Advocate

Speak or argue in favor of (verb); a person who pleads for a cause or on behalf of another person.(noun)

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AIDS/HIV

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes AIDS. The virus attacks the immune system and leaves the body vulnerable to a variety of life-threatening infections and cancers. HIV has been found in saliva, tears, nervous system tissue and spinal fluid, blood, semen (including pre-seminal fluid, which is the liquid that comes out before ejaculation), vaginal fluid, and breast milk. However, only blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk has been shown to transmit infection to others. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the final stage of HIV disease, which causes severe damage to the immune system. Common bacteria, yeast, parasites, and viruses that usually do not cause serious disease in people with healthy immune systems can cause fatal illnesses in people with AIDS.

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Appropriate Technology

Appropriate technology is that which is sustainable, clean, and can be derived from local resources. Examples of appropriate technology include solar and wind power generators, rainwater harvesting systems, solar cookers, and solar food dehydrators.

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Autonomy

The ability of a community to make independent, organized decisions on its social, cultural, economic, educational, and political affairs without the interference from outside influences.

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Biodiversity

The word “biodiversity” is a contracted version of “biological diversity”. The Convention on Biological Diversity defines biodiversity as:” the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems.”

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Capacity building:

Focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhibit people from realizing their goals while strengthening their skills, competencies, and abilities to allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results.

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Carbon neutral

Reducing, avoiding, and offsetting harmful carbon emissions that people produce either directly or indirectly.

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Conserve

To keep from harm, decay, loss, or waste, esp. with a view to later use. To preserve with care.

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Deforestation

The permanent clearing of forestland for all agricultural uses and for settlements and any non-forest use.

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Ecology

The inter-relationship and science between all living things and their relationship to their environments.

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Economic, social and cultural rights

Refers to the rights of all persons to live a life which meets their physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs. Being deprived of these rights is often symptomatic of living in poverty

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Empower

The process of transferring decision-making, legal or official authoritative power from influential sectors to poor communities/individuals/groups that have traditionally been excluded.

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Environmental Conservation

The maintenance, preservation, and protection of the environment.  A practice of protecting the environment, on individual, organization or governmental levels for the benefit of the natural environment and humans.

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Environmental Degradation

The erosion of the natural environment through the depletion of resources, the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of plant and animal species. It is caused by direct or indirect human activity.

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Equitable

Fairness to all parties as dictated by reason and conscience, to be equal and just. May refer to all persons equal life chances, regardless of identity to provide all citizens with a basic and equal minimum of income/goods/services.

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Erosion

The process by which soil and rock are removed from Earth’s surface by natural processes such as wind or water flow, and then transported and deposited in other locations.

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Ethno-botany

Ethno-botany is the knowledge of local, medicinal plants used in traditional healing. Traditional healing provides remedies for illnesses such as fever, diarrhea, toothaches, sore throats, sinus problems, intestinal worms, respiratory problems, earaches, skin conditions, menstrual problems, infertility, broken bones, wounds, burns, etc. These healing practices not only provide remedies for common ailments, but they also demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the environment and concern for the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants. The art of traditional healing suffers from the global emphasis on Western culture and the younger generations’ disinterest in traditional knowledge and practices. The wealth of knowledge held by traditional healers is in danger of dying with current generations. Throughout history, traditional healers have been highly respected community experts. Their techniques have evolved over centuries of trial and error, and have been refined through generations of family apprenticeship. Unfortunately, the traditional practices are no longer being passed down through society and a whole volume of cultural heritage is in danger of being lost forever. This chance to study and document the cultural and traditional knowledge of these last experts is an irretrievable opportunity to preserve the knowledge and experience of a culture struggling with the influence of modernization.

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Food Security

Food availability, food access, and food use. A household’s physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that fulfills the dietary needs.

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Food sovereignty

A basic human right of peoples to have the freedom to define their own food and agriculture systems in contrast to having food largely controlled by international markets and multi-national corporations.

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Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination, or sex discrimination, may be characterized as the unequal treatment of a person based solely on that person’s sex.  

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Gender Equiality

Gender equality refers to equality between women and men. The goal of gender equality is to provide all genders with equal opportunities, rights and responsibilities.

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Gender Inequality

A measure that captures the loss in achievements due to gender disparities in the dimensions of reproductive health, empowerment and labor force participation.

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Grassroots

An idea based on a process where people are brought together to act in the interest of their communities and the common good. Often a movement driven by the politics of a community at a local level.

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GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Farming Methods

GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-Farming is a whole system of food security that nurtures soil, produces high yields, conserves resources and can be used successfully by almost everyone. It has been very effective in combating the abuse from soil depleting mono-cropping, and over-use of pesticides. The system includes: composting; companion planting; double-dug raised beds; growing foods like grains and seeds that also have a lot of carbonaceous materials for composting; planting 30% of the foods in high calorie crops like potatoes; and, the use of open pollinated seeds to maintain bio-diversity. For more information, visit www.growbiointensive.org.

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Holistic

Relating to or concerned with complete systems that function as wholes rather than in individual parts

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Homeopathy

Homeopathy has been considered effective in acute, chronic, traumatic, epidemic, and endemic diseases. Homeopathic treatment has proven to be safe, free of side effects, affordable to the poorest people of the world, and can be implemented in situations with very little infrastructure. In places where medical care is a two-days walk, a simple homeopathic self-help kit is a lifeline. Homeopathy Around the World* There are more than 100,000 practitioners of homeopathy worldwide, and approximately 500 million people receiving treatment. There are over 12,000 medical doctors and licensed healthcare practitioners who administer homeopathic treatment in the UK, France, and Germany. The UK has five homeopathic hospitals and many regional clinics where treatment is funded by the National Health Service. Homeopathy has been used in India since the middle of the 19th century, and is widely practiced and officially recognized. India has the largest homeopathic infrastructure in the world, with 300,000 qualified homeopaths, 180 colleges, 7500 government clinics, and 307 hospitals. In Mexico, the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) has had a School of Homeopathy since 1936. This school has both bachelor and master degrees. * Reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy#_note-1, February 2006.

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Infant Mortality Rate

The probability of dying between birth and exactly one year of age times 1,000. The ratio of infant deaths to live births.

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Integrative Health Care

Integrative healthcare is the use of several healing modalities to maintain health and combat disease. It combines allopathic (mainstream) medicine with natural healing practices, such as naturopathic medicine, homeopathic medicine, acupuncture, and traditional healing.

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Lobby

An organized group of people who work together to influence the decision making process or the actions of a public officials, especially legislators.

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Malaria

A mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. Comes from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red, causing symptoms such as: fever, headache, in severe cases a coma or death. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

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Malnutrition

A broad term commonly used alternatively to under-nutrition but technically it also refers to over-nutrition. Resulting from an in adequate diet that does not provide enough calories and protein for growth and maintenance.

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Marginalization

The process whereby certain groups suffering deprivation, eg. the impoverished, unemployed, single parents and those with limited formal education are pushed to the edge of society where they have little say in decision making and are denied the means to improve their position.

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Memory Box Project

When children lose their parents at a young age, it is often difficult for them to preserve the memory of their parents. The Memory Project memorializes parents who are HIV+ and provides a means for these parents to pass personal stories, wisdom, guidance, and hopes on to their children. The object of the project, as coordinated by a memory facilitator, is to support the remembering of these invaluable people, and acknowledge their importance to the family.

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Micro-credit and Micro-enterprise

Micro-lending funds give credit to women who have no collateral or access to credit. Access to credit allows women to start or expand their businesses, gain financial independence, and thereby improve their status in the community. Micro-credit is far superior to direct aid grants as it opens doors for sustainable economic development: grant and aid funds are short term and quickly become depleted, sometimes without achieving their project goals. Without the opportunity to start or expand their businesses, women and girls are sometimes forced by poverty to engage in prostitution in order to survive, placing them at risk of contracting HIV in a community with infection rates around 25%. In gaining financial independence, these women will in turn gain mental independence, and thereby avoid abuse that results from their financially subordinate positions.

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Natural resources

Materials and components that come from the land, for example timber and minerals are natural resources.  

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Naturopathy

The treatment of illness by using diet, herbs, exercises, etc., without using standard drugs or surgery.

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Organic Farming

A form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control. Organic farming uses fertilizers and pesticides but excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured (synthetic) fertilizers, pesticides, plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives, and genetically modified organisms.

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Permaculture

Bill Molison from Tasmania began the Permaculture movement in 1974. Permaculture, from PERManent agriCULTURE, is a practical system of ecological design and stewardship integrating natural surroundings, people and appropriate technologies, to provide suitable shelter, energy and other needs in a sustainable way. Permaculture promotes connected and productive communities and beneficial relationships with the natural world.

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Poverty

Standard definitions of poverty usually focus on the lack of income or economic deprivation. Poverty also encompasses the lack of access to an education, basic healthcare, clean drinking water, or to influence political processes and many other social factors.

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Reforestation

The process of planting new trees in areas where they have been removed by cutting or destroyed by fire, disease, etc.

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Self sustaining

The ability to sustain for oneself without the help of others in attempt to reduce the individual’s or society’s use of natural resources.

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Sex trafficking

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, and or receipt of persons for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation.

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Social Enterprise

An organization that applies business strategies to achieving philanthropic goals and social objectives. They often do not aim to benefit their invertors unless it will ultimately further their capacity to reach their social and environmental goals.

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Social Exclusion

The process whereby certain groups are pushed to the margins of society and prevented from participating fully by virtue of their poverty, low education or inadequate life skills. This distances them from job, income and education opportunities as well as social and community networks. They have little access to power and decision-making bodies and little chance of influencing decisions or policies that affect them, and little chance of bettering their standard of living.

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Social Justice

Refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being.

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Sustainable Community Development

Sustainable community development occurs when functions and processes of an ecosystem are maintained for the common good; it requires an increased awareness of the value of community and of our place in the natural environment. Sustainability is derived from a greater sense of personal and community responsibility.

“A sustainable society satisfies its needs without diminishing the prospects of future generations.” Lester R. Brown, Founder and President, Worldwatch Institute

“Sustainability is the long-term economic, ecological, and social health and vitality of our community.” Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment

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