Sustainable Development Glossary – G

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.


Is the term that you look for missing in the list below? Let us know in a comment at the end of this page. We will add that term for you!

gamma rays – The highest-energy form of radioactivity. Gamma rays have no electrical charge or mass; they resemble x-rays but have shorter wavelengths and higher energies.


GATT – General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. A trade agreement which was originally negotiated in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1947 to increase international trade by reducing tariffs and other trade barriers. (Tariff = A tax on imports)


generate – (create, produce, cause) (1) To cause something to exist or work. (2) To produce.


genetic diversity – Variability in the genetic makeup among a group of individuals in a population.


genes – Located in the nucleus of the cell and organized into larger structures known as chromosomes, genes contain hereditary information that is transferred from cell to cell.


genetically modified – Altering genes or genetic material to produce desirable new traits in organisms or to eliminate undesirable ones.


genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – Organisms which have had their genetic material altered to produce desirable traits or eliminate undesirable ones.


geothermal energy – Energy generated by the heat inside of the earth.


globalization – The growing interdependence of countries world-wide through the increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services, and also through the more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology and culture.


global citizen – Points at the idea of identifying one´s identity beyond your local context, geographically and politically. In many cases related to education and empowerment of youth.

Get a sense what it is to be a global citizen from YMP students. You do not have to leave home to be a global citizen – watch this video


grazing – The use of grasses and other plants to feed wild or domestic herbivores such as deer, sheep and cows.


Great Depression – The period of American history after the Stock Market Crash of October 1929 until World War II when the country experienced very low economic activity combined with high levels of unemployment.


greenhouse – (glass-house, hot house) Building with sides and roof of glass, used for growing plants that need protection from the weather.


greenhouse effect – Gradual warming of the earth’s atmosphere, thought to be caused by increased carbon dioxide in the air. The gases in the atmosphere (like carbon dioxide) trap light and heat energy from the sun similar to the way a greenhouse functions.


Greenpeace – A citizen organization dedicated to environmental protection.


grey water – A general term for domestic wastewater that does not contain sewage or fecal contamination. Effluent from washing clothes is an example of grey water.


Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – GDP is the total value of goods and services produced by a country.


GDP per capita – Gross Domestic Product, the total value of all the goods and services produced by a country in a year. It is often measured ‘per capita’ or per person, to make an average.


groundwater – All water that is contained in the pore spaces of rock and soil below the elevation of the water table.


groundwater pollution – Harmful or polluting substances that enter the water under the ground’s surface.


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