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Glossary


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


D

Deforestation

 

Conversion of forested land to non-forest areas.

 
Dense forest

 

All lands with the forest cover having a canopy density of 40% and above.

 
Desalination

 

The removal, using any of several processes, of excess salt and other minerals from water in order to obtain fresh water suitable for animal consumption or irrigation, and if almost all of the salt is removed, for human consumption, sometimes producing table salt as a by-product.

 
Desertification

 

This is land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities. It involves crossing thresholds beyond which the underpinning ecosystem cannot restore itself, but requires ever-greater external resources for recovery.

 
Disaster

 

Major disturbances in the life of a community or population which occur sufficiently often to leave their record in the ‘genetic memory’ of the population.

 
Disaster risk management

 

The systematic process of using administrative decisions, organization, operational skills and capacities to implement policies, strategies and coping capacities of the society and communities to lessen the impacts of natural hazards and related environmental and technological disasters.

 
Drylands

 

Areas characterized by lack of water, which constrain two major, interlinked ecosystem services: primary production and nutrient cycling. Four dryland sub-types are widely recognized: dry sub-humid, semi-arid, arid and hyper-arid, showing an increasing level of aridity or moisture deficit. Formally, this definition includes all land where the aridity index value is less than 0.65. See also Aridity index.

 
Dump

 

A land site where wastes are discarded in a disorderly or haphazard fashion without regard to protecting the environment.