Agroecology: the study of sustainable farming and growing methods based on the ecology of natural ecosystems; indigenous farming methods and traditional ecological knowledge based on the land and the interconnectedness of plants, animals, humans, and the land

Agribusiness: Agribusiness is the business sector encompassing industrial large-scale farming and farming-related commercial activities.

Anthropocene: a term formally proposed by Paul Crutzen in 2000, stands for the notion that human beings have become the primary emergent geological force affecting the future of the Earth System; “a new geological epoch in which human economic activity is the primary driver of global environmental change. Known as the Anthropocene, this epoch is characterized by human domination and disruption of Earth system processes essential to the planet’s self-regulating capacity” (Gonzalez, 2017).

Anti-Blackness: The Council for Democratizing Education defines anti-Blackness as being a two-part formation that both voids Blackness of value, while systematically marginalizing Black people and their issues. 

The first form of anti-Blackness is overt racism. Beneath this anti-Black racism is the covert structural and systemic racism that categorically predetermines the socioeconomic status of Blacks in this country. The structure is held in place by anti-Black policies, institutions, and ideologies.

The second form of anti-Blackness is the unethical disregard for anti-Black institutions and policies. This disregard is the product of class, race, and/or gender privilege certain individuals experience due to anti-Black institutions and policies. This form of anti-Blackness is protected by the first form of overt racism.

Biocultural diversity:
the diversity of life in all of its manifestations – biological, cultural, and linguistic. The diversity of life is made up not only of the diversity of plants and animal species, habitats and ecosystems found on the planet, but also of the diversity of human cultures and languages (Maffi and Dilts, 2014).

BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

Climate Justice: climate change solutions that center the needs of frontline communities, those most impacted by climate disasters and environmental injustice, and challenge the extractive economy; a transition away from extractivism and toward a regenerative economy.  

Colonialism: the violent and genocidal, stealing, occupying, and exploitation of land from and of Indigenous peoples, for resources or settlement; it is the institution of systemic hierarchal class, race, and patriarchal structures and social norms that protects white-hetero-cis-males while oppressing Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women, gender-non-conforming, queer, and two-spirit folks.

Coloniality: long-standing patterns of power that emerged as a result of colonialism, but that define culture, labor, intersubjective relations, and knowledge production well beyond the strict limits of colonial administrations (Quijano 2000 & Maldonado-Torres 2007). 

Customary water laws: Pre-colonial water use and/or traditional water management practices; customary laws and traditional economies are characterized by different mechanisms from modern societies, and such mechanisms are identified with a different terminology.

Decolonization: The return of the land, its resources, and governance to its original peoples.

Desalination: a process that takes away mineral components from saline water.

Diaspora: The dispersion of a group of people who live outside their homeland due to a political, economic, social, and/or environmental event that caused them to flee or which forcibly removed them from their homelands into new regions: such as, Africans as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Ecological debt: Ecological debt refers to the accumulated debt of wealthier countries for having plundered poorer countries by the exploitation of their resources, the degradation of their natural habitat, the beggaring of local people and/or the free occupation of environmental space for waste discharg. 

Environmental Justice: is the social transformation aimed at satisfying human needs and improving the quality of life (including: economic quality, medical care, housing, human rights, environmental protection, and democracy) with an emphasis on protecting vulnerable and exploited populations.

Environmental Racism: the institutional rules, regulations, policies or government and/or corporate decisions that deliberately target certain communities for locally undesirable land uses and lax enforcement of zoning and environmental laws, resulting in communities being disproportionately exposed to toxic and hazardous waste based upon race, gender, ethnicity, and religion.

Extractivism: an economic model that has its roots in the large-scale exploitation and expropriation of the natural resource wealth of developing countries that began under colonialism (FoEI, 2013).

False “Renewables”: energy sources dubbed renewable in the context of the capitalist green economy, but are incompatible with a Just Energy Transition due to the destruction they cause to communities and the enviornment. Some of these include biofuels, “waste-to-energy” (incineration), mega dams, and nuclear power.

Food Sovereignty: the right of peoples to healthy and culturally-appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations (Declaration of Nyéléni, 2007).

Glacial Lake Outbursts Floods (GLOFs): type of outburst flood that occurs when the dam containing a glacial lake fails.

Hegemony: the ability of a dominant or ruling group to impose its own values and ideas about what is natural or normal on a subordinated group, often defining the parameters of what is even considered an acceptable topic within the dominant discourse (also referred to as the Master Narrative) (Gramsci, 1971).

Hydro-development: using water as a force in economic development by building large dams, generating and transmitting hydroelectricity, and impounding and diverting water

Institution: any established law or custom that is accepted as part of a culture. Also an established organization with entrenched power, like a bank, universitiy, or the military. 

Institutional oppression: the systematic mistreatment and dehumanization of any individual based solely on a social identity group with which they identify that is supported and enforced by society and its institutions; based on the belief that people of such a social identity group are inherently inferior.

Just Transition: a climate justice framework developed to secure workers' rights and livelihoods and to uplift frontline communities as the economy shifts from extractive to regenerative, fossil fuels to renewables, and exploitative to care-based.

Native Science (Traditional Environmental Knowledge): is a foundational expression of the Indigenous mind, which is first and foremost a relational orientation, knowledge base, and process for sustaining people, community, culture, and place through time and generations (Cajete 2018).

Neocolonialism: the continuation of colonialism through developmentalism, modernization, education systems, and forced displacement due to land and ocean grabbing. The change from colonialism to neocolonialism is a change only in how the state controls the colonized people.

Neoliberalism: national and international policies of deregulation sponsored by The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund created to prioritize the marketplace and increase economic capital while simultaneously defunding public programs.

Land Grabbing: any scale of acquisition of land for commercial or industrial purposes, such as agricultural and biofuel production, mining and logging concessions, or tourism. It involves land being purchased by investors rather than producers, often foreign investors. It happens with limited (if any) consultation of the local communities, inadequate (if any) compensation, and a lack of regard for environmental sustainability and equitable access to, or control over, natural resources.

Oppression: the systemic use of institutional power and ideological and cultural hegemony, resulting in one group benefiting at the expense of another; the use of power and the effects of domination.

Patriarchy: an economic, political, cultural and social system of domination of women non-binary, and transgender people that privileges cisgender men. Patriarchy is based on binary definitions of gender (male/female) with strict gender roles. It also relies upon rigidly enforced heterosexuality that places male/straight/non-transgender people as superior and women/queer/transgender people/nonbinary people as inferior. Patriarchy shapes and is shaped by white supremacy, capitalism, and the state. Together, they form interlocking systems of oppression.

Queer Ecology: a term used to ecapsulate a varieity of ecological practices and politics that unsettles hetero-patriarchal insitutional sciences and understandings. It draws heavily from queer theory, trans theory, ecofeminism, and LGBTQ2S histories and legacies. Histories that affirm all relations of life through the disintegration of western frameworks of “natural”. 

Racism: a system of oppression based on the social construct of a racial hierarchy, which is expressed in individual, institutional as well as cultural forms and functions that benefit white people and white-passing people at the expense of black and indigenous people and people of color.

Remunicipalisation: the concept of remunicipalisation is broadly used to cover changes from private to wholly public ownership of assets or companies; changes from outsourcing (or contracting-out) of services to direct provision by a public authority; and the replacement of concessions or lease contracts by public management.

Settler-Colonialism: refers to the violent and complex social process in which at least one society seeks to move permanently onto the terrestrial, aquatic, and aerial places lived in by one or more other societies who already derive economic vitality, cultural flourishing, and political self-determination with their local ecosystems (Whyte, 2017)

Virtual water: hidden flow of water if food or other commodities are traded from one place to another.

Water expertocracy: the power of establishment experts; rule or government by experts in the water sector.

Water governance: broadly refers to processes and practices that shape decision making over water and its uses, including but not limited to, actors and institutions, as well as formal and informal laws and regulations that govern how water is accessed and used

Water grabbing: a situation where powerful actors are able to take control of, or reallocate for their own benefits, water resources already used by local communities or feeding aquatic ecosystems on which their livelihoods are based.

Water grabbing (economic model of development): capital accumulation is linked to increasing control over abundant and cheap supplies of natural resources, including food, water and energy.

Water grabbing (modification): the diversion of natural waterways by local regional or state authorities or by private actors-physical or legal persons-upon authorization released by public authorities.

Water sovereignty: water sovereignty is the right to use and access water resources without any interference from outside sources or bodies

White-supremacy: the idea (ideology) that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions. White supremacy is ever-present in our institutional and cultural assumptions that assign value, morality, goodness, and humanity to the white group while casting people and communities of color as worthless (worthless), immoral, bad, and inhuman and "undeserving." Drawing from critical race theory, the term "white supremacy" also refers to a political or socio-economic system where white people enjoy structural advantages and rights that other racial and ethnic groups do not, both at a collective and an individual level.