The variety of all life forms – the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystems of which they form part.
The long-term storage of carbon or carbon dioxide in the forests, soils, oceans, or underground in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, coal seams and saline aquifers.
Carbon sinks (greenhouse sinks)
Natural or man-made systems that absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Trees, plants and the oceans all absorb CO2 and are examples of carbon sinks.
An area of land where run-off from rainfall goes into one river system.
Ecologically sustainable practices
Practices that improve the total quality of life, now and in the future, in a way that maintains the ecological processes on which life depends.
A dynamic complex of plant, animal, fungal, and micro-organism communities and the associated non-living environment interacting as an ecological unit.
The conditions and processes through which natural ecosystems, and the species of those natural ecosystems, sustain and fulfil human life.
The non-urban areas that provide opportunities fro infrastructure that supports urban areas, such as airports. They safeguard agricultural uses, preserve rural and scenic landscapes, non-renewable resources and natural areas including water catchments, and provide opportunities for tourism, recreation and a network of open space.
The warming of the earth’s surface caused by greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere. These gases regulate the earth’s temperature – making it capable of sustaining life – by retaining some of the heat that otherwise would radiate back into space.
Greenhouse gases (GHG)
Gases in the Earth’s atmosphere that absorb and re-emit infrared radiation. These gases occur through both natural and human-influenced processes. The major GHG is water vapour. Other primary GHGs include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ozone and chloroflorocarbons.
Aesthetic, historic, scientific or social value for past, present or future generations.
The ecological, social and economic factors which relate a particular community’s lived experience to their immediate environment, natural or built.
Nuisance flora and fauna
Exotic species of flora and fauna, non-native and native, that have been relocated to areas outside their natural range. The threats posed by introduced or exotic species to biodiversity are immense.
Any patch of native vegetation around which most or all of the native vegetation has been removed. It may include corridors or islands of vegetation located on land with a variety of tenure.
The established system of national parks and nature reserves which are subject to an established degree of protection from disturbance.
The total amount of water-soluble salts present in the soil or water.
The management of land to enhance, protect and restore biodiversity assets and ecosystem services.
Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
An integrated approach to the achievement of environmental, social and economic outcomes.
The circuit of water movement from the oceans to the atmosphere to the earth and its return to the atmosphere through various stages and processes such as precipitation, interception, run-off, infiltration, percolation, storage, evaporation and transportation.