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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.

Ocean acidification

See "acidification".

Organic agriculture

Any system that emphasises the use of techniques such as crop rotation, compost or manure application, and biological pest control in preference to synthetic inputs. Most certified organic farming schemes prohibit all genetically modified organisms and almost all synthetic inputs. Its origins are in a holistic management system that avoids off-farm inputs, but some organic agriculture now uses relatively high levels of off-farm inputs.


Overexploitation means harvesting species from the wild at rates faster than natural populations can recover. Includes overfishing, and overgrazing.