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.
The baseline (or reference) is the state against which change is measured. It might be a ‘current baseline,’ in which case it represents observable, present-day conditions. It might also be a ‘future baseline,’ which is a projected future set of conditions excluding the driving factor of interest. Alternative interpretations of the reference conditions can give rise to multiple baselines.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
A description of existing conditions to provide a reference (e.g. pre-project condition of biodiversity) against which comparisons can be made (e.g. post-impact condition of biodiversity), allowing the change to be quantified.
Adapted from Business Biodiversity and Offsets
Programme (BBOP) 20122