Basic Concepts

GREENHOUSE GAS

Any gas that traps heat in the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect (and climate change).

GREENHOUSE EFFECT

When increased quantities of greenhouse gasses (e.g. carbon dioxide, methane) in the air trap the heat from the Sun and cause a gradual rise in the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere.

CARBON FOOTPRINT

The total amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by an entity due to its activities.

CARBON NEUTRAL

When greenhouse gas emissions are offset by ensuring that an equivalent amount of CO2 is captured by “carbon sinks”, such as forests, the ocean, soil, etc.

BIOSPHERE RESERVE

A UNESCO designation of an ecosystem that warrants protection from national governments and non-governmental organizations in order to promote its conservation and sustainable use.

BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT

Areas of the world that are highly biodiverse, but that are under threat. Specifically, this refers to 25 biologically rich areas around the world that have lost at least 70% of their original habitat.

BIOLOGICAL CORRIDORS

Continuous strips of restored land that allow for migration of species, adequate mating strategies, and proper foraging.

CHOCO BIOREGION

A biodiversity hotspot and bioregion that goes from the southern edge of Panama to the northern part of Ecuador.

ANDEAN CHOCO

A portion of the Choco Bioregion that runs into the Andes mountain range, covering 706,721 acres. It was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2018. Fun fact: the varying altitudes provide for a series of microclimates and ecosystems. There is an increase in the number of species for every few feet you climb.

MEGADIVERSE COUNTRY

One of 17 nations harboring the majority of the Earth’s species and a high number of endemic species, as identified by Conservation International. Fun fact: Ecuador is one of the megadiverse countries of the world, having the most biodiversity per square mile of any nation.

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