Skip to content


In this reflectary, you will find key terms on sustainable development, climate change and anthropocentrism.

Write the word you want to learn about in the browser.

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Planta que crece entre las ranuras de una pared de ladrillo.


Adaptation (Adaptación) According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), adaptation is ‘the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. In human systems, adaptation seeks to moderate or avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In some natural systems, human intervention may facilitate adjustment to expected climate and its effects’. The European Union thesaurus on the



Environment (Medio ambiente, ambiente) This concept refers to the set of interconnected natural elements that affect the development and activities of living beings. The UN Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm in 1972, defined environment as ‘the set of physical, chemical, biological, and social components that can directly or indirectly affect living beings and human activities in the

Un grupo de niñas y niños se reúnen alrededor de una mesa y escriben con tiza en una pancarta con símbolos ambientales.

Environmental education

Environmental education Educación ambiental The goal of environmental education is ‘to develop a world population that is aware of, and concerned about, the environment and its associated problems, and which has the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations, and commitment to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones.’ Environmental education is not only used in

La huella de un pie humano con colores que representan la tierra, el agua, vegetación y las nubes.

Environmental footprint

Environmental footprint (Huella ambiental) The European Union thesaurus defines environmental footprint as the environmental impact of a product, service, or a company throughout its life cycle. This indicator demonstrates the environmental behaviour of a product or an organization, and allows for comparison. When the measure is done on a product, it is known as product environmental footprint. When it is done


Environmental impact study

Environmental impact study (Estudio de impacto ambiental) An environmental impact study is a technical and administrative procedure that must be presented before the competent authorities when requesting a permit for a project. When an initiative affects the rights and interests of indigenous and tribal peoples, this requires applying the standards of human rights that the international community adopted to preserve, protect, and

Un árbol en el paisaje de un campo nevado y aves que vuelan en el cielo.

Environmental migrant

Environmental migrant (Migrante ambiental) This is a general term that refers to people who move outside of their normal place of residence due to environmental deterioration. This might be a temporary or permanent move. This concept is based on the generic term migrant established by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is not defined in international law. Environmental causes include desertification,

Ilustración tridimensional que hace alusión al mercado del petróleo. El planeta está representado en forma de pastel, del que se está sirviendo una porción. Se muestran las capas de suelo y distintas herramientas para la extracción de petróleo.


Extractivism (Extractivismo) This neologism refers to the excessive extraction or elimination of common natural assets. It does not solely imply extracting natural elements for economic, commercial, and industrial objectives. Rather, it also refers to a development model where extractions are associated to the accumulation of wealth. Money is given greater value than the environment and life forms. The extractivist processes usually


Global change

Global change (Cambio global) According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global change is ‘a generic term to describe global scale changes in systems, including the climate system, ecosystems, and social-ecological systems’ (IPCC 5th Assessment Report, WG II Glossary). This includes the study on the planet’s natural cycles, such as carbon, water, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, and others. It also

Ilustración del planeta Tierra que se está derritiendo y de un termómetro al lado.

Global warming

Global warming (Calentamiento global) According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global warming is defined as ‘the estimated increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) averaged over a 30-year period, or the 30-year period centered on a particular year or decade, expressed relative to pre-industrial levels unless otherwise specified’ (IPCC, 2018). Specifically, global warming refers to an accelerated increase

Primer plano de las manos de un hombre sobre su espalda. El dedo índice está cruzado sobre el dedo medio, en posición de engaño o mentira.


Greenwashing This is the publicity or marketing strategy used by some companies or organizations to create the appearance of respect towards the environment, while hiding some of their practices that actually harm nature (Fundéu, 2009). This allows them to benefit from people’s socio-economic interest and thus increase their profits and improve their public image. David Bellamy—a British naturalist, writer, and environmental

Plano medio de una mujer racializada, con el rostro serio y los brazos cruzados en el pecho. De fondo, hay personas fuera de foco que sostienen carteles.


Intersectionality (Interseccionalidad) The term was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an Afro-American academic, to highlight the way in which gender, race, social class, sexual orientation, and other individual identity characteristics intersect to create a different personal experience regarding systematic oppression. This is a way to understand social relations through the intersection of the different types of discrimination that people face. According

Una carretera con tres carriles. Por dos carriles circulan vehículos y por uno circulan ciclistas.


Mitigation (Mitigación) According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mitigation of climate change refers to a ‘human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases’. It refers to human actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in relation to climate change. It implies technological challenges and large-scale government investment. As a result, the responsibility for mitigation falls largely

Un líder espiritual indígena junto con otras personas hace una ofrenda a la Pachamama de rodillas en el suelo.


Pachamama  (Pachamama) Pachamama or Pacha mama comes from the quechua language. Pacha means ‘world’ and mama means ‘mother’, and can therefore be translated as Mother Earth. It represents the Goddess that exists in all elements of nature. It is the spirit of the land, and it is central to Andean and South American cultures. Devotion of the Pachamama is present throughout Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, and Argentina.

Una mano gira una llave mariposa introducida en una ilustración del planeta Tierra.

Planetary boundaries

Planetary boundaries (Límites planetarios) Planetary boundaries includes a series of measurable parameters and it ‘defines a safe operating space for humanity based on the intrinsic biophysical processes that regulate the stability of the Earth system’ (Rockström et al., 2009a, 2009b; Steffen and Stafford, 2013). The concept is under debate in the academic sphere, and it includes elements related to human activity

Brotes que crecen de un árbol en un bosque que se había incendiado.


Resilience (Resiliencia) The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) understands resilience as ‘the ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate to and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions’ (UNISDR, 2009). Therefore, resilience refers

Ilustración de un planisferio sobre el pasto en tonos más oscuros de verde. Hacia un costado, el dedo de una mano presiona un interruptor de luz.

Responsible consumption

Responsible consumption (Consumo responsable) The Spanish Committee for UNHCR defines responsible consumption as ‘the choice of products and services we consume based on criteria of quality, price, environmental impact, social impact, and the ethics of the companies that produce them. As a result, responsible consumption has many aspects: Ethics: this considers values as a basis for buying and consuming.Ecology: this

La silueta de dos personas junto a sus bicicletas en en la playa al atardecer.

Right to the environment

Right to the environment (Derecho al medio ambiente) The right to the environment is a human right to live in a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, and to enjoy it. This right is considered a precondition to enjoy other human rights. It differs from rights of nature, where the subject of rights is nature. In contrast, in the right to

Brotes que crecen sobre la tierra. Hay cinco etapas ascendentes del crecimiento.

Rights of nature

Rights of nature (Derechos de la naturaleza) This term refers to the recognition of the rights of nature as independent from human rights, which questions the anthropocentric paradigm. The concept originated in neo-constitutionalism, and it is included in the legal frameworks of Ecuador and Bolivia. It is closely related to the cosmovision of the indigenous and tribal peoples. This is not synonymous with the right to

Primer plano de dos manos frente al mar, en la playa. Una mano sostiene caracoles y la otra sostiene artículos de plástico, como un tenedor y un cepillo de dientes.

Socio-ecological crisis

Socio-ecological crisis (Crisis ecológica y social) This term is increasingly used to emphasize the connection between humans and nature. It stresses the risks that critical environmental changes pose for life on Earth and for the continuation of civilization by destabilizing the balance and continuity of natural processes. According to specialists consulted for the development of this reflectary in Spanish, this

Imagen partida a la mitad. En una mitad, está la cara de una vaca con un número clavado en la oreja. En la otra mitad, está la cara de un perro.


Speciesism (Especismo) This is a type of discrimination based on belonging to a specific species. From a moral perspective, it means considering members of certain species as more important than those from another species. Richard Ryder, a psychologist and animal rights activist, coined this term in the 1970s. Decades later, Ryder explained the definition based on two approaches. On the

Not found