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.

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Term Definition
Generalist species

A species able to thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions and that can make use of a variety of different resources (for example, a flower-visiting insect that lives on the floral resources provided by several to many different plants).

Good quality of life

Within the context of the IPBES Conceptual Framework – the achievement of a fulfilled human life, a notion which may varies strongly across different societies and groups within societies. It is a context-dependent state of individuals and human groups, comprising aspects such as access to food, water, energy and livelihood security, and also health, good social relationships and equity, security, cultural identity, and freedom of choice and action. “Living in harmony with nature”, “living-well in balance and harmony with Mother Earth” and “human well-being” are examples of different perspectives on a “Good quality of life”.

Diaz et al. 2015. “The IPBES Conceptual Framework — Connecting Nature and People.” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 14: 1–16. doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2014.11.002

The way the rules, norms and actions in a given organization are structured, sustained, and regulated.


Type of ecosystem characterized by a more or less closed herbaceous (non-woody) vegetation layer, sometimes with a shrub layer, but – in contrast to savannas – without, or with very few, trees. Different types of grasslands are found under a broad range of climatic conditions.