Biodiversity, Food and Farming for a Healthy Planet


Ancestor : ancient relative.
Aquaculture : fish farming.
Archeologist : scientist who studies ancient human civilisations.
Biodiversity : the variety of life on Earth, at each of the genetic, species and ecosystem levels, and the relationships between them.
Breed : a grouping of animals having a common ancestor and the same characteristics.
Carnivore : animal that eats only animals.
Cell : the basic building block of life. All organisms are made up of one or more cells.
Community : a group of organisms that share an environment.
Compost : recycle food wastes by decomposition.
Crop : plant that farmers grow.
Crop pest : insect, fungus, microorganism or animal that eats or damages crops.
Domesticated : species trained or adapted by humans. All domesticated species originated from wild ancestors.
Ecosystem : all communities living and interacting with each other within a given area.
Ecosystem service : a benefit that people obtain from ecosystems.
Ecology : the study of species in their natural environment.
Endangered species : species threatened by extinction.
Environment : the set of conditions—land, organisms and climate—in which a group of organisms live.
Epiphyte : a plant that grows on another plant and depends on it for support but not food. Epiphytes get moisture and nutrients from the air or from small pools of water that can collect on the host plant.
Fertilizer : nutrient-rich material the farmer adds to the soil.
Food chain : the sequence of who eats whom in a community.
Food web : many food chains that are related.
Fungus : organism that grows, like the roots of a plant, in the soil. The fruit of some fungi are mushrooms.
Genes : characteristics that make each individual unique.
Grain : small fruit with one seed.
Herbivore : animal that eats only plants.
Industrial farming : type of farming that needs machines and other resources that must be bought.
Livelihood : way of supporting yourself, either through a paying job or by growing, producing and/or gathering everything you need to survive.
Macroorganism : a small creature that can be seen with the naked eye.
Microorganism : a creature too small to be seen with the naked eye; you need a magnifying glass or microscope to see it.
Mixed farming system : type of farming that combines farming with another type of activity, such as herding, fishing or forestry.
Nutrient cycling : the reusing of nitrogen, carbon and other nutrients in ecosystems.
Omnivore : animal that eats plants and other animals.
Organic or ecological farming : type of sustainable farming where on-farm renewable resources are used as much as possible.
Organism : a living individual, such as a maize plant, a bird, a fish or a human.
Pasture : area of land, usually surrounded by a fence, where farm animals graze.
Pesticide : chemical applied to crops to kill crop pests.
Pollination : the first step in plant reproduction that produces a seed. Pollination requires water, wind or a pollinator to transfer pollen to a flower.
Pollinator : insect or animal that fertilizes a flower.
Recycle : processing of an item made of plastic, paper, rubber or metal to reuse it by making it into a new item.
Reduce : buy and use less, for example, buying goods with less packaging.
Renewable resource : resource that can be used more than once because it is replenished by natural processes at the rate it is used.
Resource : something that can be used to make something else. Farmers need natural resources, such as land, air, water and sunlight, to grow food.
Rethink : think about choices. Are they sustainable?
Reuse : use any item again and again until it is worn out and cannot be repaired.
Small-scale farming : farmers grow food for themselves, their family and sometimes the local market on a small piece of land with limited resources. Often, these farmers do not have the money to buy resources they need.
Species : a group of organisms that can reproduce.
Sustainability : the ability to continue an action forever because it considers the environment, people and their livelihoods.
Sustainable farming : type of farming that can continue over the long term with little or no damage to the environment.
Traditional (or local) knowledge : information and learning processes developed over many years and passed down from one generation to the next.
Variety : a grouping of plants having a common ancestor and the same characteristics.