This glossary pulls from internationally recognized sources – including, but not limited to, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nation Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change sites and platforms, and glossaries to recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports – to define terminology used in the country profiles and the keywords associated with each profile. Definitions of the IsDB sectors referenced in each profile can be found here.

Country Profile Terms

Adaptation refers to adjustments in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts. It refers to changes in processes, practices, and structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change. In simple terms, countries and communities need to develop adaptation solutions and implement action to respond to the impacts of climate change that are already happening, as well as prepare for future impacts.

BURs [Biennial Update Reports] are reports to be submitted by non-Annex I Parties [a category of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, more information here], containing updates of national Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories, including a national inventory report and information on mitigation actions, needs and support received. Such reports provide updates on actions undertaken by a Party to implement the Convention, including the status of its GHG emissions and removals from the atmosphere by sinks, as well as on the actions to reduce emissions or enhance sinks.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives:

  • The conservation of biological diversity
  • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
  • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

The Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. Since then, almost 90% of UN member states, from all the world’s geographic regions, have acceded to become 'Contracting Parties'.

The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (HFA) is the first plan to explain, describe and detail the work that is required from all different sectors and actors to reduce disaster losses. It was developed and agreed on with the many partners needed to reduce disaster risk - governments, international agencies, disaster experts and many others - bringing them into a common system of coordination. The HFA outlines five priorities for action, and offers guiding principles and practical means for achieving disaster resilience. Its goal is to substantially reduce disaster losses by 2015 by building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. This means reducing loss of lives and social, economic, and environmental assets when hazards strike.

See definition for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), intended NDCs were prepared in anticipation of the Paris Agreement to outline the post-2020 climate actions a country would take to achieve global climate goals. Once countries formally joined the Paris Agreement intended NDCs transitioned to NDCs.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities'. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2001, and are referred to as the "Marrakesh Accords." Its first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012.

Land use refers to the total of arrangements, activities and inputs undertaken in a certain land cover type (a set of human actions). The term land use is also used in the sense of the social and economic purposes for which land is managed (e.g., grazing, timber extraction, conservation and city dwelling).

As there is a direct relation between global average temperatures and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the key for the solution to the climate change problem rests in decreasing the amount of emissions released into the atmosphere and in reducing the current concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) by enhancing sinks (e.g. increasing the area of forests).  Efforts to reduce emissions and enhance sinks are referred to as 'mitigation'.

The national adaptation plan (NAP) process was established under the Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF) [an agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change]. It enables Parties to formulate and implement national adaptation plans (NAPs) as a means of identifying medium- and long-term adaptation needs and developing and implementing strategies and programmes to address those needs. It is a continuous, progressive and iterative process which follows a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach.

NAMAs [Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions] refer to any action that reduces emissions in developing countries and is prepared under the umbrella of a national governmental initiative. They can be policies directed at transformational change within an economic sector, or actions across sectors for a broader national focus. NAMAs are supported and enabled by technology, financing, and capacity-building and are aimed at achieving a reduction in emissions relative to 'business as usual' emissions in 2020.

The Convention on Biological Diversity calls for each Party to develop a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) to guarantee that the objectives of the Convention are fulfilled in each country (Article 6). The national biodiversity strategy reflects the country’s vision for biodiversity and the broad policy and institutional measures that the country will take to fulfil the objectives of the Convention, while the action plan comprises the concrete actions to be taken to achieve the strategy.

A national communication is a report that each Party to the Convention [The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] prepares periodically in accordance with the guidelines developed and adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP) [the ultimate decision-making organ of the Framework Convention]. Specifically, a national communication is a commitment of each Party (in accordance with Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Convention) to provide the following elements of information to the Conference of the Parties, as set out in Article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention:

(a) A national inventory of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, to the extent its capacities permit, using comparable methodologies to be promoted and agreed upon by the Conference of the Parties;

(b) A general description of steps taken or envisaged by the Party to implement the Convention;

(c) Any other information that the non-Annex I Party considers relevant to the achievement of the objectives of the Convention and suitable for inclusion in its communication, including, if feasible, material relevant for calculations of global emission trends.

The Paris Agreement requests each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions, known as their NDCs [Nationally Determined Contributions]. Together, these climate actions determine whether the world achieves the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as soon as possible and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of GHGs in the second half of this century. It is understood that the peaking of emissions will take longer for developing country Parties, and that emission reductions are undertaken on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, which are critical development priorities for many developing countries. Each climate plan reflects the country’s ambition for reducing emissions, taking into account its domestic circumstances and capabilities.

In Paris, on 12 December 2015, Parties to the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] reached a landmark agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future. The Paris Agreement builds upon the Convention and – for the first time – brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so. As such, it charts a new course in the global climate effort.

The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the agreement aims to increase the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change, and at making finance flows consistent with a low GHG emissions and climate-resilient pathway. To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate mobilization and provision of financial resources, a new technology framework and enhanced capacity-building is to be put in place, thus supporting action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives. The Agreement also provides for an enhanced transparency framework for action and support.

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is a mechanism developed by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. Developing countries would receive results-based payments for results-based actions. REDD+ goes beyond simply deforestation and forest degradation and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

A national strategy or action plan is one of the elements to be developed by developing country Parties implementing REDD+ activities (according to paragraph 71 of decision 1/CP.16). This national strategy or action plan is highly dependent upon national circumstances.

During the development and implementation of national strategies or action plans, developing countries should address, inter alia: the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, land tenure issues, forest governance issues, gender considerations and the REDD+ safeguards including the full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, inter alia indigenous peoples and local communities.

The ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions through risk management.

The Sendai Framework is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders. It aims for the following outcome:

The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.

The Sendai Framework is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. It is the outcome of stakeholder consultations initiated in March 2012 and inter-governmental negotiations held from July 2014 to March 2015, which were supported by the UNISDR [now called the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction] upon the request of the UN General Assembly.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.

National Action Programmes are at the heart of the Convention [to Combat Desertification] and constitute the conceptual and legal framework for implementing it at the national and local levels. Their purpose is to identify the factors contributing to desertification and the practical measures necessary to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. The Convention indicates that affected countries shall elaborate and implement them with the full participation of local communities and all interested stakeholders. Furthermore, they should be fully integrated with other development programmes.

The UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] entered into force on 21 March 1994. Today, it has near-universal membership. The 197 countries that have ratified the Convention are called Parties to the Convention. The UNFCCC is a 'Rio Convention', one of three adopted at the 'Rio Earth Summit' in 1992. Its sister Rio Conventions are the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification. The three are intrinsically linked. It is in this context that the Joint Liaison Group was set up to boost cooperation among the three Conventions, with the ultimate aim of developing synergies in their activities on issues of mutual concern. It now also incorporates the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Preventing 'dangerous' human interference with the climate system is the ultimate aim of the UNFCCC.

As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to "conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven" (paragraph 79). These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the high-level political forum (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC [The United Nations Economic and Social Council]. As stipulated in paragraph 84 of the 2030 Agenda, regular reviews by the HLPF are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and involve multiple stakeholders.

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress. Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences a year later. The Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva, is headed by the Secretary-General. Its supreme body is the World Meteorological Congress.


Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry


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 (UN, 1992). IPCC Glossary, 2018

Climate Smart Agriculture

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) aims to enhance the capacity of the agricultural systems to support food security, incorporating the need for adaptation and the potential for mitigation into sustainable agriculture development strategies. CSA proposes more integrated approaches to the closely linked challenges of food security, development and climate change adaptation/mitigation, to enable countries to identify options with maximum benefits and those where trade-offs need management. FAO, 2019


Conversion of forest to non-forest. For a discussion of the term forest and related terms such as afforestation, reforestation and deforestation, see the IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry (IPCC, 2000). IPCC Glossary, 2018


'Desertification' means land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities. UNCCD

Food Insecurity

A situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development of 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 either chronic, seasonal or transitory. FAO Term Portal

Land Tenure

Arrangements or rights under which the holder operates the land making up the holding. FAO Term Portal

Reforestation and/or Afforestation

Reforestation: Planting of forests on lands that have previously contained forests but that have been converted to some other use. IPCC Glossary, 2018

Afforestation: Planting of new forests on lands that historically have not contained forests. IPCC Glossary, 2018

Energy Systems


Energy derived from any form of biomass or its metabolic by-products. IPCC Glossary, 2018

Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage/Utilization

Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS): A process in which a relatively pure stream of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial and energy related sources is separated (captured), conditioned, compressed and transported to a storage location for long-term isolation from the atmosphere. Sometimes referred to as Carbon Capture and Storage. IPCC Glossary, 2018

Carbon dioxide capture and utilisation (CCU): A process in which CO2 is captured and then used to produce a new product. If the CO2 is stored in a product for a climate-relevant time horizon, this is referred to as carbon dioxide capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS). Only then, and only combined with CO2 recently removed from the atmosphere, can CCUS lead to carbon dioxide removal. CCU is sometimes referred to as Carbon dioxide capture and use. IPCC Glossary, 2018

Geothermal Power

Geothermal energy is a type of renewable energy which is generated within the earth and can be used directly for heating or transformed into electricity. An advantage of geothermal energy over some other renewable energy sources is that it is available year-long (whereas solar and wind energy present higher variability and intermittence) and can be found around the globe. However, for electricity generation, medium- to high-temperature resources, which are usually close to volcanically active regions, are needed. IRENA, 2017


Hydropower is energy derived from flowing water…The basic principle of hydropower is using water to drive turbines. Hydropower plants consist of two basic configurations: with dams and reservoirs, or without. Hydropower dams with a large reservoir can store water over short or long periods to meet peak demand. The facilities can also be divided into smaller dams for different purposes, such as night or day use, seasonal storage, or pumped-storage reversible plants, for both pumping and electricity generation. Hydropower without dams and reservoirs means producing at a smaller scale, typically from a facility designed to operate in a river without interfering in its flow. For this reason, many consider small-scale hydro a more environmentally-friendly option. IRENA, 2018

Gas Flaring

Billions of cubic meters of natural gas is flared annually at oil production sites around the globe. Flaring gas wastes a valuable energy resource that could be used to support economic growth and progress. It also contributes to climate change by releasing millions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. The World Bank, Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership

Nuclear Power

Nuclear energy is the energy in the nucleus, or core, of an atom. Atoms are tiny units that make up all matter in the universe, and energy is what holds the nucleus together. There is a huge amount of energy in an atom's dense nucleus. In fact, the power that holds the nucleus together is officially called the "strong force." Nuclear energy can be used to create electricity, but it must first be released from the atom. In the process of nuclear fission, atoms are split to release that energy. National Geographic Encyclopedia

Solar Power

Solar energy is created by nuclear fusion that takes place in the sun. It is necessary for life on Earth, and can be harvested for human uses such as electricity…Solar energy is a renewable resource, and many technologies can harvest it directly for use in homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals. Some solar energy technologies include photovoltaic cells and panels, concentrated solar energy, and solar architecture. National Geographic Encyclopedia

Wind Power

Scientists and engineers are using energy from the wind to generate electricity. Wind energy, or wind power, is created using a wind turbine…The wind blows the blades of the turbine, which are attached to a rotor. The rotor then spins a generator to create electricity. National Geographic Encyclopedia

Water Systems

Water Scarcity

Water scarcity can mean scarcity in availability due to physical shortage, or scarcity in access due to the failure of institutions to ensure a regular supply or due to a lack of adequate infrastructure. Water scarcity already affects every continent. Water use has been growing globally at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century, and an increasing number of regions are reaching the limit at which water services can be sustainably delivered, especially in arid regions. UN Water

Water Desalination

The process of removing salt and other impurities from oceanic or brackish water. Distillation can be used to obtain very small volumes of water, but resource-intensive techniques such as reverse osmosis, electrodialisis, or other membrane technologies must be employed for larger throughputs FAO Term Portal

Saline Intrusion

The influx of sea water into an area that is not normally exposed to high salinity levels. The movement of saline water into freshwater aquifers. FAO Term Portal

Climatology and Hazards

Biological Hazards

Biological hazards are of organic origin or conveyed by biological vectors, including pathogenic microorganisms, toxins and bioactive substances. Examples are bacteria, viruses or parasites, as well as venomous wildlife and insects, poisonous plants and mosquitoes carrying disease-causing agents. UNDRR Terminology

Climate Services

Climate services refers to information and products that enhance users' knowledge and understanding about the impacts of climate change and/or climate variability so as to aid decision-making of individuals and organizations and enable preparedness and early climate change action. Products can include climate data products. IPCC Glossary, 2018

Geophysical Hazards

Geological or geophysical hazards originate from internal earth processes. Examples are earthquakes, volcanic activity and emissions, and related geophysical processes such as mass movements, landslides, rockslides, surface collapses and debris or mud flows. Hydrometeorological factors are important contributors to some of these processes. Tsunamis are difficult to categorize: although they are triggered by undersea earthquakes and other geological events, they essentially become an oceanic process that is manifested as a coastal water-related hazard. UNDRR Terminology

Hydrometeorological Hazards

Hydrometeorological hazards are of atmospheric, hydrological or oceanographic origin. Examples are tropical cyclones (also known as typhoons and hurricanes); floods, including flash floods; drought; heatwaves and cold spells; and coastal storm surges. Hydrometeorological conditions may also be a factor in other hazards such as landslides, wildland fires, locust plagues, epidemics and in the transport and dispersal of toxic substances and volcanic eruption material. UNDRR Terminology

Management and Planning Approaches

Urban Management and Planning

The overall objective of the urban planning and design area is to improve policies, plans and designs for more compact, socially inclusive, better integrated and connected cities that foster sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change, at the city, regional and national levels. UN Habitat

Coastal Management and Planning

Integrated coastal zone management: The process of combining all aspects of the human, physical and biological aspects of the coastal zone within a single management framework. FAO Term Portal

Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) is about proper use and management of ocean and coastal spaces based on publicly agreed upon goals and objectives. It is about ensuring that marine uses are compatible and occur in areas where environmental effects are avoided or minimized. FAO Term Portal, Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

Rural Development

Rural development is a strategy designed to improve the economic and social life of a specific group of people - the rural poor. It involves extending the benefits of development to the poorest among those who seek a livelihood in the rural areas. The group includes small-scale farmers, tenants and the landless. The World Bank

Livelihoods and Socio-Economic Development

Agriculture Fishing Forestry Sector

Agricultural development is one of the most powerful tools to end extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity and feed a projected 9.7 billion people by 2050.  Growth in the agriculture sector is two to four times more effective in raising incomes among the poorest compared to other sectors. 2016 analyses found that 65% of poor working adults made a living through agriculture. The World Bank

Forests contribute to poverty reduction, economic growth and employment, and generate essential ecosystem services that sustain key sectors such as agricultural, energy, and water. Forests also help countries respond to climate change. Forest goods provide an important “hidden harvest” for rural populations, keeping many people out of extreme poverty. About 350 million people who live within or close to dense forests depend on them for their subsistence and income. The World Bank

Fishing is the capture of aquatic organisms in marine, coastal and inland areas. Marine and inland fisheries, together with aquaculture, provide food, nutrition and a source of income to around 820 million people around the world, from harvesting, processing, marketing and distribution. For many it also forms part of their traditional cultural identity. One of the greatest threats to the sustainability of global fishery resources is illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. FAO

Community Organization and Action

Community-Driven Development (CDD) programs operate on the principles of transparency, participation, accountability, and enhanced local capacity. Experience has shown that when given clear and transparent rules, access to information, and appropriate technical and financial support, poor communities can effectively organize to identify community priorities and address local problems by working in partnership with local governments and other institutions to build small-scale infrastructure and deliver basic services. The World Bank

Community-Based Adaptation (CBA): It is increasingly recognized that small communities are likely to be the most severely affected by climate change impacts and yet are least equipped to cope and adapt. In response to this, UNDP is supporting community-based projects that seek to enhance the resiliency of communities, and/or the ecosystems on which they rely, to climate change impacts. It will essentially create small-scale/policy laboratories and generate knowledge about how to achieve adaptation at the local level. UNDP

Energy Efficiency

The ratio of output or useful energy or energy services or other useful physical outputs obtained from a system, conversion process, transmission or storage activity to the input of energy (measured as kWh kWh-1, tonnes kWh-1 or any other physical measure of useful output like tonne-km transported). Energy efficiency is often described by energy intensity. In economics, energy intensity describes the ratio of economic output to energy input. Most commonly energy efficiency is measured as input energy over a physical or economic unit, i.e. kWh USD-1 (energy intensity), kWh tonne-1. For buildings, it is often measured as kWh m-2, and for vehicles as km liter-1or liter km-1. Very often in policy "energy efficiency" is intended as the measures to reduce energy demand through technological options such as insulating buildings, more efficient appliances, efficient lighting, efficient vehicles, etc. IPCC Glossary, 2018

Conflict and Insecurity

Whether resulting from armed conflict, criminal activity, civil unrest or denial of basic economic and social rights, situations of conflict, violence and insecurity are invariably preceded by clearly identifiable patterns of human rights abuses and discrimination. Natural disasters often exacerbate pre-existing human rights issues, leading to further violence and insecurity. OHCHR

Economic Diversification

Economic diversification is the process of shifting an economy away from a single income source toward multiple sources from a growing range of sectors and markets. Traditionally, it has been applied as a strategy to encourage positive economic growth and development. In the context of climate change adaptation, it takes on a new relevance as a strategy to diversify away from vulnerable products, markets, and jobs toward income sources that are low-emission and more climate resilient. UNFCCC

Climate Change and Geopolitics

The effects of global warming on the world’s physical landscape often lead to geopolitical changes that threaten to destabilize already vulnerable regions, like the Horn of Africa. The stresses on natural resources undermine the capacity of nations to govern themselves, and increase the chances of conflicts. When compared to other drivers of international security risks, climate change can be modelled with a relatively high degree of certainty. But between predicting and preparing, there is still a long way to go. UNESCO Courie

Education and Public Awareness

Education is an essential element of the global response to climate change. It helps people understand and address the impact of global warming, increases “climate literacy” among young people, encourages changes in their attitudes and behaviour, and helps them adapt to climate change related trends. Education and awareness-raising enable informed decision-making, play an essential role in increasing adaptation and mitigation capacities of communities, and empower women and men to adopt sustainable lifestyles. UNESCO

Energy and Extractive Sector

Energy is at the heart of development. Without energy, communities live in darkness, essential services such as clinics and schools suffer, and businesses operate under crippling constraints. Energy makes possible the investments, innovations and new industries that are the engines of jobs and growth for entire economies. Universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy – Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 -- is essential to reach other SDGs and is at the center of efforts to tackle climate change. The World Bank

Gender/Gender Equality

Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles and relationships of and between groups of women and men. It varies from society to society and can be changed. While most people are born either male or female, they are taught appropriate norms and behaviours – including how they should interact with others of the same or opposite sex within households, communities and work places. When individuals or groups do not “fit” established gender norms they often face stigma, discriminatory practices or social exclusion – all of which adversely affect health. It is important to be sensitive to different identities that do not necessarily fit into binary male or female sex categories. WHO

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, also half of its potential. Gender equality, besides being a fundamental human right, is essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential and sustainable development. Moreover, it has been shown that empowering women spurs productivity and economic growth. UN

Internal Displacement

The state of internally displaced people. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border. IOM Glossary


The movement of persons away from their place of usual residence, either across an international border or within a State. IOM Glossary

Services Sector

The services sector plays an increasingly important role in the global economy and the growth and development of countries through the generation of opportunities for greater income, productivity, employment, investment and trade. Indeed, manufacturing activities and competitiveness increasingly depend on services, a phenomenon known as "servicification". Services are also crucial for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. UNCTAD

Sustainable Transport

Sustainable transport is the provision of services and infrastructure for the mobility of people and goods— advancing economic and social development to benefit today’s and future generations—in a manner that is safe, affordable, accessible, efficient, and resilient, while minimizing carbon and other emissions and environmental impacts. UN