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
Native species

Indigenous species of animals or plants that naturally occur in a given region or ecosystem.

Naturalized species

A species that, once it is introduced outside its native distributional range, establishes self-sustaining populations.


In the context of IPBES, refers to the natural world with an emphasis on its living components. Within the context of western science, it includes categories such as biodiversity, ecosystems (both structure and functioning), evolution, the biosphere, humankind’s shared evolutionary heritage, and biocultural diversity. Within the context of other knowledge systems, it includes categories such as Mother Earth and systems of life, and it is often viewed as inextricably linked to humans, not as a separate entity (see "Mother Earth").

Nature's contributions to people

Nature's contributions to people (NCP) are all the contributions, both positive and negative, of living nature (i.e. diversity of organisms, ecosystems, and their associated ecological and evolutionary processes) to the quality of life for people. Beneficial contributions from nature include such things as food provision, water purification, flood control, and artistic inspiration, whereas detrimental contributions include disease transmission and predation that damages people or their assets. Many NCP may be perceived as benefits or detriments depending on the cultural, temporal or spatial context.

Díaz, Sandra, Unai Pascual, Marie Stenseke, Berta Martín-Lópezet al. 2018. “Assessing Nature’s Contributions to People.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 359 (6373). American Association for the Advancement of Science: 270–72. doi:10.1126/science.aap8826.
Non-anthropocentric value

See "values".

Non-Indigenous Species or Non-native species or Alien species

See “invasive alien species”.

Non-instrumental value

See "values".