Terms and definitions

The following terms are relevant to this methodology. For definitions, refer to the Terms and Definition of the Biodiversity Certification Program of Cercarbono, available at www.cercarbono.com, section: Documentation.

Other terms related specifically to biodiversity science are described below:

Biodiversity hotspots: A biogeographic region characterized by exceptionally high levels of species richness and a significant degree of habitat loss. These areas are recognized for their extraordinary concentration of endemic species, meaning species that are found nowhere else in the world.

Conservation: There is a technical argument that this methodology falls under the definition of ‘preservation’ in many environmental contexts. “Conservation seeks the proper use of nature, while preservation seeks protection of nature from use." For simplicity, and readability with a non-technical IP and LC audience we have used the term conservation throughout (Becker and Ghimire 2003).

Date-time stamp: Data that indicates a specific date and time when an event occurred or when a particular record was created or modified.

Ecosystem connectivity: Connectivity (i.e. ecological connectivity) is the unimpeded movement of species and the flow of natural processes that sustain life on Earth. It may thus also refer to continuous ecosystems often connected through ecological corridors. There are two types of connectivity: structural (in which the continuity between ecosystems is identified) and functional (in which the movement of species or processes is verified).

Ecosystem integrity: An ecosystem is generally understood to have integrity when its dominant ecological characteristics (e.g. elements of composition, structure, function, and ecological processes) occur within their natural ranges of variation, and extinction, and can withstand and recover from most perturbations.

Ecosystem services: The benefits people derive from ecosystems.

Ecosystem value: The planet-wide value of an ecosystem in the context of global biodiversity loss. Often referred to as “significance” in other contexts.

Geocode: Latitude and longitude values that uniquely identify a particular point or area on a map in decimal degrees format.

Home range: The specific geographic area or territory that an individual animal typically occupies and uses for its essential activities. It represents the spatial extent within which an individual carries out its daily life functions such as foraging, mating, seeking shelter, and defending resources.

Indicator species: In this methodology, this term is specifically defined as inclusive of the more precise academic terms for sentinel species (indicative of environmental disturbances or pollutants), umbrella species (representative of a larger ecosystem for conservation management), endangered, locally endangered, or threatened species (at risk of extinction in the near future), and rare species (not commonly found or with a limited population its natural habitat).

“In situ” conservation: The conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their natural surroundings and, in the case of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties.

Net gains in biodiversity: It correspond to the difference in gains in biodiversity values from the baseline of the project compared to the ones obtained during the implementation of the conservation project. Note: not covered by this version of the methodology which is conservation-only (see Scope).

Risk of extinction: The probability that a species will go extinct in a given period of time.

Species: Group of individuals or natural populations that are actually or potentially interbreeding, reproductively isolated from other similar groups by their physiological properties (reducing incompatibility between parents or sterility of hybrids, or both).

Species richness: The population of different species present in a particular area or ecosystem. It is a measure of biodiversity that quantifies the diversity of species within a given habitat or geographical region, but it does not speak to the abundance or distribution of the species.

Species distribution: The geographic area or range where a particular species is found and occurs naturally. It includes all the locations and habitats where individuals of a species are predicted to exist.

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