One Earth Glossary

The One Earth Glossary provides clear and easy-to-understand definitions of frequently used words and concepts on the One Earth website. The Glossary is organized alphabetically, and links are provided for each definition for additional reading.

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z

a

Agritecture

Agritecture denotes the innovative integration of agricultural practices into built infrastructure, encompassing various methods such as vertical farming, advanced greenhouses, and green roofs, creating sustainable and efficient urban farming solutions that optimize land use and promote local food production in urban settings. Green roofs can significantly reduce the urban heat island effect by absorbing and dissipating heat, helping to lower temperatures in urban areas and improve overall air quality. Additionally, green roofs can provide insulation, reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling in buildings.

Agroforestry

Agroforestry is the practice of cultivating trees, crops, and sometimes livestock in a complementary manner, allowing for multi-story production of diverse products that promote biodiversity, improve soil health, and enhance ecosystem resilience.

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Alkalinization

Alkalinization is the process of adding naturally occurring substances like olivine sand to seawater to enhance the ocean's natural carbon sink without harming plant or animal populations. This approach aims to stabilize or raise the pH levels of seawater, making it less acidic. Some methods of alkalinization, like electrochemical weathering or using fuel cells to enhance alkalinity, produce hydrogen, which could be used as an alternative energy source.

Animating the Carbon Cycle (ACC)

Animating the carbon cycle, or ACC, is a climate solution that champions the critical role wildlife can play in controlling carbon exchange between ecosystems and the atmosphere. Healthy populations of wild animals, both terrestrial and marine, can boost the ability of ecosystems to store carbon, helping the planet stay within 1.5°C of temperature rise over pre-industrial levels.

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Assemblages

Assemblages refers to “large mammal assemblages” which are groupings of all naturally occurring species of large mammals in an area. These intact natural groupings play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystems and influencing other species down the food chain.

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b

Biochar

Sustainable biochar refers to turning sustainably sourced biomass into charcoal, which can enrich and fortify agricultural soil, enhancing its fertility, water retention, and structure while sequestering carbon. Sustainable biochar can sequester carbon to help mitigate climate change while providing energy and increasing crop yields.

Biodiversity/Biological Diversity

Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is the variability of living things that make up life on Earth—from plants and animals to fungi and bacteria— and the ecosystems that house them. As our seventh intersectional theme in the One Earth Solutions Framework, biological diversity emphasizes the vital importance of protecting the Earth's vast array of life. This theme champions the interconnectedness of all living things, recognizing that the health of our planet is dependent on the richness of its biodiversity. From conserving our forests to protecting endangered species, this theme intertwines with all solution pathways, reminding us that every climate solution is, at its heart, a solution that respects and protects the web of life.

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Biofuel

Sustainable biofuels are combustible liquid fuels produced from non-food feedstocks like algae and waste biomass, in contrast to those sourced from crops like soy and corn, which compete for critical agricultural land required for food production.

Biomass Heat

Sustainable biomass power uses cellulosic waste products such as wood scraps, agricultural residues, and organic landfill materials for combustion in a thermoelectric generator to produce electricity while ensuring that harvested trees are not used as a fuel source to maintain forest sustainability. Bioenergy is a dispatchable renewable energy source that can complement variable renewable energy sources.

Biomass Power

Sustainable biomass power uses cellulosic waste products such as wood scraps, agricultural residues, and organic landfill materials for combustion in a thermoelectric generator to produce electricity while ensuring that harvested trees are not used as a fuel source to maintain forest sustainability.

Bioregional Sourcing

Bioregional sourcing emphasizes the procurement of food from local farms and regional ecosystems, promoting sustainable and resilient food systems that support local economies and reduce the environmental impact of long-distance shipping. Sourcing locally contributes to green manufacturing and ultimately helps build consumer confidence. When consumers buy with confidence, the business benefits from increasing positive brand awareness and customer loyalty.

Blue Carbon

Blue carbon is the carbon captured by living organisms in coastal (e.g., mangroves, salt marshes, seagrasses) and marine ecosystems, and stored in biomass and sediments.

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Built Environment

Built environment encompasses any constructed structure or system, including whole cities, residential homes, commercial buildings, government facilities, roads, bridges, and factories, designed with a focus on minimizing energy needs, material usage, and associated emissions.

Bioregion

A bioregion is a geographical area defined not by political boundaries but by ecological systems. One Earth's Bioregions Framework delineates 185 discrete bioregions organized within the world's major biogeographical realms. With input from an array of field scientists, conservation experts, and geographers, the bioregions provide a framework for collective action to protect and conserve our planet — from scientific research and governance initiatives to philanthropic grantmaking and public advocacy. 

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c

Circular Fibersheds

Circular fibersheds refer to replacing fossil-fuel-based fabrics (nylon, polyester, spandex, etc.) with fabrics and textiles grown using regenerative farming practices and implementing systems to reuse and recycle clothing after its useful life.

A circular fibershed is based on the concept of "soil to soil," so its circularity engages the atmosphere, biosphere, and pedosphere, making sure that the fibers we're working with come from soils we are working actively to regenerate lost carbon stocks.

Then, the plant and animal material coming from those regenerating working landscapes goes through its full cycle of use and, at the end of life, is then able to return to the soil. This form of circularity protects our planet's largest carbon pool, our oceans, which have been feeling the brunt of a non-circular fashion system. Circular fibersheds is the fourth sub-pillar of Regenerative Agriculture in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

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Climate Finance

Climate finance refers to the mobilization of both governmental and private sector financial resources to fund and rapidly scale climate solutions. Examples include government grants, private investments, and public-private partnerships.

Climate Refugia

Climate refugia are unprotected areas not included in other designations of the Global Safety Net that help to stabilize our global climate system by absorbing and storing more than 50 metric tons of carbon per hectare of land. Climate stabilization areas total 4.7% of the planet's lands and comprise Layer 6 of the Global Safety Net.

Community Action

Community action refers to collective efforts taken by groups of individuals at a local level to implement systemic change. Grassroots initiatives can include community efforts to protect and restore nature, reduce carbon emissions, implement local adaptation measures, and foster environmental stewardship.

Composting

Composting involves the natural decomposition of organic matter, such as plant debris and food scraps, into a valuable fertilizer and soil amendment, contributing to soil health, improved water retention, and carbon sequestration. When compost is applied, the soil's health increases as microbes grow and become more plentiful. These microbes sequester carbon in the soil from photosynthesis

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Crop Optimization

Crop Optimization refers to using Al and data modeling to determine the optimal location for various crops, increasing overall yields and crop resilience while reducing water consumption. Crop production will need to increase by about 60% to satisfy the demand for food for the fast-growing population globally-demonstrating the need for crop optimization.

Coral Restoration

Coral restoration includes hybridizing or reestablishing corals in areas that have experienced bleaching or other disturbances. Coral reefs occur in less than one percent of the ocean, yet are home to nearly one-quarter of all ocean species.

Corridors

Corridors, wildlife corridors, habitat corridors, or green corridors are areas of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities or structures.

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Connectivity

Connectivity, or Wildlife Connectivity, refers to how and to what degree distinct patches of habitat are connected and the ability for animals on land or in water to move freely from place to place. Wildlife Connectivity is the fourth sub-pillar of Nature Conservation in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

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Decarbonization

Decarbonization refers to the process of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere, primarily achieved by transitioning from the use of fossil fuels (such as coal, natural gas, or oil) to low-carbon or carbon-free energy sources, including renewable energy technologies like wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass. This transition is crucial for addressing climate change by minimizing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The ultimate goal of decarbonization is to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint, meaning the amount of emissions produced is balanced by the amount removed from the atmosphere, thereby limiting global warming in line with international agreements such as the Paris Agreement.

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District Heat

District heat is a utility-scale system for distributing heat from renewable sources (such as bioenergy, solar thermal, heat pumps, or geothermal) through a system of insulated pipes for residential and industrial needs.

Dryland Irrigation

Dryland irrigation refers to identifying presently rainfed cropland that could be irrigated to increase yields and reduce food insecurity without increasing land needed for agriculture or depleting sustainable water resources. Dryland irrigation helps employ sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices, like keeping the soil rooted year-round.

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Ecological Civilization

Ecological Civilization describes a world in which human communities (our systems of economics, agriculture, education, production and consumption, etc.) are designed to promote the overall well-being of people and the planet. It’s a vision for a more sustainable and just society; a world that works for all.

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Ecoregion

An ecoregion is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than a biogeographic realm. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species.

Ecosystem

An ecosystem is a geographic area where all living organisms (plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and people) and their physical environment (soil, water, air, sunlight, and weather) interact together in a complex web to create the unit of life in which they all exist. 

Ecosystem Restoration

Ecosystem restoration involves assisting the recovery of degraded ecosystems and their natural processes through measures including reforestation, habitat regeneration, and the rewilding of keystone species. Ecosystem Restoration is the third sub-pillar of Nature Conservation in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

Education & Awareness

Education and awareness involve the process of educating individuals and communities about the solutions to the climate crisis that already exist, as well as expanding the general understanding of what constitutes a climate solution. This strategy is crucial for fostering informed decision-making and behavior change at multiple levels to affect systemic change. Examples include curriculum development, public awareness campaigns, and leveraging media to increase understanding and awareness of climate change. By equipping individuals, communities, and institutions with knowledge, we can inspire them into action.

Electric Heat

Electric heat encompasses several technologies, such as heat pumps, space heaters, and induction ovens, that can convert renewable electricity into heat through electric resistance, radiation, induction, or efficient heat transfer.

Electric Transport

Electric transport refers to any mode of transportation, including trains, trams, cars, buses, and bikes, powered by renewable electricity either directly from the grid or through stored battery energy.

Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is the primary law in the United States for protecting and conserving threatened or endangered species. It is a fluid document, allowing species to be added and removed from the list and aids in implementing plans for their recovery.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency refers to the reduction of total energy demand through intelligent behavioral and technological measures without lowering living standards. Energy Efficiency is the fourth sub-pillar of Energy Transition in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

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Estuary

An estuary is a partially enclosed, coastal water body where freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with salt water from the ocean. Estuaries and their surrounding lands are places of transition from land to sea.

f

Fibersheds

Fibershed is a term coined by Rebecca Burgess in 2011 to describe a geographical landscape that defines and gives boundaries to a natural textile resource base. Generally, a fibershed largely works with locally grown, organic production and manufacture of natural fibers made from plants such as cotton, linen, and hemp or wool-based textiles from sheep, alpaca, llama, and even, yak. Fibershed leaders are usually farmers, makers, and small business owners that are committed to natural fiber textile manufacturing.

Fiber Sourcing

Fiber sourcing is the responsible procurement of natural fibers, like linen, wool, hemp, and jute, from environmentally sustainable and ethically managed sources that support soil health, waterways, and biodiversity and enhance carbon sequestration. The global market for "eco-fibers" is projected to grow from $40.38 billion in 2020 to $58.29 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6% over the forecast period.

Flagship Species

A flagship species is a keystone or ecologically significant species identified in the One Earth Bioregions Framework to represent the unique biogeographical diversity of each of Earth's 844 ecoregions.

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Food Upcycling

Food upcycling involves the creative repurposing of food byproducts, surplus food, and cosmetically imperfect food into new edible products in an effort to reduce food waste. Globally, we lose around $1 trillion per year on wasted or lost food. Upcycled food captures that value and leverages it to create a sustainable and resilient food system.

Food Waste Reduction

Food is a resource that represents large amounts of energy, resources, and time. Reducing the amount of food wasted through on- and off-farm measures increases our resource efficiency and allows the nutrients in food to cycle back into our food system. Food Waste Reduction is the third sub pillar of regenerative agriculture in the One Earth Solutions Framework. 

Forest Recovery

Forest recovery refers to restoring previously logged or degraded forests through natural regeneration. This restoration can be unassisted or assisted, with the latter involving periodic clearing of invasive species, if present. According to the One Earth Climate Model, if 25% of secondary forests (1,893 Mha) were set aside for conservation and allowed to naturally restore, they could collectively sequester 52 Gt of CO2 by the end of the century.

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Gender Equity

Gender equity embodies the notion that women's empowerment is crucial for climate action. Women across the globe are often the first to feel the impacts of climate change, particularly in regions where they are primary food producers and water collectors. Yet, they are underrepresented in decision-making processes and climate negotiations. By addressing gender inequities, we unlock a powerful climate solution. When equipped with equal resources and rights, women can drive sustainable practices in their communities, innovate climate solutions, and lead the charge toward environmental resilience. Hence, gender equity is not just a social imperative but a climate one, cutting across various One Earth solution pathways, from ecosystem restoration to renewable energy transition.

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Geothermal Heat

Geothermal heat involves the extraction and distribution of subsurface latent heat for residential or industrial heating. Geothermal resources are classified by their temperature level, ranging from low temperature (<90˚C) to high (150-250˚C), which differentiates their suitability for various heat processes, from food processing to industrial process heat.

Geothermal Power

Geothermal power involves harnessing naturally occurring underground, typically found in regions near volcanic activity, geysers, or hot springs to generate steam for powering turbines and producing electricity.

Global Safety Net

The first global-scale analysis of land areas requiring protection to solve the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, upholding and strengthening Indigenous land rights.

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Grazing Optimization

Grazing optimization involves the strategic rotation of herbivores like cattle, bison, and sheep to allow for rest periods to facilitate pasture regrowth, mimicking natural ecological conditions and promoting sustainable rangeland management practices that support biodiversity and soil health. Facilitating soil carbon sequestration through improved grazing regimes is essential for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.

Green Hydrogen Heat

Green hydrogen heat involves using sustainably produced hydrogen to generate heat through combustion for high-heat industrial needs or co-generation fuel cells for lower-heat commercial and residential markets. To reduce the potential for leakage and decrease transportation costs, the US plans to co-localize hydrogen production to hydrogen use, placing new electrolyzers in industrial areas that can put it to use.

Green Hydrogen Power

Green hydrogen power involves the production of hydrogen using renewable energy to electrolyze water, which allows for the storage and on-demand use of hydrogen in a fuel cell to provide a clean and sustainable power source.

Green Textiles

Green textiles refer to textiles produced through eco-friendly fiber processing and dyeing methods, emphasizing reduced energy consumption and the avoidance of chemicals harmful to human and ecological health. The textile industry generates one-fifth of the world's industrial water pollution, and textile dyeing is the second largest water polluter in the world.

Green Hydrogen Fuel

Green hydrogen fuel is produced using renewable energy to electrolyze water (splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen). The resulting hydrogen can be stored and used on demand in a fuel cell to create renewable power.

Grassland Restoration

Grassland restoration includes a suite of practices that restore or enhance the health of grassland ecosystems, including managing and planting native species. Grasslands are among the largest terrestrial biomes, covering >25% of the Earth's surface.

h

Healthy Feed

Healthy feed refers to a nutritionally balanced diet provided to livestock that contains essential macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and adequate fiber, fostering animal well-being, reducing reliance on antibiotics, and mitigating methane emissions. Improving cattle feed can reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 4.42–15.05 gigatons by 2050.

Hydropower

Sustainable hydropower refers to using smaller-scale dams that generate electricity through the controlled flow of water but preserve aquatic ecosystems and ensure unobstructed fish migration pathways.

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Iconic Species

An iconic species is a keystone or ecologically significant animal species identified in One Earth's Bioregions Framework to represent the unique biogeographical diversity of each of Earth's 185 bioregions.

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Indigenous Tenure

Indigenous tenure refers to land currently occupied or managed by Indigenous People or Local Communities (IPLCs) that are legally recognized by governments as belonging to those communities. Although Indigenous Peoples comprise less than 5% of the world's population, they live on and protect lands that contain 80% of Earth's biodiversity.

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Industrial Processes

Industrial processes encompass technological innovations, new systems, and upgrades that reduce the energy intensity and direct emissions from manufacturing chemicals, metals, electrical goods, textiles, materials, and cement.

Intact Wilderness

Intact wilderness refers to unprotected areas with a large extent of intact wilderness, such as continuous forests, shrublands, and grasslands, that aren't identified in previous layers of the Global Safety Net. This layer is composed of unprotected parts of the Last of the Wild in each ecoregion and other wilderness areas that provide potential macro-refugia for wildlife and representation of fauna. Intactness is a crucial component of the Global Safety Net as it represents large, contiguous areas of habitat that are essential for the conservation of biodiversity, particularly for wide-ranging species and intact ecological processes. These areas are important for maintaining the resilience and functioning of ecosystems. By including intactness as a key layer, the Global Safety Net aims to safeguard large, interconnected habitats that are critical for the long-term preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Intact wilderness totals 16% of the planet's land and comprises Layer 5 of the Global Safety Net.

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Keystone Species

A keystone species is an organism that helps define an entire ecosystem and holds it together. The other species in its ecosystem largely depend on it, such that if it were removed, the ecosystem would change drastically. 

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Land Buffers

Land buffers are areas of land used to separate cultivated or developed land from protected areas, Indigenous conservation areas, and wildlife habitats. They may also have ancillary benefits, such as agroforestry projects. Buffer areas can help meet a number of natural resource, economic, and social objectives, including providing wildlife habitat, protecting cropland and downstream communities from flood damage, and filtering nutrients, pesticides, and animal waste from agricultural land runoff.

Land Conservation

Land conservation refers to the long-term protection and Indigenous governance of natural land areas and wildlife across forests, wetlands, grasslands, and drylands. Land Conservation is the first sub-pillar of Nature Conservation in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

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Land Corridors

Land corridors are landscapes that connect two or more wildlife areas, allowing animals to move freely between larger areas of intact habitat. Land corridors can increase movement between isolated populations, help to increase genetic diversity, and increase food availability for a variety of species.

Land Habitats

Land habitats are unprotected land areas with groupings of plants and animals vital to maintaining healthy ecosystems. High biodiversity areas total 6.0% of the planet’s land and comprise Layer 3 of the Global Safety Net.

Land Protected Areas

Land protected areas are places already protected or recognized by governments, including all International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)-protected area classes and Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs) as defined by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). Land Protected Areas total 15% of the planet’s land and comprise Layer 1 of the Global Safety Net.

Legal Empowerment

Legal empowerment refers to increasing access to justice and the rule of law for marginalized individuals and communities. It can enable local communities to secure rights to their land, resist harmful environmental practices, participate in decision-making processes, and access mechanisms for climate justice.

m

Mammal Assemblages

Mammal assemblages refer to unprotected large mammal landscapes where seasonal groupings of animals, particularly megafauna, occur. Large mammal landscapes, like the Pantanal wetlands in Western Brazil, home to the world’s largest jaguars, total 6.3% of the planet’s land and comprise Layer 4 of the Global Safety Net.

Marine Habitats

Marine habitats are unprotected areas with groupings of plants and animals that are vital to maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems.

Mangrove Restoration

Mangrove restoration consists of reviving or rehabilitating coastal mangrove ecosystems, which help sequester carbon, safeguard coastlines against storms and erosion, and foster biodiversity. 

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Marine Corridors

Marine corridors serve as migration routes for sea birds, fish, and marine mammals free of interference from human activity. The Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR) was established in 2004 to provide for the long-term conservation of nature, restore ecosystem resilience, and mitigate the damage to marine biodiversity caused by human activities.

Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are sections of the ocean that are currently protected or recognized by governments, with limits placed on human activity in an effort to conserve marine biodiversity and habitats. This includes all IUCN-protected area classes as well as Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs). Over 5,000 Marine Protected Areas have been established worldwide, covering 0.8% of the ocean.

Meal Planning

Meal planning involves the strategic preparation and organization of meals to save money, improve health, and reduce food waste. Wasted food accounts for 2.6% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions in the US, which is equivalent to 1 in 7 cars on the road. Reducing food waste is a top strategy for addressing climate change.

Meat-free Proteins

Meat-free proteins represent an emerging sector in the food industry focused on plant-based protein alternatives sourced from pulses, seaweed, moringa, and other high-protein sources that can be produced and processed sustainably. When demand shifts from animal-based proteins to alternative proteins, farmers are less pressured to convert native vegetation into farmland, and some existing farmland could even be restored to native vegetation.

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Net Zero

Net zero refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal out of the atmosphere.

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Ocean Conservation

Ocean conservation is the long-term protection and sustainable management of marine areas and species—from coastal ecosystems and coral reefs to deep ocean habitats. Ocean Conservation is the second sub-pillar of Nature Conservation in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

Offshore Wind

Offshore wind power involves the installation of wind turbines anchored to the sea floor, capitalizing on the consistently higher wind speeds over the ocean and enabling the use of larger turbines, thus enhancing their efficiency compared to onshore counterparts, ultimately generating electricity through the rotation of an electric generator.

One Earth Climate Model (OECM)

The One Earth Climate Model (OECM) provides a roadmap for limiting global average temperature rise to 1.5°C. This research, supported by One Earth, was the culmination of a two-year collaboration with 17 leading scientists at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), two institutes at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and the University of Melbourne’s Climate & Energy College. The model provides the least-cost pathways for decarbonizing our energy system and shows the powerful role forests and agricultural systems can play.

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On-farm Storage

On-farm storage solutions, including technologies like solar-powered refrigerators, contribute to significant reductions in crop losses due to inadequate or inaccessible cold storage, ensuring the freshness and quality of produce before it is sold or taken to market. On-farm grain storage can give a farmer financial benefits, greater control over where crops are sold, a hearty supply of animal feed, and protection against weather damage.

Onshore Wind

Onshore wind power is generated through the use of large wind turbines equipped with long blades that harness the kinetic energy of the wind to drive a connected electric generator.

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Pastoralism

Pastoralism is a subsistence agricultural practice that involves raising domestic animals in natural grassland environments, often in dryland areas. What distinguishes pastoral systems is traditional knowledge, centuries-long tested experiences based on inference and ground truthing, with a propensity to adapt to new circumstances.

Perennial Superfoods

Perennial superfoods, including acai, goji, and moringa, are exceptionally high in nutrients and beneficial for human health but do not require replanting each year, reducing soil erosion and increasing carbon sequestration relative to annual crops. Studies have demonstrated that superfoods high in antioxidants and flavonoids help prevent coronary heart disease and cancer, improve immunity, and decrease inflammation.

Permaculture

Permaculture is a way of designing systems—whether it's a garden, a farm, or even a whole community—that mimics natural ecosystems to create sustainable and self-sufficient environments. It's about working with nature, not against it, using principles that focus on thoughtful planning, using resources wisely, and creating harmonious relationships between people and the environment. 

Philanthro-activism

Philanthro-activism is an approach that involves directing philanthropic resources towards community-based activism and on-the-ground projects aimed at addressing specific social or environmental issues.

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Planetarian Diet

The Planetarian Diet emphasizes a nutritional approach outlined by the EAT-Lancet Commission, promoting sustainable and healthy dietary habits, including reduced red meat consumption, increased vegetable intake, and decreased food waste, aiming to support global food security and environmental sustainability for a growing population. Reducing your overall meat consumption is essential because the production contributes to the ever-increasing social and economic costs of poor public health, climate disaster relief, and environmental degradation.

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Policy & Governance

Policy and governance refers to the implementation of effective policies, laws, and regulations that promote sustainable practices, reduce carbon emissions, and protect nature, as well as the effective governance necessary to ensure compliance at local, national, and international levels. Examples range from local urban planning to national carbon pricing to international agreements like the Paris Climate Accord.

Polyculture

Polyculture is the practice of cultivating multiple crops, often with symbiotic properties, in the same area, which helps sequester carbon, enhance biodiversity, and improve yield resilience. Like natural systems, polycultures offer benefits, including reduced pest damage and soil conservation, even increasing crop yields per area compared to monocultures.

Public Health

Climate change poses significant threats to public health around the world. Rising temperatures, extreme weather events, poor air quality, and other impacts of climate change directly harm human health. Climate-induced environmental changes intensify existing health risks and create new challenges for public health systems worldwide, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable populations. From the spread of infectious diseases to the mental health impacts of climate disasters, the well-being of all humans is intimately tied to the health of our planet. Public Health intersects with every solution pathway—whether we are creating sustainable cities, transitioning to clean energy, or ensuring food security, the health of humanity should be a central consideration

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Rarity Sites

Rarity sites are unprotected areas that need to be protected immediately due to the presence of rare or range-restricted plant and animal species. Species Rarity Sites total 2.3% of the planet’s land and comprise Layer 2 of the Global Safety Net.

Recycle & Reuse

Recycle and Reuse refers to the adoption of sustainable fashion practices, including the concept of "slow fashion," which encourages the use, repair, and repurposing of second-hand apparel, along with the recycling and upcycling of fibers for additional purposes, all aimed at mitigating the environmental impact of the prevailing culture of "fast fashion." Every ton of reused discarded textiles prevents 20 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative Agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle. One Earth has identified Regenerative Agriculture as the third pillar of collective action to solve the climate crisis. 

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Regenerative Croplands

Regenerative croplands consist of a wide variety of farm management techniques that increase the net carbon stored in farmland, increase crop resilience, decrease food miles, decrease inputs while increasing yields, and eliminate the emissions associated with fertilizer. Regenerative Croplands is the first sub-pillar of Regenerative Agriculture in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

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Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is energy derived from natural sources that are replenished at a higher rate than they are consumed, such as sunlight, wind, the movement of water, and geothermal heat. 

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Reforestation

Reforestation involves planting native trees in areas affected by man-made disturbances (e.g., logging, mining, agricultural clearing, and development) or by natural disturbances (e.g., wildfires, drought, and insect and disease infestations). A 2019 analysis suggests that planting trees in areas that would naturally support woodlands and forests on an additional 0.9 billion hectares could capture 205 gigatonnes of carbon.

Renewable Heat

Renewable heat refers to heating water, buildings, and industrial processes using carbon-free energy sources that are naturally replenished. Renewable Heat is the second sub-pillar of Energy Transition in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

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Renewable Power

Renewable power refers to electricity generated from carbon-free or carbon-neutral sources that are naturally replenished faster than they can be consumed. Renewable Energy is the first sub-pillar of Energy Transition in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

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Renewable Transport

Renewable transport refers to vehicles that are powered by either renewable electricity or portable carbon-neutral fuels like green hydrogen, synfuel, and biofuel. Renewable Transport is the third sub-pillar of Energy Transition in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

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Rivers & Streams

Areas of land running alongside a river or a portion of a river bed that enables river-dependent species to feed, mate, and migrate. Conserving these can stabilize river banks and reduce the velocity of water to support wildlife. Rivers hold less than one percent of the world's water, with the rest existing in the salty ocean and polar ice caps—making rivers incredibly important for freshwater conservation.

Rice Farming

Sustainable rice farming employs a variety of eco-friendly practices that minimize resource usage, enhance productivity through improved seed selection and reduced crop loss, and mitigate methane emissions by implementing water management techniques that limit the duration of flooding in rice paddies. Sustainable rice farming can decrease water use by 2%, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, and increase income by 10%.

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Science & Technology

Science & Technology refers to scientific research and technological innovation developed to provide decision-makers at all levels with the tools and knowledge they need to prioritize implementing the best climate solutions. Examples include the development of science-based roadmaps like the One Earth Climate Model and the Global Safety Net and digital tools like Trailguard.

Seed Diversity

Seed diversity refers to practices that increase the genetic diversity of plants available to farmers by restoring heirloom crops or creating new strains through hybridization, which bolster food security and enhance crop resilience to pest and climate impacts. Without seed diversity, it's difficult for plants to adapt to pests, diseases, and changing climate conditions—a particular concern as the world warms.

Silvopasture

Silvopasture refers to intentionally integrating trees and grazing livestock to optimize the production of forest products and forage, enhancing biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and diversifying farmer's outputs. One of the main advantages of silvopasture systems is reducing heat stress in livestock, which improves animal performance and well-being.

Smallholder Farming

Smallholder farming refers to family or community farms on less than five acres, which aid food security and climate change by allowing for micro-management of a diversity of crops adapted to a specific region with much lower carbon footprints than industrial agriculture. While 75 percent of the world's food is generated from only 12 plants and five animal species, making the global food system highly vulnerable to shocks, biodiversity is critical to smallholder systems that keep many rustic and climate-resilient varieties and breeds alive.

Social Justice

Social justice acknowledges that climate change disproportionately impacts marginalized and vulnerable communities. Therefore, the fight against climate change is a fight for equality and fairness. This theme spotlights the need for climate policies that center equity, ensuring that those most affected by climate change have a voice in shaping solutions. Climate justice intersects with every solution pathway, insisting that whether we're transforming energy systems or protecting ecosystems, the rights and needs of all people must be front and center.

Soil Management

Soil management encompasses a range of holistic farming practices, including cover crops, erosion control, microbial inoculants, and non-fertilizer soil improvers, designed to foster soil health, resilience, and carbon content, ensuring sustainable and productive agricultural systems while minimizing negative environmental impacts. Given its multiple benefits, including improved food production, soil carbon sequestration, and the conservation of existing soil carbon stocks, is a crucial mitigation pathway to achieve the less than 2°C global target of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Solar Heat

Solar heat is the process of harnessing thermal energy from the sun, commonly achieved through a sealed flat plate with copper pipes, utilized for residential, commercial, or industrial space heating or water heating.

Solar Photovoltaic

Solar photovoltaic (PV) power utilizes sheets or panels of semiconducting materials capable of capturing photons from the sun and turning them into an electrical current.

Solarpunk

Solarpunk is a movement that uses speculative fiction, art, fashion, and activism to envision and advocate for actualizing a sustainable future interconnected with nature and community. 

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Species Rewilding

Species rewilding is the process of reintroducing species of wild terrestrial and marine animals that were previously driven out or exterminated from their native habitats. Rewilding just 20 large mammal species back to their historic habitats could restore ecosystems across almost one-quarter of the Earth’s land. Learn more about the importance of species rewilding by checking out One Earth’s Wild Carbon Video Showcase.

Sustainable Fertilizers

Sustainable fertilizers are organic-based fertilizers, including compost, herbivore manures, vermiculture, microbial soil amendments, and domestic sewage, fostering nutrient-rich soil, promoting healthy crop growth, and minimizing detrimental environmental impacts. Organic fertilizers can improve soil structure over time by increasing aeration and water-holding capacity of the soil.

Solar Thermal

Solar Thermal or Concentrated solar power (CSP) technology utilizes mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight onto a small area, generating heat that drives a turbine or heat engine to produce electricity.

Sustainable Fisheries

Sustainable fisheries are fishing operations managed in a manner that ensures the long-term health and productivity of fish stocks and the marine ecosystems in which they live. This involves harvesting at a rate where the fish population can replenish itself naturally, thereby avoiding overfishing. Sustainable fisheries also consider the impacts of fishing practices on other marine life and habitats, ensuring that the broader ecosystem remains balanced and healthy. The goal is to meet current seafood demands without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Annually, fishers remove more than 77 billion kilograms (170 billion pounds) of wildlife from the sea, raising concerns about overfishing and the potential collapse of the world’s fisheries.

Sustainable Rangelands

Sustainable rangelands pertain to shifting diets to decrease the strain on our rangelands, managing pastureland to decrease methane emissions, and maximizing carbon stored in the soil by eliminating deforestation and increasing ecosystem health. Sustainable Rangelands is the second sub-pillar of Regenerative Agriculture in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable forestry is a forest management technique that includes selective logging instead of clear-cutting. It is more expensive but results in high-quality timber products over the longer term, reducing carbon emissions from logging and benefiting wildlife. Reduced-impact logging for climate (RIL-C) is a way to maintain timber production while minimizing forest damage and can reduce logging emissions by 44%.

Sustainable Livelihoods

Sustainable livelihoods highlights the importance of ensuring the transition to a green economy is just and inclusive. It underscores that environmental sustainability and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive. This theme champions solutions that protect the planet while creating decent work, reducing poverty, and building inclusive societies. Whether through green jobs in renewable energy sectors or sustainable farming practices, Sustainable Livelihoods thread through every solution pathway, ensuring the climate transition leaves no one behind.

Synfuel

Sustainable synfuels are combustible fuels similar to petroleum but synthesized using renewable power and abundant resources such as hydrogen and carbon monoxide, applicable for use in existing aircraft and maritime vessels without substantial engine modifications

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Transmission & Storage

Transmission and storage measures refer to techniques that minimize energy loss during power transmission from production to consumption points, encompassing the deployment of smart grids, smart meters, demand response systems, integrated grid storage solutions, utility-scale batteries, and load-shedding techniques.

Transportation Efficiency

Transportation efficiency encompasses measures aimed at reducing reliance on energy-inefficient modes of travel, such as automobiles and airplanes, which includes investments in public rail systems, buses, bicycles, and personal electric vehicles (PEVs), along with policies promoting remote work options, lightweight vehicle manufacturing, and other energy-saving measures that contribute to sustainable transportation practices.

Trophic Cascade

Trophic cascades are powerful indirect interactions that can control entire ecosystems, such as the addition or removal of top predators, which results in dramatic changes in the food chain.

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Urban Biodiversity­

Urban biodiversity refers to methods that reintroduce nature and wildlife back into urban or suburban areas, including tree planting, microforests, pollinator meadows, and river restoration.

Urban Gardening

Urban gardening encompasses the conversion of turf grass into gardens and cultivating herbs and vegetables in urban spaces such as rooftops, balconies, or community gardens to promote local food production, boost public health, and lower carbon emissions.

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Water Stewardship

Water stewardship emphasizes the importance of responsible management of our planet's life-giving resource, water. This theme advocates for sustainable practices that honor the sacred value of water, guarantee fair distribution, and preserve its quality for all living beings on Earth. Worldwide, two billion people lack access to clean and safe drinking water, highlighting the urgent need for protecting and managing water resources sustainably and equally

Wave Energy

Wave energy, or ocean power, involves harnessing the kinetic energy produced by the natural oscillation of waves, typically achieved through a weighted buoy system that converts the wave motion into electrical energy via a linear or rotary generator.

WDPA (World Database on Protected Areas)

The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the most comprehensive global database of marine and terrestrial protected areas. It is a joint project between UN Environment Programme and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and is managed by UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), in collaboration with governments, non-governmental organisations, academia and industry.The WDPA is updated on a monthly basis, and can be downloaded from the Protected Planet website. 

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Wetlands Restoration

Wetlands restoration refers to a combination of management practices and planting native species to restore and enhance the health of all types of wetlands, including marshes, swamps, bogs, fens, seagrass, and kelp forests. Although they cover only 6% of the Earth’s land surface, 40% of all plant and animal species live or breed in wetlands.

Wildlife Connectivity

Wildlife connectivity refers to creating and maintaining ecological corridors and connections between natural habitats, enabling species to move and migrate unimpeded across both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Wildlife Connectivity is the fourth sub-pillar of Regenerative Agriculture in the One Earth Solutions Framework.

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Youth Leadership

Youth leadership underscores the vital role of youth in climate action. Young people are not just the beneficiaries of a stable climate future—they are actively shaping it. From leading global climate strikes to pioneering green innovations, the youth are redefining what it means to be a climate leader. This theme cuts across all solution pathways, infusing them with urgency, innovation, and unwavering hope.

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