Sustainable Development Glossary – I

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!

illegal dumping – Disposing hazardous or non-hazardous waste somewhere it is not allowed by law.


illiteracy – An inability to read.


illumination – The degree of visibility of your environment, or the density of the light flow incident on a surface.


impact – (affect, change, influence) A strong impression or effect on something or somebody. The impression of one thing on another.


implement – To put something into effect; carry out.


incandescent – Artificial light source produced by an electric current passing through a wire inside a vacuum, heating the wire to high temperatures to produce light.



incentive – (motivation, stimulus, influence) Something that encourages somebody to do something.


incineration – The process of burning wastes.


incinerator – (furnace) An enclosed container or structure used for burning garbage and waste.


Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) – The Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare is an economic indicator intended to replace the Gross Domestic Product.


industrialism – The social and economic concept used to identify a society based on industry or technology versus one based on farming.


industrial society – A group of people whose existence is based on and largely controlled by employment in industrial production and related services.


industrial waste – Wastes that are produced during industrial processes.


influence – (affect, alter, change, modify) To produce an effect on something or somebody.


infrastructure – (foundation, basic structure, support) (1) The parts, installations, etc. that form the basis of a system, an organization or an enterprise. (2) The supporting equipment in a country (roads, railways, power-stations, water supply).


inputs – Something that is added to a system or process to obtain the desired results.


insecticides – Chemicals used to control or kill insects.


institution – (establishment, organization, system) (1) An established organization or corporation (2) A significant practice, relationship, or organization in a society or culture. (3) Something or someone firmly associated with a place or thing.


insulation – (from the word “insulate” meaning to protect something against/from heat, cold, electricity or sound) Materials used for the purpose of insulating.


interact – (associate, communicate, cooperate, mix) (1) With something to have an effect on each other. (2) With somebody to act together or communicate with each other.


interdependent – Two or more things that need or depend on each other.


interest – (concern, matter, business) Personal connection with something from which one may benefit.


interpersonal – Occurring among or involving several people.


interplanting – Grow several crops together.



inventory – A detailed list of things that one has.


irradiation – To expose something to radiant energy such as ultraviolet rays or ionizing radiation such as gamma rays or x-rays.


irrigation – (from the word “irrigate”) To supply (land or crops) with water by means of streams, reservoirs, channels, pipes, etc.


issue – (point, matter, problem, concern) (1) Something coming from a specific source. (2) An important topic for discussion. (3) Point in question.

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