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 Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention)
A binding international legal instrument in the field of nature conservation, which covers most of the natural heritage of the European continent and extends to some States of Africa. It aims to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats and to promote European co-operation in that field. The Convention places a particular importance on the need to protect endangered natural habitats and endangered vulnerable species, including migratory species. It was signed in 1979 and entered into force in 1982.