Temas Glossary

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advance disposal fee: per-item charge on product sales intended to cover or defray the future waste management costs of the product.

Agenda 21: The list of programs adopted by the Rio Summit.

agrotoxics: physical, chemical and biological agents intended to alter the composition of flora or fauna, with the goal of saving them from the harmful action of living beings considered noxious. These are generally used in agricultural production and storage, but also in forest preserves, and even in urban ecosystems such as gardens and parks. The products include pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, insecticides, defoliants, growth stimulators and inhibitors.

Air Quality Guidelines: air quality norms recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) based on the findings of a scientific and technical panel. The AQGs are periodically updated.

allergen labeling: label listing of food and beverage ingredients that can cause allergies or intolerances in consumers.

Amazon Cooperation Treaty (ACT): Agreement signed in 1978 by eight nations (Bolivia, Brail, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela) to promote scientific cooperation and development vis-a-vis the Amazon River basin. A permanent secretariat was created in Brasilia (ATCO) in 1995, and it was agreed to step up cooperation in areas such as biodiversity and protection of water resources. More recently, ACTO agreed to cooperate on climate change and combatting deforestation.

anaerobic digestion: processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen, often used to treat biodegradable waste and sewage sludge. Anaerobic digestion produces biogas.

Andean Community (CAN): Formerly known as the Andean Common Market (ANCOM) or Andean Pact, this Lima-based group started as a spin-off of the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA) aimed at subregional integration, common rule on foreign investment, and increasing the bargaining power of the five member nations. In recent years CAN has adopted common rules on access to genetic resources, cosmetics, hygiene products and pesticides, joint programs and strategies on biodiversity, climate change amd water resources and is developing a common agenda on other environmental and health issues. Member nations include Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

aquifer: stratum of permeable rock, sand, or gravel that can store and supply groundwater to wells and springs.

Association of Caribbean States (ACS): 25-nation entity created in 1994 to promote cooperation and integration between CARICOM, SICA, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico and Venezuela. ACS' primary areas of work are trade, sustainable tourism, transport, and natural disasters. The ACS secretariat is based in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Ban Amendment: An Amendment to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes adopted in 1995 but not yet in force pending ratifications by 3/4 of the Basel Convention Parties. It would ban transboundary shipments of hazardous wastes for any reason, including recycling, from the member states of the European Community, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Liechtenstein to other Parties (mostly developing countries).

Basel Convention: international treaty on international movements of wastes, especially hazardous wastes, signed at Basel, Switzerland in 1989 and entered into force on 05 May 1992. The Convention currently has 179 countries and the EU as Parties.

bioaccumulation: intracellular accumulation of contaminants (such as mercury) by living organisms.

biochemical oxygen demand (BOD): measurement, often used in wastewater policy, of the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by aerobic biological organisms in a body of water to break down organic material present at certain temperature over a specific time period.

biodegradable: capable of decomposing rapidly by microorganisms under natural conditions (whether aerobic or anaerobic).

biodiesel: a domestic, renewable fuel for diesel engines derived from natural oils like soybean oil. Biodiesel can be used in any concentration with petroleum-based diesel fuel in existing diesel engines with little or no modification. Biodiesel differs from raw vegetable oil in that it has had the glycerin chemically removed from the oil.

biodigester: system using anaerobic digestion.
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' Recycling & Solid Waste Policy
in Latin America and the Caribbean '
by Keith E. Ripley

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