Conflict: within the framework of UNEP is understood to mean violent conflict, referring to wards or other struggles that involve the use of war.

Disasters: refers to an event induced by natural processes (natural hazards and/or originating from industrial accidents (technological accidents), which causes widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and exceeds the ability of the affected group or society to cope using its own resources.

Man made disasters or human made disasters: is understood to encompass violent conflict

Crisis: UNEP uses the term crisis to refer to both conflict and disasters – this is in consideration of the shared environmental consequence of both phenomena.

Conflict resources: Conflict resources are natural resources whose systematic exploitation and trade in a context of conflict contribute to, benefit from, or result in the commission of serious violations of human rights, violations of international humanitarian law or violations amounting to crimes under international law.

Ecosystem services: An ecosystem is a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and the non-living environment interacting as a functional unit. Ecosystem services are the conditions and processes through which natural ecosystems and the species that compose them, sustain and fulfil human life. These include “Provisioning services” such as food, water, timber, and fibre: “regulating services” that affect

Environment: The environment is the sum of all external conditions affecting the life, development and survival of an organism. Environment refers to the physical conditions that affect natural resources (climate, geology, hazards) and the ecosystem services that sustain them (e.g. carbon, nutrient and hydrological cycles)

Livelihood: A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living. It is considered sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks, and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base.

Natural Resources: Natural Resources are actual or potential sources of wealth that occur in a natural state, such as timber, water, fertile land, wildlife, minerals, metals, stones, and hydrocarbons. A natural resource qualifies as a renewable resource if it is replenished by natural processes at a rate comparable to its rate of consumption by human or other users. A natural resource is considered non-renewable when its exists in a fixed amount, or what it cannot be regenerated on a scale comparative to its consumption.

Peacebuilding: Peacebuilding comprises the identification and support of measures needed for transformation toward more sustainable, peaceful relationships and structures of governance, in order to avoid a relapse into conflict. The four dimensions of peacebuilding are: social-economic development, good governance, reform of justice and security institutions, and the culture of justice, truth and reconciliation.

Peacekeeping: Peacekeeping is both a political and a military activity involving a presence in the field, with the consent of the parties, to implement or monitor arrangement relating to the control of conflicts (cease-fires, separation of forces), and their resolution (partial or comprehensive settlements), as well as to protect the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Peacemaking: Peacemaking is the diplomatic process of brokering an end to conflict, principally through mediation and negotiation, as foreseen under Chapter VI of the UN Charter.

Security: “State or national security” refers to the requirement to maintain the survival of the nation-state through the use of economic, military and political power and the exercise of diplomacy. “Human Security” is a paradigm for understanding global vulnerabilities, which argues that the proper referent for security should be the individual rather that the state. Human security holds that a people-centred view of security is necessary for national, regional and global stability. “Environmental security” refers to the area of research and practice that addresses the linkages among the environment, natural resources, conflict and peacebuilding.

Climate change: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) defines climate change as change that can be attributed “directly or indirectly to human activity and that alters the composition of the global atmosphere, which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods”. However, scientists often use the term for any change in the climate, whether arising naturally or from human causes. Each of these perspectives is relevant. There is now strong evidence of increases in average global air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising average global sea levels. Climate change is expected to impact on vital sectors, namely water, food production and health, as well as contribute to extreme weather events.

Disaster risk: The potential significant losses, in lives, health status, livelihoods, assets and services, which could occur to a particular community or a society over some specified future time period. Risk is often described as a result of the combination of: the exposure to a hazard, the conditions of vulnerability that are present, and insufficient capacity or measures to reduce or cope with the potential negative consequences.

Hazard: A hazard is a dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. There are different types of hazards: natural hazards, technological and biological hazards. Natural hazards are natural processes or phenomena, such as earthquakes, droughts and tropical cyclones, that may constitute a damaging event, but their occurrence and scale of impact are often influenced by human-induced activities as a result of inappropriate land use, poor building codes and environmental degradation.

Exposure: People, property, systems, or other elements present in hazard zones that are thereby subject to potential losses. Measures of exposure can include the number of people or types of assets found in hazard zones.

Resilience: The ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner that minimizes hazard impacts and contributes to reducing risk and vulnerability.

Vulnerability: The characteristics and circumstances of a community, system or asset that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard. Vulnerability is the result of the whole range of economic, social, cultural, institutional, political and even psychological factors that shape people’s lives and create the environment that they live in. In other words, defining vulnerability also means understanding the underlying factors or root causes of vulnerability.