Glossary

 

Access (bioprospecting): the right to explore and collect genetic materials from a source country for the purpose of commercial research and product development. Access rights and limitations are specified by permits. Details of the times, places, methods, quantities, and assignability of collection are subject to negotiation.

Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS): the way in which genetic resources may be accessed, and how users and providers reach agreement on the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits that might result from their use.  ABS can take various forms, ranging from royalties to joint ventures, technology transfer, capacity-building, etc.

Accrued (Executed) Budget: Recognizes transactions when the activity (decision) generating revenue or consuming resources takes place.

Actual Cost: Cost accounting based on the most factual allocation of historical cost factors.

Activity-Based Costing: An approach to the costing and monitoring of activities which involves tracing resource consumption and costing final outputs. Resources are assigned to activities, and activities to cost objects based on consumption estimates. The latter utilize cost drivers to attach activity costs to outputs.

Adaptation (climate): Initiatives and measures to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems to actual or expected climate change effects.

Additionality (biodiversity offsets): An offset should deliver conservation gains over and above what is already taking place or planned. Additionality can be assessed by comparing how biodiversity is predicted to change under a business-as-usual scenario with how it would change under the offset scenario. The offset provider should be able to demonstrate that the proposed management interventions could feasibly enhance biodiversity, given the broader economic and demographic trends, the landscape context (e.g. ecosystem connectivity), and the current level of protection of the proposed offset site. A number of tools can be used to inform this process, including biodiversity maps, spatial plans, and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans.

Additionality (financial): Refers to whether a private investment would have happened without the involvement of a public or grant-making institution.

Addis Ababa Action Agenda: The groundbreaking agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, provides a foundation for implementing the global sustainable development agenda.

Asset backed securities (ABS): A security that is collateralized by loans, leases, receivables or installment contracts on personal property, excluding real estate.

Benefit Corporation (B-Corp): A type of for-profit corporate entity in specific U.S. States with the purpose to create general public benefit through positive impact on socidety, workers, the community, and the environment as its legally defined goals. Benefit corporations differ from traditional C-Corporations in purpose, accountability, and transparency, but not in taxation.

Biobanking: Once (predicted) adverse impacts are evaluated, the developer can purchase offsets directly from a public or private biobank. A biobank refers to a repository of existing offset credits, where each credit represents a quantified gain in biodiversity resulting from actions to restore, establish, enhance and/or preserve biodiversity (e.g. wetlands, streams, habitat, species). As under the in-lieu arrangement, financial and legal liability is transferred from the developer to the provider. Credit prices generally reflect the expected costs of producing each credit (e.g. price of land, opportunity costs, administrative costs, and costs of implementing offset activities) and, in the case of private biobanks, a profit margin. Bankers offering the same product then compete on a price basis. Examples of biobanking include the US Conservation Banking, the New South Wales BioBanking scheme in Australia and compensation pools under the German Impact Mitigation Regulation.

Biodiversity (Biological Diversity): Biological diversity means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

Biodiversity loss: Biodiversity loss is usually observed as one or all of: (1) reduced area occupied by populations, species and community types, (2) loss of populations and the genetic diversity they contribute to the whole species and (3) reduced abundance (of populations and species) or condition (of communities and ecosystems). The likelihood of any biodiversity component persisting (the persistence probability) in the long term declines with lower abundance and genetic diversity and reduced habitat area.

Biosafety: The prevention of large-scale loss of biological integrity, focusing both on ecological and human health. Set of measures or actions addressing the safety aspects related to the application of biotechnologies and to the release into the environment of transgenic plants and organisms, particularly microorganisms, that could negatively affect plant genetic resources, plant, animal or human health, or the environment.

Biopiracy: Unauthorized and uncompensated appropriation of indigenous knowledge and/or access to biological resources.

Bioprospecting: The systematic search for biochemical and genetic information in natural sources that can be developed into commercially-valuable products for pharmaceutical, agricultural, and other applications

Broker (bioprospecting): Independent firm that acts as an intermediary between the supplier of natural and genetic sources and the purchasing company; profits earned by splitting the collection fee charged by the supplier.

By-laws: set the structure and define the unique individual operating procedures of the Environmental Fund. The by-laws regulate the organization by providing details about how it will be structured, how Board members will be selected, how decisions will be made, and how officers will be named.

Budget Execution: After the government enacts the budget, this concerns how funds are actually spent to implement the policies, programmes, and projects outlined in the budget.

Budget Formulation: The first stage of the budget process takes place almost exclusively with the executive branch of government, though it can include a number of actors within the branch. It is at this point that the parameters of the budget are set and decisions are made about revenues that will be generated and how these resources will be distributed across programmes and activities.

Budget Tagging: A system for consistently identifying types of expenditures (e.g. on biodiversity) within budgeting systems.

Cap and Trade: A system where an upper limit on emissions/activity is fixed, and permits are either auctioned out or distributed for free according specific criteria. Polluters that reduce their emissions/activity more than they otherwise are obliged to can earn “credits” that they sell to others who need them to comply with regulations they are subject to. 

Capital Cost: The acquisition of fixed capital assets, for example, purchase of machinery and equipment, loans and purchase of securities, transfer resources for capital expenditure.

Carbon tax: A tax on businesses and industries that produce carbon dioxide through their operations. A carbon dioxide tax is designed to reduce the output of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Certified Budget: The resources reserved for a specific acquisition or specific expense.

Certified Emission Reduction (CER): Carbon credits issued by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) board aimed at reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. One CER is equivalent to 1 ton of CO2 avoided.

Chemical fertilizers: fertilizers are organic or inorganic substances containing chemical elements that improve the growth of plants and the fertility of the soil. The percentage content of nutrients in organic fertilizers (manures) is relatively low. In chemical fertilizers, also referred to as inorganic or mineral fertilizers, the nutrients are inorganic salts, obtained by extraction and/or physical and chemical processes. The three primary plant nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Cean Development Mechanism: Allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.

Climate Finance: Climate finance aims at reducing emissions, and enhancing sinks of greenhouse gases and aims at reducing vulnerability of, and maintaining and increasing the resilience of, human and ecological systems to negative climate change impacts.

Collateralized Bond: Investment-grade bonds backed by a collection of junk bonds with different levels of risk that are determined by the quality of the junk bonds involved. Collateralized bonds backed by highly risky junk bonds receive higher interest rates

Commercial debt: debt owed by a government to a commercial bank or commercial supplier company. Commercial debt is debt owned by a private sector company or bank 

Committed Budget: The total value of the expenditure committed for specific contracts for works, provision of goods, services, transfers or subsidies.

Compliance costs: The expenditure of time or money to conform to government requirements. For taxes, this could include registration, filing returns, keeping records, etc.

Concessional and non-concessional lending: While non-concessional loans are provided at, or near to, market terms, concessional loans are provided on softer terms than market terms. A concessional loan is a loan with a grant element. Conceptually, the measure of concessionality, or grant element, involves calculating the difference between the face value of a loan and the present value (or economic value) of debt service repayments, expressed as a percentage of the face value of a loan. For the purposes of classifying ODA (see below), loans have been categorized as concessional by the OECD if their grant element exceeds 25 per cent, using a fixed 10 per cent  discount rate in the present value calculation.

Conformity Assessment: A set of processes that show your product, service, or system meets the requirements of a standard through testing, certification, or inspection.

Conservation: The management of human use of the biosphere so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefit to present generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations. Conservation activities embrace preservation, maintenance, sustainable utilization, restoration and enhancement of the natural environment.

Consumption tax (e.g. VAT): A tax on goods and services transactions. From the perspective of the buyer, it is a tax on the purchase price. From that of the seller, it is a tax only on the value added to a product, material, or service by this stage of its manufacture or distribution. Manufacturers remit to the government the difference between these two amounts and retain the rest for themselves to offset the taxes they had previously paid on the inputs.

Contingent valuation (ecosystem services): valuation method used to estimate economic values for ecosystem services. It involves asking people, in a survey, to state their willingness to pay, contingent on a hypothetical scenario and description of an environmental service.

Cooperative research and development agreements (bioprospecting): Can combine permits, MTAs, licenses and more in a single agreement. They often comprise two parts: a "statement of work" that specifies roles and obligations of each party; and "general provisions" including legal details and assignment of rights.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): The responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment.

Cost-Benefit Analysis: A decision-making tool that compares costs and benefits of a proposed policy or project in economic (as distinct from financial accounting) terms.

Cost Object: A term used primarily in cost accounting to describe something to which costs are assigned. Cost objects may be a product, a department, a project, etc.

Coupon (bond): The contractual interest obligation a bond or debenture issuer covenants to pay to its debt holders.

Covered bonds: Bonds backed by cash flows from mortgages or public sector loans.

Credit enhancement: A method whereby a company attempts to improve its debt- or credit-worthiness. Through credit enhancement, the lender is provided with reassurance that the borrower will honor the obligation through additional collateral, insurance or a third party guarantee. Credit enhancement reduces the credit/default risk of a debt, thereby increasing the overall credit rating and lowering interest rates.

Debt buy-back: purchase by a debtor of all or part of its own external debt, not at its nominal value but at a market value including a discount.

Debt-for-Nature Swap: An agreement that reduces a developing country’s debt stock or service in exchange of a commitment from to protect nature. It is a voluntary transaction whereby the donor(s) cancels the debt owned by a developing country’s Government.

Debt reduction: agreement that grants the cancellation of a debt’s principal (whether due or not), a waiver of interest payments or the reduction of interest rates.

Decentralization: The dispersion or distribution of functions and powers; specifically: the delegation of power from a central authority to regional and local authorities.

Depreciation: An accounting method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life. Businesses depreciate long-term assets for both tax and accounting purposes.

Derivatives (of genetic resources): a naturally occurring biochemical compound resulting from the genetic expression or metabolism of biological or genetic resources, even if it does not contain functional units of heredity.

Diaspora: Members of ethnic and national communities, who have left, but maintain links with, their homelands. 

Diaspora Direct Investment (DDI): Direct investments from companies owned, operated and/or staffed by members of the diaspora in productive activities in the home country. Statistically is an FDI.

Direct Capital Investment: Also foreign direct investment (FDI), refers to an investment in a business enterprise in a country other than the investor's country designed to acquire a controlling interest in the foreign business enterprise. Direct investment provides capital funding in exchange for an equity interest without the purchase of regular shares of a company's stock.

Direct Costs: Costs that can be accurately traced and assigned to a cost object. Direct costs typically benefit a single cost object. The classification of any cost either as direct or indirect is done by taking the cost object into perspective.

Disaster Risk Reduction: The concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and manage the causal factors of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events.

Double-dividend (green taxes): taxes on economic activities that negatively impact the environment (e.g. pollution) should result in a direct positive environmental impact. In addition, they may improve the economic efficiency, if the proceeds are used to reduce economically distorting forms of taxation¾the second dividend. Similarly, the proceeds can be directly invested in sustainable projects, thus enhancing the social or environmental impact of the tax. 

Economic Valuation (Monetization) (of the environment): Assigning monetary value to changes in environmental factors (such as the quality of air and water, and damage caused by pollution). “Environmental valuation” and “resource valuation” are used.

Ecosystem: A dynamic complex of plant, animal and microorganism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit. 

Ecosystem services: The benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food, water, timber, and fibre; regulating services that affect climate, floods, disease, wastes, and water quality; cultural services that provide recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits; and supporting services such as soil formation, photosynthesis, and nutrient cycling.

Eco-tourism: Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.

Emissions Trading System (ETS): Refer to Cap and Trade.

Endowment fund: capital is invested in perpetuity, and only the resulting investment income is used to finance grants and activities.

Environmental and Social Governance (ESG): A set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen investments. Environmental criteria look at how a company performs as a steward of the natural environment. Social criteria examine how a company manages relationships with its employees, suppliers, customers and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits and internal controls, and shareholder rights. Investors who want to purchase securities that have been screened ESG criteria can do so through socially responsible mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

Environmental and Social Impact assessment (ESIA): A process for predicting and assessing the potential environmental and social impacts of a proposed project, evaluating alternatives and designing appropriate mitigation, management and monitoring measures.

Excise duty: A domestic tax on the sale or production for sale of specific goods. Excises can be applied to both imported and domestic goods, but are distinguished from customs duties, which are taxes on imports.

Externality: A situation when the production or consumption of goods and services imposes costs or benefits on others which are not reflected in the prices charged for the goods and services being provided. Pollution is the traditional example of a negative externality, while the expansion of protected areas generates a positive externality.

Face value: original amount of debt owed under a credit agreement.

Fiduciary management: Fiduciary management allows for the efficient movement and tracking of funds flowing to and from an EF. This can include establishing fiduciary standards that apply to all monetary transactions.

Fiscal Policy: Government financial actions and norms including both revenues, such as taxes, and expenditures.

Foreign country/host country: Country to which the migrant worker migrated and now resides.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): Direct investment equity flows in the reporting economy. It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, and other capital flows. Direct investment is a category of cross-border investment associated with a resident in one economy having control or a significant degree of influence on the management of an enterprise that is resident in another economy. Ownership of 10 per cent or more of the ordinary shares of voting stock is the criterion for determining the existence of a direct investment relationship. 

Formula (fiscal allocation): Rules governing decisions on allocating resources in the public sector. An allocation formula can be specified in legislation or provided by regulation. The allocation formula can be also described as a quantitative mathematical equation used to distribute grant funds to eligible recipients. The formula can be simple or complex and entail the incorporation of a number of variables and indexes to determine fiscal allocations.

Food Security: When all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Genetic Diversity: The variety of genes within a species. Each species is made up of individuals that have their own particular genetic composition.

Genetic resources: All living organisms; plants, animals and microbes, carry genetic material that could be potentially useful to humans.

Geographic Information Systems: Geographic Information Systems is a computer-based tool that analyses, stores, manipulates and visualizes geographic information on a map.

Green Bonds: Bonds from which proceeds are invested in projects that generate environmental benefits.

Green Economy: An economy that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. It is low carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive.

Green Finance: The financing of public and private green investments (including preparatory and capital costs) in the following areas; -environmental goods and services (such as water management or protection of biodiversity and landscapes); -prevention, minimization and compensation of damages to the environment and to the climate (such as energy efficiency or dams); -the financing of public policies (including operational costs) that encourage the implementation of environmental and environmental-damage mitigation or adaptation projects and initiatives (for example feed-in-tariffs for renewable energies); -components of the financial system that deal specifically with green investments, such as the Green Climate Fund or financial instruments for green investments (e.g. green bonds and structured green funds), including their specific legal, economic and institutional framework conditions.

Green Growth: Fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies.

Green Infrastructure: Green infrastructure is a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services such as water purification, air quality, space for recreation and climate mitigation and adaptation.

Green Taxes: A tax whose tax base is a physical unit (or a proxy of it) that has a proven specific negative impact on the environment. Four subsets of environmental (green) taxes are distinguished: energy taxes, transport taxes, pollution taxes and resources taxes.

Greenhouse Gas: Those gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere, and clouds. This property causes the greenhouse effect.

Greenwashing: When an organization uses misleading adviertising and unsubstantiated claims to promote environmental initiatives or images for public gain, but actually operates in a way that is damaging to the environment.

Read more: Greenwashing http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/greenwashing.asp#ixzz4hMkIsUha 
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Gross Domestic Product: An aggregate measure of production equal to the sum of the gross values added of all resident and institutional units engaged in production (plus any taxes, and minus any subsidies, on products not included in the value of their outputs).

Habitat Banking: A market where credits from actions with beneficial biodiversity outcomes can be purchased to offset the debit from environmental damage. Credits can be produced in advance of, and without ex-ante links to, the debits they compensate for, and stored over time.

Harmful Subsidy to Biodiversity: A government policy that creates an incentive for or induces behaviour or activity that is harmful to biodiversity, often as unanticipated (and unintended) side effects of policies designed to attain other objectives.

Hedonic price (ecosystem services): pricing method used to estimate economic values for ecosystem services that directly affect market prices. It is normally applied to variations in housing prices that reflect the value of local environmental attributes.

Hoarding: purchase of large quantities of a commodity with the intent of pushing up the price. An investor hoping to increase the price of a commodity can do so by leveraging his or her demand for it, and buying physical inventory as well as purchasing futures contracts for that commodity. Hoarding can also take place in financial instruments like bonds.

Home country/country of origin: Country from which the migrant worker emigrated.

Impact Investing: Investments made in companies, organizations and funds with the intention of generating social and environmental impacts alongside a financial return. 

Inclusive business: Businesses that can contribute to human development by including the poor in the value chain as consumers, producers, business owners or employees.

Incremental Budgeting Approach: Management accounting based on adding incremental amounts to existing budgets to arrive at the new budgeted numbers.

Indirect costs: Accounting costs that are not directly associated with a single activity, event, or other cost object. Such costs are frequently aggregated into an overhead cost pool and allocated to various activities, based on an allocation method that has a perceived or actual linkage between the indirect cost and the activity.

Indirect tax: A tax imposed on certain transactions, goods or events. Examples include VAT, sales tax, excise duties, stamp duty, services tax and registration duty.

Inflation: The change in the prices of a basket of goods and services that are typically purchased by specific groups of households.

In-lieu fee: a government agency stipulates a fee that a developer has to pay to a third party, to compensate for residual biodiversity impacts. The third party (i.e. the offset provider) takes on the financial and legal responsibility for the offset. In-lieu fee arrangements have been employed in the US Wetland and Species Mitigation, South Australia’s Native Vegetation and Scattered Tree Offsets, and forest compensation schemes in India and Mexico. Fees tend to be based upon a reasonable cost estimate of the financial resources needed to compensate for the adverse impacts (e.g. in the Mexican scheme, the compensation amount per hectare is based on the average costs of reforestation activities, not including the cost of purchasing the land). In Brazil, however, the fee represents between 0% and 0.5% of the total investment costs of the project, depending on the scale of the impacts, while in India, the fee comprises the forest’s “opportunity cost”, a tax to offset deforestation and the cost of the environmental losses.

Instant games: Any gambling game where the player finds out immediately if he or she is a winner, especially using scratch cards.

Institutional Investor:  An institutional investor is a nonbank person or organization that trades securities in large enough share quantities or dollar amounts that it qualifies for preferential treatment and lower commissions. Institutional investors face fewer protective regulations because it is assumed they are more knowledgeable and better able to protect themselves. Examples include pension funds, life insurance companies, mutual and hedge funds, endowment funds, and commercial banks.

Intellectual property rights:  Intangible rights protecting commercially valuable products of the human intellect, such as traditional medicinal lore. The inclusion of IPR considerations in the bioprospecting agreement is optional, and is dependent upon the nature of the rest of the agreement, e.g., whether the agreement is limited to transfer of materials or whether there is a shared research component, and the extent to which resulting innovations draw from existing traditional knowledge.

Invasive Alien Species: A species occurring in an area outside of its historically known natural range as a result of intentional or accidental dispersal by human activities that invades natural habitats.

Investment Cost: Accounting cost used for asset formation such as expenses or costs of in investing in funds, public works, etc.

Islamic Finance: The main principles that define Islamic Finance are: adherence to interest free financial transactions; prohibition of fixed returns; profit-and-loss sharing; and prohibition of gharar (uncertainty), speculation and gambling. Islamic financial contracts are designed to facilitate the respect of these principles. Typical contracts include: murabaha (mark up), mudaraba (venture capital), musharaka (participatory financing), ijarah (leasing), salam (forward financing) and sukuk (asset based Islamic bonds).

Labelled green bonds: Bonds that earmark proceeds for climate or environmental projects and have been labelled as "green" by the issuer.

Leverage (financial): Traditionally defined as the degree to which an investor or legal entity is utilizing borrowed money. It is broadly used to measure the capacity to attract additional capital from an initial investment. The leverage ratio indicates the amount of financial resources attracted in comparison with the initial investment.

Licences (bioprospecting): They determine how the collected material can and cannot be used, and can be used in conjunction with permits. License fees are attached to the transfer and use of collected material only; they do not include any provision for benefits from any subsequent products of research on the material. License fees are usually attached to the transfer and use of collected material only; they do not include any provision for benefits from any subsequent products of research on the material.

Local jurisdiction: The term refers to any subnatinal government entity- i.e. region, province or municipality - that can receive a fiscal transfer.

Lottery: A lottery is a form of gambling which involves the drawing of lots for a prize. Lotteries are outlawed by some governments, while others endorse them to the extent of organizing a national or state lottery. It is common to find some degree of regulation of lottery by governments.

Lotto: A lottery, as for example one operated by a state government, in which players choose numbers that are matched against those of the official draw, the winning numbers typically paying large cash prizes.

Market failure: Occurs when there is an inefficient allocation of resources in a free market. Examples include monopoly, negative externalities and the provision of public goods. 

Market index: A measurement of the value of a section of the stock or bond market. It is computed from the prices of selected financial products. It is used by investors and financial managers to describe the market, to benchmark portfolios and to compare returns on investments.

Material transfer agreements: They convey the right to transfer specimens to third parties after collection, as another way of maintaining some control over access to the materials by the owner of the source. MTAs can be used in conjunction with permits and do not include a benefit-sharing component.

Millennium Development Goals: A set of eight goals and associated targets to achieve poverty alleviation by 2015.

Mitigation (climate): Technological change and substitution that reduces resource inputs and emissions per unit of output.

Mitigation hierarchy: The mitigation hierarchy is defined as:

a. Avoidance: measures taken to avoid creating impacts from the outset, such as careful spatial or temporal placement of elements of infrastructure, in order to completely avoid impacts on certain components of biodiversity.

b. Minimisation: measures taken to reduce the duration, intensity and / or extent of impacts (including direct, indirect and cumulative impacts, as appropriate) that cannot be completely avoided, as far as is practically feasible.

c. Rehabilitation / restoration: measures taken to rehabilitate degraded ecosystems or restore cleared ecosystems following exposure to impacts that cannot be completely avoided and / or minimised.

d. Offset: measures taken to compensate for any residual significant, adverse impacts that cannot be avoided, minimised and / or rehabilitated or restored, in order to achieve no net loss or a net gain of biodiversity. Offsets can take the form of positive management interventions such as restoration of degraded habitat, arrested degradation or averted risk, protecting areas where there is imminent or projected loss of biodiversity.

Nagoya Protocol: The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is a supplementary agreement to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It provides a transparent legal framework for the implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The Protocol was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, and entered into force on 12 October 2014. It has been ratified by 59 parties, which includes 58 states and the European Union. It is the second Protocol to the CBD; the first is the 2000 Cartagena Protocol on Bio safety.

National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans: The principal instruments for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the national level (Article 6). The Convention requires countries to prepare a national biodiversity strategy (or equivalent instrument) and to ensure that this strategy is mainstreamed into the planning and activities of all those sectors whose activities can have an impact (positive and negative) on biodiversity.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): According to Article 4 paragraph 2 of the Paris Agreement, each Party shall prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions. More information here.

Natural Capital: The stock of renewable and non-renewable natural resources (e.g., plants, animals, air, water, soils, minerals) that combine to yield a flow of benefits to people.

Natural Capital Accounting: A tool to measure the changes in the stock of natural capital at a variety of scales and to integrate the value of ecosystem services into accounting and reporting systems.

Natural Capital Protocol: A framework designed to help generate trusted, credible, and actionable information for business managers regarding their effects on and management of natural capital.

Negative externality/ies: Occur when the consumption or production of a good causes a harmful effect to a third party. If you drive a car, it emits pollution and contributes to congestion. These are both external costs imposed on other people who live in the city.

Net present value (loan): the nominal amount outstanding minus the sum of all future debt-service obligations (interest and principal) on existing debt discounted at an interest rate different from the contracted rate.

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO): to be added

No net loss: A target for a development project in which the impacts on biodiversity caused by the project are balanced or outweighed by measures taken to avoid and minimise the project’s impacts, to undertake on-site restoration and finally to offset the residual impacts, so that no loss remains. Where the gain exceeds the loss, the term ‘net gain’ may be used instead of no net loss. No net loss (or net gain) of biodiversity is a policy goal in several countries, and is also the goal of voluntary biodiversity offsets.

Non-recourse-to-the-issuer debt: A type of loan that is secured by collateral, which is usually property. If the borrower defaults, the issuer can seize the collateral, but cannot seek out the borrower for any further compensation, even if the collateral does not cover the full value of the defaulted amount. This is one instance where the borrower does not have personal liability for the loan.

Official Development Assistance (ODA): Those flows to countries and territories on the (Development Assistance Committee) list of ODA Recipients and to multilateral institutions which are: i. provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies; and ii. each transaction of which: a) is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective; and b) is concessional in character and conveys a grant element of at least 25 per cent (calculated at a rate of discount of 10 per cent).

Offset providers: These are the owners or managers of the offset receptor sites – they could be anyone who owns or manages (with the owner’s consent) land, including conservation NGO’s, local councils, farmers, estate owners.

One-off offset: once (predicted) adverse impacts have been evaluated, the biodiversity offset is carried out by the developer or by a subcontractor (e.g. a conservation NGO). The developer assumes financial and legal liability. Verification is normally undertaken by a government agency or an accredited third party. One-off approaches are typically used for voluntary offsets and are common under regulatory programmes (e.g. Colombia Environmental Compensation; Vegetation Management Offsets in Queensland, Australia; Species Mitigation and Wetland Compensatory Mitigation in the United States, and Fish Habitat Compensation in Canada).

Organic Farming: A method of crop and livestock production that involves choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. (Precise definitions and acceptable practices vary by country.)

Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES): financing mechanism that can support the conservation and expansion of ecosystems when it provides economically valuable services. PES formalizes transactions (up to the creation of a market) between economic actors that preserve and enhance ecosystem services and economic actors that benefit from the same. 

Patents: Patents cover machines, manufactures, compositions of matter, and processes They prohibit making, using, selling, and importing without permission of the patent-holder, for a 20-year period in most cases (there is a narrow exemption for research).  To be patentable, an innovation must be new, useful, and non-obvious.  In addition, the inventor must make an “enabling disclosure,” i.e., a disclosure of sufficient information about the invention that a person skilled in the relevant art can duplicate it. Patentability does not ensure commercial success: of a total of some six million patents granted in the United States, only a few thousand have resulted in products available in the market.

Permanence: is the principle that biodiversity offsets should exist at least as long as the negative impacts from development persist, and ideally in perpetuity. Offset regulations for native vegetation in NSW Australia, for instance, call for offset benefits to “persist for at least the duration of the negative impact of the proposed clearing”.

Permits (bioprospecting): They convey the right to access biological materials, e.g., samples of plants or microbes. The permit can limit the type and amount of material to be collected, the collection area, the time allowed for collection, acceptable methods for collection, which will do the collecting, and so forth.

Pesticides: a pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances that is used to prevent, destroy or control pests, including vectors of human or animal disease, and unwanted species of plants or animals. Pesticides may cause harm during, or otherwise interfere with, the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing of food, agricultural commodities, wood and wood products or animal feedstuffs.

Pigovian tax: A tax levied on an agent causing an environmental externality (environmental damage) as an incentive to avert or mitigate such damage. The tax is intended to correct an inefficient market outcome, and does so by being set at a rate equal to the social cost of the negative externalities.

Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBRs): were developed as an alternative, to deal more specifically with the special circumstances that plant breeders face.  PBRs are similar to patents, having a 20-year term of protection (25 years for trees and vines), but have their own requirements and standards.  The standards are that the breed in question must be new, distinct, uniform, and stable (“DUS standards”).  “Distinct” is a kind of substitute for a patent’s “non-obvious” requirement, and is a fairly low standard in that any new feature of the plant, even strictly visual features, can render it distinct; “uniform” means that all the plants in the breed are the same; and “stable” means that the plant is true-breeding generation after generation.

Price elasticity (of demand): Measures the responsiveness of demand after a change in price. Demand is price elastic if a change in price leads to a bigger percentage change in demand and is price inelastic if a change in price leads to a smaller percentage change in demand.

Principal (bond): The total amount of money being borrowed or lent which must be repaid to the lender. It is also known as maturity value, face value, par value.

Proceeds: Money received by the seller of an asset.

Progressive tax: A tax that takes a larger percentage from the income of high-income earners than it does from low-income individuals.

Protected Areas: Physical preservation and/or conservation of important stocks of natural, cultural and social capital, yielding flows of economically valuable goods and services that benefit society, secure livelihoods, and contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development.

Public Expenditure: General government spending generally consists of central, state and local governments, and social security funds.

Public Good: A good or service that one individual can consume without reducing its availability to another individual, and from which no one is excluded.

Recourse-to-the-issuer debt: The lender has the rights to pledged collateral in the event that the borrower is unable to satisfy a debt obligation. Recourse refers to the legal right to collect. If the collateral does not cover the full defaulted principal, the lender can seek redress from the issuer.

Redemption price (Debt-for-Nature swap): total financial transfer the debtor-government commits to disburse in exchange of a debt reduction; in the case of a buy-back it is generally greater than the purchase price, but lower than the face value.

Replacement Cost: The cost to replace an asset of a company at the same or equal value. It uses cost of artificial substitutes for environmental goods or services.

Regressive tax: A tax that takes a larger percentage from low-income people than from high-income people. A regressive tax is generally a tax that is applied uniformly. This means that it hits lower-income individuals harder, depending on their relative level of consumption.

Results-Based Budgeting: Budgeting process which revolves around a set of predefined objectives and expected results, which, in turn, justify the resource requirements linked to outputs, and where actual performance is measured using objectively verifiable indicators.

Results-Based Costing: An expansion of activity-based costing where all costs are associated with specific medium to long-term results so that the “outcome” of the activity is the budgeting focus and not the activity or short term outputs.

Results-Based Management: A strategy by which all actors, contributing directly or indirectly to achieving a set of results, ensure that their processes, products and services contribute to the achievement of desired results (outputs, outcomes and higher level goals or impact).

Revolving Fund: Income from taxes, fees, fines, or Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES), that are specially earmarked and regularly go into the fund to be used for specified purposes.

Royalties: Payment for the right to use intellectual property or natural resources; can be a fixed sum, a percentage of the profits from the developed product, or both.

Subsidies: Current unrequited payments that government units, including non-resident government units, make to enterprises on the basis of the levels of their production activities or the quantities or values of the goods or services which they produce, sell or import.

Secondary market (finance): financial market in which previously issued financial instruments such as stock, bonds, options, and futures are bought and sold.

Securitization: Creation of an investment instrument by pooling assets to back the instrument. Also refers to the replacement of non-marketable loans and/or cash flows provided by financial intermediaries with negotiable securities issued in the public capital markets.

Sinking Fund: The entire principal and investment income is disbursed over a fairly long period (typically ten to 20 years) until it is completely spent and thus sinks to zero.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs):  Businesses whose number of personnel or turnover falls below certain limits. The limit might be different in each country and it is normally defined by law. Further distinctions within the broad category may be established.  

Stakeholders: Those who have interests in a particular decision, either as individuals or as representatives of a group. This includes people who can influence a decision as well as those affected by it. Decision makers are also stakeholders.

Sukuk: Referred as Islamic bonds, sukuk represents undivided shares in the ownership of tangible assets relating to particular projects or special investment activity. A sukuk investor has a common share in the ownership of the assets linked to the investment, although this does not represent a debt owed to the issuer of the bond. In the case of conventional bonds the issuer has a contractual obligation to pay interest and principal to bond holders, on certain specified dates. In contrast, under a sukuk structure the sukuk holders each hold an undivided beneficial ownership in the underlying assets. Consequently, sukukholders are entitled to a share in the revenues generated by the sukuk assets. The sale of sukuk relates to the sale of a proportionate share in the assets.

Sustainable Development Goals: Also the “Global Goals,” are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. These 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities. The goals are interconnected; often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.

Sustainable Livelihood: A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from the stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future without undermining the natural resource base and opportunity set of future generations.

System of Environmental Economic Accounting: The internationally agreed standard concepts, definitions, classifications, accounting rules and tables for producing internationally comparable statistics on the environment and its relationship with the economy.

Variable Costs: Costs that vary depending on the production volume; they rise as production increases and fall as production decreases. Variable costs differ from fixed costs such as rent, advertising, insurance and office supplies, which tend to remain the same regardless of production output.

Tax base: The measure upon which the assessment or determination of tax liability is based. For example, taxable income is the tax base for income tax and assessed value is the tax base for property taxes.

Tax/fiscal code: A government document that collates and details the rules individuals and businesses must follow in paying taxes. The document or compendium of documents has different names and legal status across countries. 

Technical Committee: The Technical Committee supports the Steering Committee by providing substantive reviews of project proposals and making recommendations for which proposals should receive funding.

Trustee: the trustee of an EF provides a number of important fund management services, including receiving and holding contributions from various sources, disbursing funds to each participating entity on behalf of the steering committee (or other decision-making body) and providing financial reporting. Often, the trustee coordinates the legal contracts and agreements that underpin the transactions of funds. It ensures that the EF meets all legal and fiduciary standards for collecting and distributing funds.

Unlabelled green bonds: Bonds that finance projects that produce environmental/climate benefits but that are not labelled "green" by the issuer.

Utilization of Genetic Resources: to conduct research and development on the genetic and/or biochemical composition of genetic resources, including through the application of biotechnology. Biotechnology is defined as “any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use”.

Value Added Tax (VAT): Indirect tax on the domestic consumption of goods and services. It is levied at each stage in the chain of production and distribution from raw materials to the final sale as a percentage of the value added at each stage. It is not a cost to the producer or the members of the distribution chain, and whereas its full brunt is borne by the end consumer, it avoids the double taxation (tax on tax) of a direct sales tax. A VAT system can include exceptions (i.e. zero-rating) or multiple rates based on product category (e.g. essential drugs vs. luxury goods). 

Venture Capital: Money provided by investors to start-up firms and small businesses with perceived long-term growth potential. This is a very important source of funding for start-ups that do not have access to capital markets. It typically entails high risk for the investor, but has the potential for above-average returns.