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acid rain - rain which contains dilute acids as a result of emissions of sulphur dioxide and other gases from factories, automobile engines etc.

agribusiness - the production, processing and marketing of farm commodities including both food and non-food items.

anemia - a deficiency of the blood (thinning or weakening) which causes a state of general weakness

Apartheid - the policy of the Republic of South Africa that segregated the population according to race

appropriate technology - the use of skills, tools and machines that are adapted to the society in which they are applied. In developing countries, the most appropriate technology is not necessarily the most up-to-date.

aquaculture - the controlled raising and cultivation of fish, shellfish, water plants, algae etc for sale or local consumption

arable land - land which is plowed and is able to grow crops. Only about 11% of the world's land surface is suitable for agriculture.

autonomy - personal freedom or the right of individuals or group to determine the rules under which they live

balance of trade - the differences between a country's export revenues and import revenues. When the value of a country's exports exceedes the value of its imports, the country is experiencing a trade surplus.

bilateral aid - aid given by one government to another

barrio - the Spanish word for a very poor section of a city or town

biomass - living matter. Biomass (plants, trees, peat, organic waste) supplies 15% of the energy consumed in the world.

biosphere - the part of the planet where life can exist or the living beings that inhabit the Earth.

biotechnology - scientific means of improving plant and animal species usually through genetic manipulation

birth rate - (or crude birth rate) a calculation of the number of live births occurring per thousand population in one year.