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The IPBES core glossary provides a standard definition for important terms of broad applicability to IPBES outputs. This core glossary does not replace the assessment-specific glossaries, but is complementary to them. It was developed by a glossary committee established for this purpose.

Ramsar site(s)

A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated of international importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental environment treaty established in 1975 by UNESCO, coming into force in 1975.
Ramsar site refers to wetland of international significance in terms of ecology, botany, zoology, limnology or hydrology. Such site meets at least one of the criteria of Identifying Wetlands of International Importance set by Ramsar Convention and is designated by appropriate national authority to be added to Ramsar list.


Natural grasslands used for livestock grazing.

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)

Mechanism developed by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. Developing countries would receive results-based payments for results-based actions. REDD+ goes beyond simply deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

Regime shift(s)

Substantial reorganization in system structure, functions and feedbacks that often occurs abruptly and persists over time.


Rehabilitation refers to restoration activities that move a site towards a natural state baseline in a limited number of components (i.e. soil, water, and/or biodiversity), including natural regeneration, conservation agriculture, and emergent ecosystems.

Relational value

See "values".


Any action taken to rehabilitate ecosystems.


“Reports” shall mean the main deliverables of the Platform, including assessment reports and synthesis reports, their summaries for policymakers and technical summaries, technical papers and technical guidelines.


The level of disturbance that an ecosystem or society can undergo without crossing a threshold to a situation with different structure or outputs. Resilience depends on factors such as ecological dynamics as well as the organizational and institutional capacity to understand, manage, and respond to these dynamics.

Resolution (spatial or temporal)

See “scale”.


Any intentional activities that initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem from a degraded state.


The number of biological entities (species, genotypes, etc.) within a given sample. Sometimes used as synonym of species diversity.