Refers to reducing the degree or intensity of greenhouse-gas emissions. 

Acceptable Risk (ISDR)

The level of loss a society or community considers acceptable given existing social, economic, political, cultural, technical and environmental conditions. In engineering terms, acceptable risk is also used to describe structural and non-structural measures undertaken to reduce possible damage at a level, which does not harm people and property, according to codes or 'accepted practice' based, among other issues, on a known probability of hazard.

Acid Rain (TAF/OFDA)

A washout of an excessive concentration of acidic compounds in the atmosphere, resulting from chemical pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen compounds. When deposited these increase the acidity of the soil and water causing agricultural and ecological damage.

Ad hoc Working Group on further commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP)

The AWG-KP was established in 2005 by Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Montreal to consider further commitments of industrialized countries under the Kyoto Protocol for the period beyond 2012.

Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA)

The AWG-LCA was established in Bali in 2007 to conduct negotiations on a strengthened international deal on climate change. Expected to complete its work at COP 18 in 2012.


Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. 

Adaptation Committee (AC)

The Adaptation Committee was established by the Conference of the Parties as part of the Cancun Agreements to promote the implementation of enhanced action on adaptation in a coherent manner under the Convention, inter alia, through various functions.

Adaptation Fund

The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable and are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The Fund is to be financed with a share of proceeds from clean development mechanism (CDM) project activities and receive funds from other sources. It is operated by the Adaptation Fund Board.


A collection of airborne particles. The term has also come to be associated, erroneously, with the propellant used in 'aerosol sprays'.


Planting of new forests on lands that historically have not contained forests.

African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States

A group of countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific that was created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. The group's main objectives are sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states, as well as their greater integration into the world's economy. All of the member states, except Cuba, are signatories to the Cotonou Agreement which binds them to the European Union.


The sector of an economy that includes crop production, animal husbandry, hunting, fishing, and forestry.

Agriculture and Hazards

A hazard that can be expected to have its primary impact on crops or livestock. (includes pests, diseases and some environmental and chemical hazards).

Air Transportation

The movement of passengers and / or goods by aircraft.


Message that advises people and organisations when an event is expected to affect a community, area or facility in the near future and that they should take action. A period when resources may require to be brought to a higher level of preparedness.

Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

An ad hoc coalition of low-lying and island countries. These nations are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and share common positions on climate change. The 43 members and observers are American Samoa, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cook Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Grenada, Guam, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, US Virgin Islands, and Vanuatu.

Annex I Countries

Annex I of the FCCC lists the countries who were members of the OECD in 1992, 11 countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, and the European Economic Community. Annex I parties are committed to adopt national policies and take measures to mitigate climate change.

Annex I Parties

The industrialized countries listed in Annex I to the Convention, which committed to returning their greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 as per Article 4.2 (a) and (b). They have also accepted emissions targets for the period 2008-12 as per Article 3 and Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol. They include the 24 original OECD members, the European Union, and 14 countries with economies in transition. (Croatia, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Slovenia joined Annex 1 at COP-3, and the Czech Republic and Slovakia replaced Czechoslovakia.)

Annex II Parties

The countries listed in Annex II to the Convention which have a special obligation to provide financial resources and facilitate technology transfer to developing countries. Annex II Parties include the 24 original OECD members plus the European Union.

Anthropogenic greenhouse emissions

Greenhouse-gas emissions resulting from human activities.

Article 4.2

An article of the Convention stating the specific commitments of developed-country (Annex I) Parties only -- notably that they would take measures aimed at returning greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000.

Article 6 Supervisory Committee

A committee providing international oversight of 'track-two' joint implementation projects. Joint implementation projects are carried out by sponsoring and recipient developed countries under Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol -- with the recipient likely to be a country with an "economy in transition". Track-two is used if one or both of the countries does not meet requirements for the standard ('track one') joint implementation programme. See track two.

ASEAN Regional Forum

A region-wide, Asia-Pacific multilateral forum for official consultations on peace and security issues. Its objectives are to foster constructive dialogue and consultation on political and security issues of common interest and concern and to make significant contributions to efforts towards confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

A multilateral economic and trade forum for 21 member economies that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. APEC members jointly work towards the establishment of a greater regional community to address the economic and social dimensions of development by focusing on trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic and technical cooperation.

Asian Development Bank

A regional development bank founded in 1966 to facilitate economic development in Asia and the Pacific. ADB assists developing member countries to evolve into thriving modern economies and alleviate poverty through its services.

Asian Disaster Preparedness Center

An independent non-governmental organization that works closely with local, national and regional governments, governmental and non-governmental organizations, donors and development partners, to deploy disaster risk management information and systems to reduce local, national and regional risk across the Asia-Pacific.

Asian Disaster Reduction Center

The Center is based in Japan and comprises 30 member and 5 advisor countries. It aims to enhance disaster resilience of the member countries, to build safe communities, and to create a society where sustainable development is possible.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations

A political and economic organisation of 10 Southeast Asian member states. With a regional approach it aims to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and sociocultural evolution among its members, protection of regional peace and stability, and opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully.

Atmospheric pollution (TAF/OFDA)

Contamination of the atmosphere by large quantities of gases, solids and radiation produced by the burning of natural and artificial fuels, chemicals and other industrial processes and nuclear explosions.

Australasian Fire Authorities Council

The central body responsible for representing fire, emergency services and land management agencies in the Australasian region. AFAC comprises of 34 full members and 13 affiliate members from every state and territory in Australia, New Zealand and around the Pacific.

Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee

A senior officials group comprising representatives from the Australian Commonwealth, state and territory governments, the Australian Local Government Association and New Zealand. It works to strengthen disaster resilience by providing strategic leadership on emergency management policy and supporting related capability and capacity development activities.

Australian Agency for International Development

Prior to October 2013, was an executive Australian Government Agency responsible for managing Australia's overseas aid program. It is now integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and runs as a program referred to as Australian Aid. Its objective is to promote economic growth and reduce poverty, and project and protect Australia's broader interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australian Federation of Air Pilots

A professional association and industrial organisation for commercial pilots in Australia. It aims to represent and promote the interests of Australian professional flight crew and to champion the highest possible standards of aviation safety.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

A statutory authority established under the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act 1990. It is responsible, on behalf of the Commonwealth Government of Australia, for the regulation and safety oversight of AustraliaÕs shipping fleet and management of Australia's international maritime obligations.

Australian Search and Rescue

A centralised Rescue Coordination centre based in Canberra, Australia, which coordinates Australia's civil search and rescue activities.

Australian-Pacific Centre for Emergency and Disaster Information

APCEDI was previously a service of AFAP- the Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific and FSPI- the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific International. It provided news on natural disaster events in the Asia-Pacific region and helped with rapid disaster response assessment.

Australian/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS 4360:1990)

The Australian/New Zealand Standard for risk management was prepared by the Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee OB/7 on Risk Management. It is from AS/NZS 4360:1990 that CHARM was developed and adapted for the Pacific. AS/NZS 4360:1990 provides definitions which have not yet been developed and adapted for the Pacific.