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B - Alphabetical Listing of Selected Important Terms and Concepts in Sustainable Development



Biodiversity
“Biological diversity - or biodiversity - is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms.... It forms the web of life of which we are an integral part and upon which we so fully depend.

This diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms.... Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within each species.... [A]nother aspect of biodiversity is the variety of ecosystems such as those that occur in deserts, forests, wetlands, mountains, lakes, rivers, and agricultural landscapes.... It is the combination of life forms and their interactions with each other and with the rest of the environment that has made Earth a uniquely habitable place for humans.”

SOURCE:
(2007). Sustaining Life on Earth [online]. Convention on Biological Diversity. Available from: http://www.cbd.int/convention/guide.shtml [Re-accessed: 06 March 2008].


Biofuels
“Alternative fuels made from biomass (living organisms or their by-products). Biofuels are made from crops like corn, plant waste such as husks, or animal waste. Burning biofuels instead of fossil fuels does not release long-stored carbon, so it is seen as a way to reduce emissions of GHGs”

SOURCE:
(2008). Sustainability: Glossary - Biofuels [online]. Vancouver 2010. Available from: http://www.vancouver2010.com/en/Sustainability/Glossary [Re-accessed: 06 March 2008].


Biosafety
“[A] term used to describe efforts to reduce and eliminate the potential risks resulting from biotechnology and its products.”

SOURCE:
(2008). The Cartagena Protocol of Biosafety - Frequently Asked Questions: What is biosafety? [online]. Convention on Biological Diversity. Available from: http://www.cbd.int/biosafety/faq/?area=biotechnology&faq=2 [Re-accessed: 06 March 2008].


Biotechnology
“The term `biotechnology' refers to any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for a specific use.

Biotechnology, in the form of traditional fermentation techniques, has been used for decades to make bread, cheese or beer. It has also been the basis of traditional animal and plant breeding techniques, such as hybridization and the selection of plants and animals with specific characteristics to create, for example, crops which produce higher yields of grain.

The difference with modern biotechnology is that researchers can now take a single gene from a plant or animal cell and insert it in another plant or animal cell to give it a desired characteristic, such as a plant that is resistant to a specific pest or disease”

SOURCE:
(2008). The Cartagena Protocol of Biosafety - Frequently Asked Questions: What is biotechnology? [online]. Convention on Biological Diversity. Available from: http://www.cbd.int/biosafety/faq/?area=biotechnology&faq=1 [Re-accessed: 06 March 2008].