In the “New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2000-2020”
Adaptive management: An experimental approach to management, or "structured learning by doing". It is based on developing dynamic models that attempt to make predictions or hypotheses about the impacts of alternative management policies. Management learning then proceeds by systematic testing of these models, rather than by random trial and error. Adaptive management is most useful when large complex ecological systems are being managed and management decisions cannot wait for final research results.
Alien species: See Introduced species.
Biological biodiversity (biodiversity): The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems (Convention on Biological Diversity). Components include:
Genetic Diversity: The variability in the genetic make up among individuals within a single species. In more technical terms, it is the genetic differences among populations of a single species and those among individuals within a population.
Species Diversity: The variety of species - whether wild or domesticated - within a particular geographical area. A species is a group of organisms which have evolved distinct inheritable features and occupy a unique geographic area. Species are usually unable to interbreed naturally with other species due to such factors as genetic divergence, different behaviour and biological needs, and separate geographic location.
Ecological (ecosystem) Diversity: The variety of ecosystem types (for example, forests, deserts, grasslands, streams, lakes, wetlands and oceans) and their biological communities that interact with one another and their non-living environments.
Bioprospecting: The search among biological organisms for commercially valuable compounds, substances or genetic material.
Bioregion: A bioregion (short for biogeographic region) is an area that is defined according to patterns of ecological characteristics in the landscape or seascape. It provides a frameword for recognising and responding to indigenous biodiversity values.
Biosafety: The policies and actions taken to manage risks from the intentional introduction of new organisms, including genetically modified organisms, that could adversely affect biodiversity, people or the environment.
Biosecurity: The protection of people and natural resources, including biodiversity, from unwanted organisms capable of causing harm.
Biota: All the living organisms at a particular locality.
Biotechnology: Any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use, including genetic engineering (Convention on Biological Diversity).
Border control: The policies and actions taken to prevent the accidental or illegal introduction of unwanted organisms across national borders. Border control includes pre-import pest control, certification, inspection and surveillance, and emergency responses.
Capacity: The technical and technological ability, skills, knowledge and organisational structure required to undertake management actions, and to collect and interpret information.
Coastal environment: An environment in which the coast is a significant element or part. The extent of the coastal environment will vary from place to place depending on how much it affects, or is affected by, coastal processes and the management issues concerned. It includes at least three distinct, but inter-related, parts: the coastal marine area, the active coastal zone, and the land back-drop.
Comprehensiveness: See Protected area network.
Conservation: As defined in the Conservation Act 1987 (in respect of conservation areas), the preservation and protection of natural and historic resources for the purpose of maintaining their intrinsic values, providing for their appreciation and recreational enjoyment by the public, and safeguarding the options of future generations.
In the Strategy (as in the Convention on Biological Diversity), the term conservation is used in a broader sense than in the Conservation Act. While distinguished from "sustainable use" and "sustainable management", conservation embraces both the protection and judicious use and management of biodiversity for the benefit of human society and for ethical reasons, including its intrinsic value and its importance in maintaining the life-sustaining systems of the biosphere.
Convention on Biological Diversity: An international agreement on biological diversity that came into force in December 1993. The objectives of the Convention are: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.
Cultivar: A cultivated variety (genetic strain) of a domesticated crop plant.
Data: The facts that result from direct observations or measurements. They can take the form of raw results from monitoring - such as the number of species in a particular area.
Domesticated or cultivated species: Species in which the evolutionary process has been influenced by humans to meet their needs (Convention on Biological Diversity). In the context of this Strategy, they include both introduced and indigenous species that have been domesticated or cultivated.
Ecological condition: See Good ecological condition.
Ecological District: A local part of New Zealand where the features of geology, topography, climate and biology, plus the broad cultural pattern, inter-relate to produce a characteristic landscape and range of biological communities unique to that area. Two hundred and sixty-eight Ecological Districts in New Zealand have been identified and mapped (at 1:500 000 scale).
Ecologically sustainable fishing: Fishing which does not impair the ability of the target fish population to reproduce and which leaves a healthy aquatic ecosystem. In a healthy ecosystem ecological processes are maintained and the ability of all of the species present (or dependent on those present), to reproduce, is maintained.
Economic value: Economic value may be assigned according to the following components: Direct use value: The value of all goods and services derived from the direct use of biodiversity.
Indirect value: The value derived from services from biodiversity (ecosystem services) that protect and support direct use activities.
Passive value: The value of biodiversity in terms of potential future uses (option value), its existence for its own sake (existence value), and the willingness of present generations to pay to preserve biodiversity for the benefit of future generations (bequest value).
Ecosystem: An interacting system of living and non-living parts such as sunlight, air, water, minerals and nutrients. Ecosystems can be small and short-lived, for example, water-filled tree holes or rotting logs on a forest floor, or large and long-lived such as forests or lakes.
Ecosystem health: See Healthy ecosytem.
Ecosystem management: A management philosophy intended to sustain the integrity of ecosystems.
Endemic Species: An indigenous species which breeds only within a specified region or locality and is unique to that area. New Zealand's endemic species include birds that breed only in New Zealand, but which may disperse to other countries in the non-breeding season or as sub-adults.
Environment 2010 Strategy: A statement of the New Zealand Government's current strategy on the environment (released in September 1995).
Environmental domains: Areas with similar physical environmental conditions, as defined by factors (including solar radiation, temperature, moisture and geological substrate) that have been demonstrated to have high correlations with plant and animal distributions.
Environmental education: A multi-disciplinary approach to learning that develops the knowledge, awareness, attitudes, values and skills that will enable individuals and the community to contribute towards maintaining and improving the quality of the environment.
Environmental Performance Indicators (EPI) Programme: A Ministry for the Environmentled programme to develop and use indicators to measure and report on environmental condition. The indicators will provide a measure of the performance of environmental policies and decision making by systematically reporting on the state of the New Zealand environment. Indicators will also assist policy development and decision making.
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): The area of ocean from the outside edge of the territorial sea (which covers inland waters, harbours and the area out to 12 nautical miles from the coast) out to 200 nautical miles from the coast. The resources of New Zealand's EEZ are under New Zealand control.
Exotic: See Introduced species.
Ex situ conservation: The conservation of species outside their natural habitat (Convention on Biological Diversity).
Feral species: A domesticated species that has become wild.
Gene: The functional unit of heredity; the part of the DNA molecule that encodes a single enzyme or structural protein unit.
Genetic diversity: See Biological Diversity.
Genetic erosion: Loss of genetic diversity between and within populations of the same species over time; or reduction of the genetic basis of a species due to human intervention or environmental changes.
Genetic material: All or part of the DNA of a genome or all or part of an organism resulting from expression of the genome.
Genetic resources: Genetic material of plants, animals or microorganisms (including modern cultivars and breeds, primitive varieties and breeds, landraces and wild or weedy relatives of crop plants or domesticated animals) that has value as a resource for people or future generations.
Genetically modified organisms: Organisms whose genetic make-up has been altered by the insertion or deletion of small fragments of DNA from the same or another species in order to create or enhance desirable characteristics.
Germplasm: The genetic material that carries the inherited characteristics of an organism.
Gondwana (or Gondwanaland): The southern supercontinent that started to break up about 150 million years ago, consisting of what are now South America, Africa, Antarctica, Arabia, Australia, India, Madagascar and New Zealand.
Good ecological condition: A state in which an ecosystem can sustain all indigenous species which occur naturally within it, including those most sensitive to the effects of human activities (and of pests and weeds). See also Healthy ecoystems.
Habitat: The place or type of area in which an organism naturally occurs. See also Natural habitats and ecosystems.
Hapu: Maori family or district groups, communities, a sub-tribe.
Healthy ecosystem: An ecosystem which is stable and sustainable, maintaining its organisation and autonomy over time and its resilience to stress. Ecosystem health can be assessed using measures of resilience, vigour and organisation.
Healthy functioning state: See Good ecological condition.
Import health standards: Standards that specify requirements for the importation of certain types of goods classified as "risk goods" because of their potential to harbour pests, diseases and weeds. Examples of imports that are classified as risk goods on the grounds of potential biosecurity risk are timber and used cars.
Indicator: A measure (for example, distance from a goal, target, threshold or benchmark) against which some aspects of performance can be assessed. The use of an indicator enables the significance of a statistic to be determined, for example, the extent to which an objective is met.
Indicator species: A species whose presence or absence is indicative of a particular habitat, community or set of environmental conditions.
Indigenous species: A plant or animal species which occurs naturally in New Zealand. A synonym is "native".
Indigenous vegetation: Any local indigenous plant community containing throughout its growth the complement of native species and habitats normally associated with that vegetation type or having the potential to develop these characteristics. It includes vegetation with these characteristics that has been regenerated with human assistance following disturbance, but excludes plantations and vegetation that have been established for commercial purposes. Information: Data that has been organised, integrated, and to some extent analysed. It is data that is made meaningful as a result of collection, processing, organisation and interpretation in light of some hypothesis.
In-situ conservation: The conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their natural surroundings and, in the case of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties (Convention on Biological Diversity). Introduced species: A plant or animal species which has been brought to New Zealand by humans, either by accident or design. A synonym is "exotic species".
Invasive species: An animal pest or weed that can adversely affect indigenous species and ecosystems by altering genetic variation within species, or affecting the survival of species, or the quality or sustainability of natural communities. In New Zealand, invasive animal pests or weeds are almost always species that have been introduced to the country.
Invertebrate: An animal without a backbone or spinal column. Insects, spiders, worms, slaters and many marine animals such as corals, sponges and jellyfish are examples of invertebrates. Invertebrates make up the vast majority of all animal species; only fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are not invertebrates.
Iwi: Maori tribal grouping.
Knowledge: The theoretical or practical understanding, knowing and familiarity gained by experience.
Landcare Research: Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research is the New Zealand Crown Research Institute that focuses on management of land resources for conservation and for primary production.
Mainland island: An area of land on mainland New Zealand, isolated by means of fencing or geographical features, and intensively managed for the purpose of protecting and restoring habitats and ecological processes. At present most mainland islands are public conservation land managed by the Department of Conservation. (See box on page 35).
Marine environment: Includes all areas in which the ocean and coast are significant parts, and all natural and biological resources contained therein. It includes the area from mean spring high water mark to the full extent of our EEZ (to 200 nautical miles offshore). Environments covered in the "marine environment" include estuarine, near-shore coastal, continental shelf, seamounts, and seatrenches.
Mataitai: An identified traditional fishing ground which has special status under the Fisheries Act 1996 to protect customary fishing values. Restrictions may be placed on taking fish, aquatic life or seaweed in the reserve. A Maori Committee or kaitiaki can be empowered to make by-laws over the reserve.
Matauranga Maori: Maori traditional knowledge.
Monitoring: The act of measuring change in the state, number or presence of characteristics of something.
National policy statement: A statement of policy issued under section 52 of the Resource Management Act 1991 on matters of national importance that are relevant to achieving the purpose of the Act.
Native species: See Indigenous species.
Natural areas: See Natural habitats and ecosystems.
Natural character: The qualities of an area that taken together give it a particular recognisable character.
Natural habitats and ecosystems: Habitats and ecosystems with a dominant or significant indigenous natural character. They do not include modified areas, such as farm or forestry land, where the indigenous vegetation has largely been replaced, although these areas may still provide important habitat for indigenous species.
Naturalised: A species or other taxon originating from a region outside New Zealand, but reproducing freely and maintaining its position in competition with indigenous biota in New Zealand.
Nature Heritage Fund: (formerly Forest Heritage Fund) A contestable fund under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Conservation, established in 1990 to protect indigenous forests and other ecosystems that represent the full range of natural diversity originally present in the New Zealand landscape. (See box on page 40).
New organism: Any plant, animal or micro organism intentionally introduced to New Zealand for the first time or a new species developed through genetic engineering (genetically modified organism).
New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement: A national policy statement under the Resource Management Act 1991. It states policies in order to achieve the purpose of the Act in relation to the coastal environment of New Zealand.
Nga Whenua Rahui: A contestable fund under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Conservation, established in 1990 to help Maori landholders to protect indigenous forest and other ecosystems in a way that is responsive to their spiritual and cultural needs (See box on page 40).
NIWA: National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research. NIWA is the Crown Research Institute providing a scientific basis for the sustainable management of New Zealand's atmosphere, marine and freshwater ecosystems and associated resources.
Production landscapes and seascapes: Areas which are used predominantly for the production of primary products, for example meat, fish, fibre and timber.
Protected area: A geographically defined area that is protected primarily for nature conservation purposes or to maintain biodiversity values, using any of a range of legal mechanisms that provide long-term security of either tenure or land use purpose. It may be either publicly or privately owned.
Protected area network: A network or system of protected areas. The principal criteria for New Zealand's protected area network are:
Comprehensiveness: The degree to which the full range of ecological communities and their biological diversity are incorporated within protected areas.
Representativeness: The extent to which areas selected for inclusion in the protected area network are capable of reflecting the known biological diversity and ecological patterns and processes of the ecological community or ecosystem concerned, or the extent to which populations represent or exemplify the range of genetic diversity of a taxonomic unit.
Protected Natural Area (PNA): A legally protected area, haracterised by indigenous species or ecosystems or landscape features, in which the principal purpose of management is retention of the natural state. In this Strategy, the term is used synonymously with "protected area".
Protected Natural Areas (PNA) Programme: A programme to identify and protect areas that represent the full range of indigenous biological and landscape features in New Zealand, thereby helping to maintain the distinctive character of the country. The PNA Programme is as much about the protection of biological and landscape features that are common or extensive within an ecological district as about protection of the district's unique or special features.
'No tresspass' sign, embargo, flock of birds, herd, quarantine.
Ramsar Convention: An international convention to protect internationally important wetlands. It was agreed in 1971 and signed by New Zealand in 1976.
Representativeness: See Protected area network.
Resilience: The ability of a species, or variety or breed of species, to respond and adapt to external environmental stresses.
Restoration: The active intervention and management of degraded biotic communities, landforms and landscapes in order to restore biological character, ecological and physical processes and their cultural and visual qualities.
Species: A group of organisms capable of interbreeding freely with each other but not with members of other species. (See also Species diversity under Biological Diversity).
Survey: Systematically observing, counting or measuring characteristics at a defined location over a defined period of time.
Sustainable use: The use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations (Convention on Biological Diversity).
Sympathetic management: The management of land in a way that recognises or supports the needs of indigenous biodiversity. For example, exotic production forests can be managed in a manner that provides for the habitat of native bird species, such as kiwi. The effects of pastoral farming on freshwater habitats can similarly be minimised through the protection or planting of riparian vegetation.
Taiapure: Areas that are given special status to recognise rangatiratanga (as Taiapure-Local fisheries); management arrangements can be established (under the Fisheries Act 1996) for Taiapure that recognise the customary special significance of the area to iwi or hapu as a food source or for spiritual or cultural reasons.
Taxon: (pl. taxa) A named biological classification unit assigned to individuals or sets of species, for example species, sub species, genus or order. Threatened species: A species or community that is vulnerable, endangered or presumed extinct. The Department of Conservation has assessed threatened species in New Zealand (using criteria relating to taxonomic distinctiveness, status of the species, threats facing the species, vulnerability of the species, and human values), and ranked them into three categories (A, B and C) of priority for conservation action.
Unwanted organism: Any organism capable of causing unwanted harm, including animal pests, weeds and diseases. (This is a wider definition than sometimes used in New Zealand, for example as in the Biosecurity Act 1993).
Vascular plants: Include ferns, flowering plants and trees, but do not include mosses and liverworts.
Vertebrate: Animal with backbone; amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and fish. See Invertebrate.
Waterbody: A body of water forming a physiographic feature, for example, lake, wetland and estuary.