic Sea. It was adopted in 1992 and entered into force in 2000.
HELCOM (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission) is the governing body of the Convention.
Its biodiversity relevance is that it provides the legal framework for the development of a system of Baltic Sea Protected Areas (BSPAs) and the production of a first red list of endangered habitat types of the Baltic Sea. Article 15 of the Convention specifically relates to nature conservation and biodiversity.1