Sustainable Development Glossary – N

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!

natural disasters – Natural events, outside human control, that kill or harm humans and/or damaged property, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, floods, etc.


natural gas – A naturally occurring gaseous hydrocarbon that is principally composed of methane. Natural gas is valued as an efficient and clean-burning fuel.


need – (want, requirement) (1) A pressing requirement of something essential or desirable that is lacking. (2) Something that is required for the well-being of an organism.


“needs assessment” – The process of understanding and questioning what (and how much) products and services we each consume.


NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) – Voluntary organizations, usually non-profit membership organizations, not affiliated with any government organization.


Ni-Cd batteries  – Batteries that contain nickel and cadmium that are both metals. Cadmium is a heavy metal and is toxic in very low concentration to both plants, animals and to human beings.


nitric acid – A corrosive liquid with a sharp odor that acts as a strong acid when dissolved in water. Nitric acid is used to synthesize ammonium nitrate for fertilizers, and is also used in the manufacture of explosives, dyes, and pharmaceuticals. It is a component of acid rain; it damages buildings, vehicle surfaces, crops, forests, and aquatic life.




nitrogen loading – Unusually high levels of nitrogen in water bodies caused by human waste and pollution as well as the improper use of fertilizers and other man-made chemicals.


nitrogen oxides (NOx) – Compounds formed by the oxidation of nitrogen, including nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide. These compounds are air pollutants because they undergo photochemical reactions to form smog and ozone; they are also believed to contribute to the depletion of the earth’s protective ozone layer.


non-native plants and animals species – Plants and animals that are not originally from the area which they currently live.


non-porous – (solid, closed) Without pores or openings.


nozzle – The restriction at the end of the wand that creates the pressure.


nuclear power – Commonly refers to the release of energy from changing the structure of an element’s nucleus. Commercial nuclear power plants use one form of nuclear energy, fission, in which large amounts of energy are released when the nuclei of heavy elements such as uranium split.


nucleus – The part of the cell that contains the chromosomes.


nutrients -Essential chemicals needed by plants and animals for growth.


nutrition – (nourishment, food) The different substances something needs to survive.

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