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Glossary of terms

The INSPIRATION website includes definitions, and sources, of key terms including those below.

Circular economy: economic growth while optimising consumption of natural resources

Ecosystem services: Benefits people derive from ecosystems: provisioning, regulating, cultural and habitat or supporting services.

Land degradation neutral: the area of productive land remains stable.

Natural capital: elements of the natural environment which yield services to people by underpinning provision of clean air, clean water, food, recreation and other valuable, often essential, goods and services.

Natural resources: raw materials such as minerals and biomass; environmental media such as air, water and soil; flow resources such as wind, geothermal, tidal and solar energy; and space (land area).

Non-renewable resources: Resources that cannot be replaced or replenished.

Sediment: Suspended or deposited solid, of mineral or organic nature that has been, or is susceptible to being, transported by water.

Soil: Upper layer of Earth’s crust composed of mineral particles, organic matter, water, air and living organisms.

Soil-sediment-water system: Interaction of land-based soil and groundwater with surface water and suspended solids with associated physical, chemical and biological processes.

Spatial planning: Methods to influence the future distribution of activities in space with the aims of creating a more rational territorial organization of land uses and the linkages between them, to balance demands for development with the need to protect the environment and achieve social and economic development objectives.

Stewardship: The responsible use and conservation of natural resources taking full and balanced account of the interests of society, future generations and other species, as well as of private needs, and accepts significant accountability to society.

Sustainable land management: A knowledge-based combination of technologies, policies and practices that integrate land, water, biodiversity, and environmental concerns (including input and output externalities) to meet rising food and fibre demands while sustaining ecosystem services and livelihoods.