Temas Glossary

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dump: a waste disposal site without environmental controls.

eco-efficiency: a term coined by the WBCSD, which defines it to mean providing "competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life which progressively reducing environmental impacts of goods and resource intensity throughout the entire life-cycle to a level at least in line with the Earth's estimated carrying capacity."

durables: consumer goods that usually last for many years, such as refrigerators, freezers, cars, dishwashers, air conditioners, etc.

ecolabeling: a special type of labeling intended to show that the product has been designed to do less harm to the environment than similar products.

ecological-economic zoning (EEZ): a land-use planning process aimed at identifying different alternatives for the sustainable use of a certain space, based on the evaluation of its opportunities and limitations according to physical, biological, social, economic and cultural criteria. Once approved, EEZ is the technical and guiding instrument for the sustainable use of a certain space and its natural resources.

ecosystem: the interacting system of a biological community and its non-living environmental surroundings.

ecosystem diversity: the variety of habitats that occur within a region.

ecosystem services: TEEB defines these as "the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being," and distinguishes between provisioning (providing materials or energy outputs, such as food, medicines, biofuels, plant oils, freshwater), regulating (regulating the quality of air, water and soil, providing flood and disease control, and carbon sequestration and storage), habitat/supporting (providing living space for plants or animals and helping preserve biodiversity) and cultural (non-material benefits people obtain from contact with ecosystems, such as recreation, tourism, aesthetics, inspiration for art, etc.) services provided by ecosystems.

effluent: wastewater, treated or untreated, released by an industrial sources, a sewage system or treatment plant.

emission: the release of substance into the environment.

emissions charges: direct payments based on a measurement or estimation of the quantity and quality of a pollutant or pollutants emitted.

emissions trading: an environmental management system that allows one emissions source to increase or not cut back emissions by buying the "credits" of another emissions source that cut emissions more than they are required to.

Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA): Collection of initiatives and projects launched at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in April 2009 to promote sustainable energy and climate cooperation in the Western Hemisphere, each led by a different American country and/or regional institutions. Originally the ECPA was focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner fuels, energy poverty and infrastructure, but it was expanded in 2010 to include climate change adptation and sustainble land use and forestry.

energy efficiency: the more efficient use of energy by products or systems to do the same or better job than conventional products or systems.

energy recovery: capture of energy from waste, most often through incineration.

environmental audit: the methodical examination of the interactions between a facility and its surroundings, involving the identification of environmental impacts and quantification of impacts. It may also provide a means of monitoring a company's compliance with criteria set by statutory Standards, internal policies or accepted industry standards.

environmental impact assessment (EIA): process, usually required by law, whereby a proposed project must first be fully assessed for its possible impact on human and animal health and the environment. EIA statements are required in many countries and by more and more financial institutions before construction work is authorized.

erosion: the wearing away of land surface by wind or water, sometimes intensified by land use practices related to such activities as logging, farming, road-building or residential development.

e-scrap: end-of-life electrical and/or electronic devices (WEEE), their components and periperials, such as computers, cell phones, television sets, appliances, photocopiers, digital cameras, medical devices, etc. Some of these may contain hazardous substances or materials, such as heavy metals.
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' Recycling & Solid Waste Policy
in Latin America and the Caribbean '
by Keith E. Ripley

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