(i) A semi-enclosed littoral basin with limited fresh water input, high salinity, and restricted circulation; lagoons often lie behind sand-dunes, barrier islands, or other protective features; (ii) the shallow waters lying between a coral ridge and the shore.


Land Use

The character and condition of the use of land and which may be described in terms of general categories, such as “residential”, “commercial”, “industrial”, and “open space”, or with reference to the specific use or development of a specific site; also, a reference to the ways in which a community or area makes use of its natural resources.


Land use planning

Planning for allocations for use of the regional (or national) land resources to achieve a strategic objective, often for sustainable use of a particular resource (water resources, fisheries, wildlife) or to meet certain social equity or economic objectives.



An unmanned earth-orbiting NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) satellite that transmits multi-spectral images (0.4-1.1 micrometer range) of the electromagnetic spectrum to earth-receiving stations; the digital data and/or images produced are used to identify earth features and resources.



When a large mass of rock slips or falls down onto a beach. It is usually caused by the sea eroding the bottom of the cliff.

Leading Wave

First arriving wave of a tsunami. In some cases, the leading wave produces an initial depression or drop in sea level, and in other cases, an elevation or rise in sea level. When a drop in sea level occurs, sea level recession is observed.

Leeward coast:coast sheltered from the waves.



A barrier constructed to contain the flow of water, prevent flooding, or to keep out the sea


Life Boat Station

A building on the coast where a lifeboat is kept. The lifeboat is specially built to go out in very rough seas to save people from ships that are in trouble (sinking or damaged). The lifeboat house usually has a steep metal slide. The lifeboat can be launched very quickly by sliding it down the slide and into the sea.

Light House

A tall building built right on the coast or on rocks in the sea. Lighthouses have very powerful lights at the top. The light flashes on and off and warns boats and ships of dangerous stretches of coast or rocks in the sea. If it is foggy, lighthouses sound a noisy foghorn regularly so that ships can hear where the lighthouse is.


Pertaining to the shore, especially of the sea; coastal.


Littoral Cell

 A reach of the coast that is isolated sedimentologically from adjacent coastal reaches and that features its own sources and sinks. Isolation is typically caused by protruding headlands, submarine canyons, inlets, and some river mouths that prevent littoral sediment from one cell to pass into the next.

Littoral drift

The movement of sand and other material by littoral (long shore) currents in a direction parallel to the beach along the shore; usually wind driven. The sedimentary material moved in the littoral zone under the influence of waves and currents.


Littoral System

 The geographical system subject to frequent or infrequent beach processes. The littoral system is the area from the landward edge of the coastal upland to the seaward edge of the nearshore zone.

Littoral Transport

 The movement of littoral drift in the littoral zone by waves and currents, including movement parallel to the shore (long-shore transport) and movement perpendicular to the shore (onshore-offshore transport).

Littoral zone

In coastal engineering, the area from the shoreline to just beyond the breaker zone; in ecology the littoral system extends farther and is divided into eulittoral and sublittoral zones, separated at a depth of about 50 meters.


Livelihood assets

A key component in the SL framework, they are the assets on which livelihoods are built, and can be divided into five core categories (or types of capital). These are: human capital, natural capital, financial capital, social capital, and physical capital. People’s choice of livelihood strategies, as well as the degree of influence they have over policy, institutions and processes, depends partly upon the nature and mix of the assets they have available to them (see Livelihoods Asset Pentagon). Some combination of them is required by people to achieve positive livelihood outcomes – that is, to improve their quality of life significantly on a sustainable basis. No single category of assets on its own is sufficient to achieve this, but not all assets may be required in equal measure. It is important to note that a single asset can generate multiple benefits. For example, if someone has secure access to land (natural capital) they may also be able to get better access to financial capital, as they can use the land both for productive uses and as security for a loan.


Livelihood components

Refers to the different elements of the SL Framework.

Livelihood goals:  The objectives pursued by people through their livelihood strategies. Closely related to livelihood outcomes

Livelihood outcomes

 Livelihood Outcomes are the achievements – the results – of livelihood strategies.


Livelihood strategies

The term used to denote the range and combination of activities and choices that people make in order to achieve their livelihood goals. Livelihood Strategies include: how people combine their income generating activities; the way in which they use their assets; which assets they chose to invest in; and how they manage to preserve existing assets and income. Strategies may reflect underlying priorities, such as to diversify risk. Livelihood Strategies are diverse at every level. For example, members of a household may live and work in different places, engaging in various activities, either temporarily or permanently. Individuals themselves may rely on a range of different income-generating activities at the same time, and are likely to be pursuing a variety of goals.



One could describe a livelihood as a combination of the resources used and the activities undertaken in order to live. The resources might consist of individual skills and abilities (human capital), land, savings and equipment (natural, financial and physical capital, respectively) and formal support groups or informal networks that assist in the activities being undertaken (social capital).


Livelihoods analysis

see SL Analysis.

Local Agenda 21

 A strategy to protect the local environment, communities and its people developed from the Rio Earth summit.


Local Interest Groups

Groups or bodies of people with a specific interest in a service or outcome.

Local Tsunami

A tsunami from a nearby source for which its destructive effects are confined to coasts within 100 km of the source (or, alternatively, less than 1 hour travel tsunami travel time). A local tsunami is usually generated by an earthquake, but can also be caused by a landslide or a pyroclastic flow from a volcanic eruption.

Logical framework log frame

A tool that is commonly used to design, manage and evaluate projects and programmes. A Logical Framework (log frame) defines what an intervention will do, what it will deliver, the impact it is expected to achieve, and the contribution of that impact to higher-level objectives (such as poverty elimination). It mentions all the indicators that will be used to monitor progress and outlines how information on indicators will be collected. It also outlines how the external environment is expected to shape project impact.


Long shore Drift

The movement of sand and pebbles sideways along a beach, pushed along by waves.

Long term impact

An impact lasting for an unspecified or extended period of time.


Long-shore current

A current, created by waves, which moves parallel to the shore, particularly in shallow water, and which is most noticeable in the surf or breaker zone; littoral drift current.


Low Water Mark

The level of the sea at low tide (when the tide is out).