Sustainable Development Glossary – B

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!

bacteria – A very large group of diverse single-celled micro-organisms which are found in soil and water, as well as on plants and animals.


bankrupt – The legal status of an individual or company which is unable to pay its creditors and whose assets are therefore administered for its creditors by a trustee in bankruptcy.


barcode – An identification label on products that consists of a group of short, black lines or bars that are used for identification and tracking purposes.


barrier – (obstruction, difficulty, obstacle) Something that prevents, limits or controls change, progress or movement.


behavior – (conduct, actions, attitudes, way of life, habits) Way of acting or functioning.


benign – Pleasant and beneficial in nature or influence.


“big picture” – The overall, larger view of a situation; not the little details.


biodiversity – (biological diversity) (1) The number of different species in an area, including diversity within species. (2) The number and relative abundance of all the species within a given area. Example


biogas – Gas produced from the fermentation of organic matter (biomass) that can be used as fuel. Biogas is usually mostly methane. (Introductory free e-book to the bioenergy world) Example: Youth project in India – creating a biogas plant at the school.


biomass – All the biological material, the combined mass of all the animals and plants living in a specific area, or of a given population.


biomass energy – Energy derived from organic matter, usually plants. Biomass energy can come directly from burning, as with wood, or through conversion to gas or liquid fuel (distilled or fermented into alcohol, digested by microbes into methane, or converted to gas or oil).


biosphere – All ecosystems on earth as well as the earth’s crust, waters, and atmosphere on and in which organisms exist.


biotic –  Living things, like plants, animals and people.


blanching – Preserving food, especially vegetables by putting them briefly into boiling water.


burning – (on fire) The act of destroying, damaging, or injuring by fire, heat or acid.



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