Skip to content


Defines basic entries for those trying to understand climate change issues

Filter Glossary


Adaptation is a response strategy of any social, economic or technological system to climate change, in an effort to prevent future harm and to explore possible opportunities. Unlike what happens in the case of mitigation, the benefits resulting from adaptative adjustments are local and short-term. Adaptation aims to reduce damage and is closely linked to the concept of vulnerability, which is the degree of susceptibility and inability of a system to deal with the adverse effects of climate change caused or accelerated by human activities and capitalism, including extreme events, such as temperature heat waves, fires, typhons, cyclones and deforestation.


Additional Financial Resources

Financing mechanism for international cooperation, mainly triggered by developing countries in attracting and mobilizing resources for the continued operation of projects and actions, such as the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Agenda 21

Agenda 21 is a global action program based on a 40-chapter document negotiated and signed by 179 countries participating in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), known as Rio-92. Agenda 21 is the most comprehensive attempt already made to promote, on a planetary scale, a new pattern of development, called “sustainable development”. The term was used in the sense of declaring intentions, expressing desires for changes towards this new development model for the 21st century. Agenda 21 is a broad planning tool for building sustainable societies in different geographies, seeking to reconcile conceptions, practices and policies towards the protection of the environment, the promotion of social justice and economic inclusion, as well as technological and economic efficiency.



Agribusiness can be defined as an integrated set of economic activities that ranges from the production and supply of inputs, the cultivation of crops and animal farming to the processing, storage, logistics and distribution of agricultural, livestock, forestry and aquaculture products for final consumption. A direct heir to the precepts of the so-called Green Revolution, the concept includes not only agriculture and livestock farming, but also the agro-industrial sectors and associated services. The agents involved in agribusiness are those who produce and coordinate the flow of products, such as markets, commercial entities and financial institutions. However, agribusiness adopted as a development model generates consequences for various social groups and natural systems, representing direct and indirect economic and socio-environmental impacts.



Agroecology emerged in opposition to the development of cutting-edge capitalist agriculture as of the 1960s, with the aim of placing food production within an ecological order. As part of the so-called Green Revolution, driven by the World Bank and various international and national agencies, the agricultural sector, especially in the United States, became characterised by large-scale procedures that caused widespread soil degradation and loss of biodiversity, among other environmental problems. In contrast, agroecology proposes that agriculture be studied and carried out within a dynamic of greater respect for nature, for environmental protection and for the workers, respecting the proposals of eco-development. It recommends that the form of production be adapted to the environment in which it is carried out, rather than copied from other countries. It advocates integrating scientific studies on the subject with the needs of farming communities and the regions where production takes place. The social factor is fundamental in an agroecological production process, as it recognises anthropic responsibility for environmental degradation and points to an ethical way out by integrating communities into a more sustainable model. In addition, methods of varying and diversifying the production and replenishing the land’s nutrients are encouraged, so that planting cycles can be reproduced in a sustainable way, without the need to expand the land space. Agroecology thus stands in opposition to the hegemonic model of food production, which is mainly based on monoculture, the extensive use of chemicals, the establishment of global agricultural production chains and the alienation of workers.


Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

Known as AOSIS, the Alliance of small island states is a coalition of 44 small islands and coastal developing states, including five observers. As a voice for the most vulnerable countries in climate negotiations, the coalition puts together states generally moved by a deep sense of climate emergency. Its mandate seeks to do more than simply expanding voices that tend to be less heard from the South, as it also defends the interests of these countries through lobbying and articulation with other developing countries, global powers, and multilateral organizations. In strategic terms, AOSIS pushes for negotiating global commitments that aim to reduce GHG emissions and tends to be a relevant player in multilateral negotiations, despite the economic weight and the geopolitical lack of centrality of the countries it represents. To achieve its objectives, the Alliance often relies on partnerships, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the European Commission, so as to strengthen its capacity to effectively influence climate negotiations.


Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO)

Institution created in 1995 to give legal personality to the Amazon Co-operation Treaty, signed in 1978 by the South American countries that are home to the Amazon rainforest. The treaty was created with the objectives of affirming the sovereignty of the signatories over the forest’s resources, dissuading foreign ideas that control of the Amazon should be internationalised, defending a combination of environmental preservation and the right to economic development, articulating infrastructure works that would materialise greater occupation of the territory, encouraging scientific research, improving sanitary conditions and increasing trade in the region. For its part, the creation of ACTO, based in Brasilia, was aimed at facilitating international loans for environmental projects, the signing of cooperation agreements and participation in multilateral events.


Amazon Fund

The Amazon Fund was established in Brazil through Decree No. 6,527, of August 2008, with the purpose of attracting donations for non-reimbursable investments in actions aimed at combating deforestation and the sustainable use of the Amazon rainforest. The Fund supports projects in several areas: management of public forests and protected areas; environmental control, monitoring and inspection; sustainable forest management; economic activities based on the sustainable use of the forest; ecological and economic zoning, land use and land regularization; conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; recovery of deforested areas. The Fund is managed by the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BDNES), which is also responsible for the fundraising, contracting, monitoring and evaluation processes of the supported projects.


Andean Development Corporation (CAF)

The Andean Development Corporation, headquartered in Caracas, is a development bank created in 1970 by Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, aiming to promote economic conditions for Latin American development. Integrated by 19 countries, 17 from Latin America and the Caribbean, in addition to Spain and Portugal, CAF also counts on the participation of 14 private banks in the region. CAF’s main goal is to contribute to the process of sustainable development and regional integration of Latin American countries, through the provision of financial services and support to clients in the public and private sectors of these countries.


Annex I countries

Group of countries integrated by developed countries, signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and former members of the Soviet bloc, the so-called economies in transition. Such countries have greater responsibility than the others, with targets for limiting or reducing GHG emissions. However, OECD member countries have a duty to reduce their emissions, allowing them to purchase credits through flexibilization mechanisms, while economies in transition are provided with participation in joint implementation projects.