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Appendix 1: Glossary

Agricultural biodiversity: A broad term that includes all components of biological diversity of relevance to food and agriculture, and all components of biological diversity that constitute the agricultural ecosystems, also named agro-ecosystems: the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms, at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels, which are necessary to sustain key functions of the agro-ecosystem, its structure and processes (CBD, 2000).

Agrobiodiversity: see Agricultural biodiversity

Agroecology: The integrative study of the ecology of the entire food systems, encompassing ecological, economic and social dimensions (Francis et al., 2003).

Agroforestry: A collective name for land use systems and practices in which woody perennials are deliberately integrated with crops and/or animals on the same land management unit. The integration can be either in a spatial mixture or in a temporal sequence. There are normally both ecological and economic interactions between woody and non-woody components in agroforestry (Leakey, 1996; Leakey and Simons, 1998).

Agroforestry tree products (AFTP): refers to timber and non-timber forest products that are sourced from trees cultivated outside of forests. This distinction from the term non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for non-timber extractive resources from natural systems is to distinguish between extractive resources from forests and cultivated trees in farming systems. (Nevertheless, some products will be marketed as both NTFPs and AFTPs (depending on their origin) during the period of transition from wild resources to newly domesticated crops.) (Leakey et al., 2005; Simons and Leakey, 2004).

Biodiversity [Biological Diversity]: 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 (CBD, 1992).

Climate change: Refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which defines climate change as: “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods” (IPCC, 2007).

Deforestation: The conversion of forest to another land use or the long-term reduction of the tree canopy cover below the minimum 10 percent threshold (FAO, 2010). Deforestation implies the long-term or permanent loss of forest cover and implies transformation into another land use. Such a loss can only be caused and maintained by a continued human-induced or natural perturbation. Deforestation includes areas of forest converted to agriculture, pasture, water reservoirs and urban areas. The term specifically excludes areas where the trees have been removed as a result of harvesting or logging, and where the forest is expected to regenerate naturally or with the aid of silvicultural measures. Deforestation also includes areas where, for example, the impact of disturbance, over-utilisation or changing environmental conditions affects the forest to an extent that it cannot sustain a tree cover above the 10 percent threshold (FAO, 2001).

Degradation: see Forest degradation and Land degradation.

Dietary diversity: Dietary diversity defined as the number of different foods or food groups consumed over a given reference period (Ruel, 2003) is increasingly recognized as a key element of high quality diets and a sustainable way to resolve health problems such as micronutrient deficiencies.

Ecosystem: A dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit (CBD, 1992).

Ecosystem services: Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include i) provisioning services such as food, water, timber, and fibre; (ii) regulating services that affect climate, floods, disease, wastes, and water quality;(iii) cultural services that provide recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits; and (iv) supporting services such as soil formation, photosynthesis, and nutrient cycling (MA, 2005).

Food insecurity: A situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life. It may be caused by the unavailability of food, insufficient purchasing power, inappropriate distribution or inadequate use of food at the household level. Food insecurity, poor conditions of health and sanitation and inappropriate care and feeding practices are the major causes of poor nutritional status. Food insecurity may be chronic, seasonal or transitory (FAO, IFAD and WFP, 2014).

Food security: A situation that exists 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. Based on this definition, four food security dimensions can be identified: food availability, economic and physical access to food, food utilization and stability over time (FAO, IFAD and WFP, 2014).

Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to define their own food and agriculture; to protect and regulate domestic agricultural production and trade in order to achieve sustainable development objectives; to determine the extent to which they want to be self-reliant; to restrict the dumping of products in their markets; and to provide local fisheries-based communities the priority in managing the use of and the rights to aquatic resources (Via Campesina website:

Food systems: Food systems encompass the entire range of activities involved in the production, processing, marketing, consumption and disposal of goods that originate from agriculture, forestry or fisheries, including the inputs needed and the outputs generated at each of these steps. Food systems also involve the people and institutions that initiate or inhibit change in the system as well as the socio-political, economic and technological environment in which these activities take place (adapted from FAO, 2012b).

Forest: Land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 metres and a canopy cover of more than 10 percent, or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use (FAO, 2010). Includes areas with young trees that have not yet reached but which are expected to reach a canopy cover of 10 percent and tree height of 5 meters. It also includes areas that are temporarily unstocked due to clear-cutting as part of a forest management practice or natural disasters, and which are expected to be regenerated within 5 years. Local conditions may, in exceptional cases, justify that a longer time frame is used (FAO, 2010).

Forest degradation: The reduction of the capacity of a forest to provide goods and services (FAO 2010b).

Forest fragmentation: Any process that results in the conversion of formerly continuous forest into patches of forest separated by non-forested lands (CBD website:

Forest management: The processes of planning and implementing practices for the stewardship and use of forests and other wooded land aimed at achieving specific environmental, economic, social and/or cultural objectives. Includes management at all scales such as normative, strategic, tactical and operational level management (FAO, 2004).

Forests and tree-based systems: for the purposes of this book, this includes the spectrum from management of forests to optimise yields of wild foods and fodder, to shifting cultivation, to the broad spectrum of agroforestry practices and to single-species tree crop management.

Fragmentation: see Forest fragmentation

Governance: refers to the formation and stewardship of the formal and informal rules that regulate the public realm, the arena in which state as well as economic and societal actors interact to make decisions (Hydén and Mease, 2004).

Greenhouse gas: 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. Water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and ozone (O3) are the primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. As well as CO2, N2O, and CH4, the Kyoto Protocol deals with the greenhouse gases sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs) (IPCC, 2007).

Hidden hunger: refers to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, or micronutrient deficiencies. Micronutrient deficiencies can compromise growth, immune function, cognitive development, and reproductive and work capacity (FAO, 2012c).

Invasive species: Any species that are non-native to a particular ecosystem and whose introduction and spread causes, or are likely to cause socio-cultural, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health (FAO website:

Land degradation: Reduction or loss in arid, semiarid and dry sub-humid areas of the biological or economic productivity and complexity of rainfed cropland, irrigated cropland, or range, pasture, forest and woodlands resulting from land uses or from a process or combination of processes, including processes arising from human activities and habitation patterns, such as: (i) soil erosion caused by wind and/or water; (ii) deterioration of the physical, chemical and biological or economic properties of soil; and (iii) long-term loss of natural vegetation (UNCCD, 1994).

Landscape: Drawing on ecosystem definitions, we define a landscape as an area delineated by an actor for a specific set of objectives (Gignoux et al., 2011). It constitutes an arena in which entities, including humans, interact according to rules (physical, biological, and social) that determine their relationships (Sayer et al., 2013).

Landscape approach: Aims to reconcile competing land uses and to achieve both conservation and production outcomes, while recognizing and negotiating for inherent trade-offs (Milder et al., 2012; Sayer et al., 2013).

Land-sparing: For the purposes of this book, defined as “The promotion of agricultural techniques that encourage the highest possible yields in a given area (even if it involves reduced in-farm biodiversity) with the goal of meeting agricultural needs in the minimum possible area, so as to reduce the pressure over wild areas.”

Land-sharing: For the purposes of this book, defined as “The promotion of agricultural techniques, mainly agroforestry, that are ‘friendly’ to wild species, aimed at fostering the co-existence of managed (crops or livestock) and wild species in the same area.“

Livelihoods: The capabilities, assets – both material and social resources – and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks, maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets, and provide net benefits to other livelihoods locally and more widely, both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base (Chambers and Conway, 1991).

Malnutrition. An abnormal physiological condition caused by inadequate, unbalanced or excessive consumption of macronutrients and/or micronutrients. Malnutrition includes undernutrition and overnutrition as well as micronutrient deficiencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP, 2014).

Managed forests: For the purposes of this book, managed forests are those whose structure, and the diversity and density of edible plant and animal species, have been modified by various management practices to improve their nutritional, economic and biodiversity values for people.

Non-timber forest products (NTFP): All biological materials other than timber, which are extracted from forests for human use. Forest refers to a natural ecosystem in which trees are a significant component. In addition to trees, forest products are derived from all plants, fungi and animals (including fish) for which the forest ecosystem provides habitat (IUFRO, 2005).

Nutrition: the consequence of the intake of food and the utilization of nutrients by the body (CFS, 2012).

Nutrition security: A situation that exists when secure access to an appropriately nutritious diet is coupled with a sanitary environment, adequate health services and care, in order to ensure a healthy and active life for all household members. Nutrition security differs from food security in that it also considers the aspects of adequate caring practices, health and hygiene in addition to dietary adequacy (FAO, IFAD and WFP, 2014).

Primary forest: Naturally regenerated forest of native species, where there are no clearly visible indications of human activities [including commercial logging] and the ecological processes are not significantly disturbed (FAO, 2010b).

Resilience: Capacity of the system to cope with all kind of shocks and disturbances, and so be able to avoid crossing all thresholds, known or unknown, to alternate regimes sometimes referred to as “coping capacity” and synonymous with “adaptive capacity” (O’Connell et al, 2015).

Secondary forest: forests regenerating largely through natural processes after significant removal or disturbance of the original forest vegetation by human or natural causes at a single point in time or over an extended period, and displaying a major difference in forest structure and/or canopy species composition with respect to pristine primary forests (FAO, 2003).

Shifting cultivation: Also referred to as slash-and-burn cultivation or swidden agriculture. A land use system that employs a natural or improved fallow phase, which is longer than the cultivation phase of annual crops, sufficiently long to be dominated by woody vegetation, and cleared by means of fire (Mertz et al., 2009)

Slash-and-burn cultivation: see Shifting cultivation

Sustainable intensification: where the yields of global agriculture are increased without adverse environmental impact and without the cultivation of more land (The Royal Society, 2009).

Swidden agriculture: see Shifting cultivation

Tenure: Systems of tenure define and regulate how people, communities and others gain access to land, fisheries and forests. These tenure systems determine who can use which resources, for how long, and under what conditions. The systems may be based on written policies and laws, as well as on unwritten customs and practices (FAO, 2012a).

Traditional (ecological) knowledge: A cumulative body of knowledge, practice and belief, handed down through generations by cultural transmission and evolving by adaptive processes, about the relationship between living beings (including humans) with one another and with their forest environment (Berkes, 1999).

Tree crops (also Tree commodity crops): Generally defined as food products from trees that are exported and traded widely in international commodity markets. These crops may be produced by smallholder- and/or in plantation-production systems. Examples include coffee, cocoa, tea and oil palm (Jain and Priyadarshan, 2004).


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CBD website:

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Via Campesina website: