Sustainable Development Glossary – W

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W

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waste – (rubbish, garbage, useless, worthless) Any material that is perceived to be of no further use and is permanently discarded.

 

waste export – The waste a society, region or country sends to another place for disposal, recycling, etc.

 

waste management systems – (1) Techniques and processes for managing wastes. (2) A comprehensive, integrated approach towards the achievement and maintenance of acceptable environmental quality and the support of sustainable development. It involves preparing policies, determining environmental standards, fixing emission rates, enforcing regulations, monitoring air, water, and soil quality, noise emissions, and offering advice to government, industry, land developers, planners, and the public.

 

waste separation – Grouping similar wastes (glass, paper, metals, etc.) together for recycling or disposal.

 

waste stream – The continuous flow of all components of solid waste, especially the municipal solid waste produced by homes and businesses.

 

waste treatment plant – Facilities used to treat waste to make it less harmful to humans and the environment.

 

wastewater – (1) A general term for the effluent from a residential or municipal sewage collection system. (2) Any water used in a system or process and is no longer considered useful.

 

waste quantity per capita – The amount of waste a society generates compared to its population.

 

water stress- Water stress occurs when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use. Water stress causes deterioration of fresh water resources in terms of quantity (aquifer over-exploitation, dry rivers, etc.) and quality (eutrophication, organic matter pollution, saline intrusion, etc.).

 

 

water table – The upper limit of groundwater found in soil or bedrock. The water table forms the boundary between the zone of (water) saturation and the zone of aeration.

 

watt – Unit of electrical power.

 

wetland – An area of land that is covered with water for at least part of the year, has characteristic soil and at least one of a number of distinct vegetation types swamps, marshes, salt marshes (and other coastal wetlands), and bogs. Wetland have important functions including purifying the water that recharges aquifers, providing food and habitat for many different species, and providing temporary stopover sites for migrating waterfowl.

 

wind energy – The energy of the wind used to provide power to a machine or create electrical energy.

 

WHO – World Health Organization: a United Nations agency to coordinate international health activities and to help governments improve health services.

 

World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) – The World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002. It was a mega-conference similar to that held in Rio a decade earlier, where global leaders negotiated 30 global environmental protection targets.

 

WTO – World Trade Organization; established in 1995 as the successor to GATT (the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs). The three main purposes of the WTO are to help trade flow as freely as possible, to serve as a forum for trade negotiations, and to provide for settlement of disputes.

 

WWF – World Wide Fund for Nature, a nature conservation organization (known as World Wildlife Fund in certain countries).

Sustainable Development Glossary – V

Join a Smart Word! We know how frustrating it can be to read an interesting article on sustainable development and not knowing certain terms. Finding a concise definition on internet can take some time. At the YMP we want to make your reading and learning easier with our Sustainable Development Glossary A-Z.

V

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valve – Mechanical device for controlling the flow of air, liquid or gas in one direction only.

 

vaporize – To change something from its original state into a vapor or gas.

 

VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) – A class of common air pollutants; hydrocarbon compounds that have a low boiling point, usually less than 100 degrees Centigrade, and therefore evaporate readily.

 

volunteer group – Group of people working together without being paid money.

Sustainable Development Glossary – U

Join a Smart Word! We know how frustrating it can be to read an interesting article on sustainable development and not knowing certain terms. Finding a concise definition on internet can take some time. At the YMP we want to make your reading and learning easier with our Sustainable Development Glossary A-Z.

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UNFCCC – The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The treaty aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. The treaty includes a non-binding call for developed countries to return their emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. The treaty took effect in March 1994 upon ratification by more than 50 countries.

 

urbanization – The term can describe a condition at a specific time, namely the proportion of total population or area in urban localities or areas (cities and towns), or the increase of this proportion over time.

 

UV radiation – Ultraviolet radiation. Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun.

 

use phase – The period of time in the life-cycle of a product or service when humans are using it.

Sustainable Development Glossary – T

Join a Smart Word! We know how frustrating it can be to read an interesting article on sustainable development and not knowing certain terms. Finding a concise definition on internet can take some time. At the YMP we want to make your reading and learning easier with our Sustainable Development Glossary A-Z.

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targeting – (1) To aim one’s focus at a specific target. (2) Directing one’s attention and energies for the goal of obtaining a specific result.

 

technology – Scientific study and use of mechanical arts, applied sciences and engineering.

 

tidal energy – Energy derived from the energy and movement of the ocean’s tides, usually converted to electrical energy.

 

topsoil – The original upper layer of soil material with higher organic content.

 

tourism – The business of providing accommodations and services for tourists.

 

toxic – (poisonous, deadly) (1) Of, related to, or caused by a poison or toxin. (2) Affected by a poison or toxin.

 

toxic substances – Substances that are poisonous.

 

trace – (follow, discover, investigate) (1) To discover by investigation. (2) To follow or discover by finding and noticing evidence. (3) To describe the development of something.

 

trade-off – (compromise) Balancing of various factors in order to achieve the best combination.

 

transnational corporations – A business organization operating in a number of countries.

 

travel journal – A detailed record of one’s travel patterns and experiences, including modes of transportation, destinations, travel times, etc.

 

travel mode – Method of traveling, for instance traveling by walking, bicycle, bus, train, car, etc.

 

trigger – (initiate, start, set off) (1) To cause or activate something. (2) Something that acts to initiate a process or reaction.

 

trophic – A level in a food web, food chain, or food pyramid.

 

troposphere – The lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, extending from the Earth’s surface up to about 7 to 17 km. Weather is confined to this turbulent layer of the atmosphere.

Sustainable Development Glossary – S

Join a Smart Word! We know how frustrating it can be to read an interesting article on sustainable development and not knowing certain terms. Finding a concise definition on internet can take some time. At the YMP we want to make your reading and learning easier with our Sustainable Development Glossary A-Z.

S

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salting – Salting is an ancient food preservation technique that is used particularly for meat. The salt draws out moisture from the food and makes it difficult for bacteria to grow. Salted food can last for several years.

 

saltwater intrusion – A displacement of fresh water because of the encroachment of saltwater from natural causes or from groundwater withdrawal.

 

sanitation – Maintaining clean, hygienic conditions that help prevent diseases.

 

 

sanitary – (1) Free from dirt or substances that may cause disease. (2) Of, or concerned with protecting health.

 

scalding – (1) To burn something with boiling liquid or steam. (2) To heat something almost to boiling-point. (3) To clean something with boiling water.

 

scarcity – (shortage, limited, not plentiful) (1) The quality or state of being scarce. (2) Lack of provisions necessary for the support of life.

 

second-hand shops – Stores that sell previously-owned goods, such as clothes, shoes, bicycles, household appliances, etc.

 

self ignite – Setting itself on fire.

 

 

service – (help, assistance, aid) (1) Work done for another or others. (2) Business that does work or supplies goods for customers, but does not make the goods, themselves. (3) Work serving customers.

 

severe – (drastic, extreme, harsh) Very bad, difficult, etc.

 

sewage – Waste matter from human bodies, factories, towns, etc. that flows away in sewers.

 

silt – Sand, mud, etc. carried by flowing water. Silt is often deposited on the bottom of the water body as the water slows down.

 

siltation – A term applied to the gradual sedimentation of silt-sized (very small) particles in a body of water. Siltation often occurs behind the dam in a reservoir.

 

smog – Fog having a high pollution content.

 

smoking – The process of exposing foods to smoke kills bacteria and removes some of the moisture from the substance which helps preserve it.

 

smokestack – A large tall chimney through which combustion gases and smoke can be evacuated.

 

 

social model – A representation of specific social organizations and conditions that is used to scientifically study various aspects of the society such as drivers, barriers and responses to changing conditions.

 

“society in the information revolution” – Modern societies are gradually changing from societies based on industrial production to those based on information exchange and services.

 

soil contamination – Soil or dirt that has been polluted by harmful substances.

 

soil erosion – The loss or removal of soil material by a transport process, such as water and/or wind.

 

solar energy – Any form of energy derived from the energy coming from the sun. Solar energy can be direct or indirect, and includes the production of both heat and electricity.

 

specification – (requirement, details) Details and instructions describing the design, materials, etc. of something to be made or done.

 

species diversity – The variety of species within a region or a given area. An area that has a large number of species and many representative individuals from each species is more diverse than an area that has only a single species.

 

stakeholder – Someone who has an interest or a stake in an organisation, this could include shareholders, directors, management, employees, suppliers, government, regulators, non-governmental organisations and the community at large.

 

standard of living – Refers to the quality and quantity of goods and services available to people.

 

storm water – Water that runs off the surface of the land as a result of a rain storm.

 

strategy – (procedure, tactics) (1) Planning and directing an operation. (2) Planning or managing any affair well. (3) Plan or policy designed for a particular purpose.

 

stratosphere – The region of the Earth’s atmosphere between the troposphere and the mesosphere. It extends from roughly 20 to 50 km above the Earth’s surface.

 

stratospheric ozone layer depletion – The ozone layer is thought to be threatened by the use of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and efforts are being made to restrict the production and use of these substances. The preservation of the ozone layer is most important for the survival of humanity, as it protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

 

subspecies –  A subpopulation of a species, defined on the basis of more than one character that distinguishes the members of the subpopulation from other members of that species.

 

substances – A large group of identically structured molecules.

 

sulphur dioxide (SO2) – A major air pollutant; a gas formed when sulphur burns in the presence of oxygen. It is corrosive and harmful to plants and animals, and is especially damaging to trees.

 

sustain – (supply, maintain nourish) To give support or relief to.

 

sustainable development – Economic growth and activities that do not deplete or degrade the environmental resources upon which present and future economic growth depend.

 

sustainable entrepreneurship – Integrating people, planet and profit in the development of business and organisations..

 

sustainable society – (sustainable global society) A holistic view that sustainable development needs to be considered within the framework of the society.