Recalling decision I/3 of the Conference of Parties that a clearing-house mechanism should
be established in accordance with Article 18, paragraph 3, of the Convention to promote
and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation;
Recalling also decision II/3 of the Conference of Parties on the development of the
clearing-house mechanism through the establishment of a pilot phase for 1996-1997 and
related activities to promote technical and scientific cooperation;
Having examined the Note by the Secretariat (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/2/9) which emphasizes
the main features of the Operational Framework of the pilot phase of the clearing-house
mechanism: information linking and organization, visualization and the decision-support
Noting the recent developments among the different active partners, and also noting the
1. Technical and scientific cooperation in all aspects of biological diversity, including
taxonomy and transfer of technology, are crucial to ensuring the capacity of the
clearing-house mechanism to play an important role for the implementation of the
2. The need for the clearing-house mechanism to be clearly focused on the implementation
of the Convention;
3. The need for the clearing-house mechanism activities to include information exchange
modalities additional to the Internet to ensure the participation of Parties without Internet
4. The need for capacity-building for the purposes of the clearing-house mechanism in
developing countries, including training on information systems technologies that will allow
developing countries to take advantage of the recent developments in electronic
communication, including the Internet;
5. The advantages of pilot projects focused on priority areas identified by the Conference of
Parties which would enable developing countries to begin to implement the main features of
the pilot phase of the clearing-house mechanism;
Recommends to the Conference of Parties that it:
1. Request the Global Environment Facility to support the activities in paragraphs 4 and 5
above as critical components in the implementation of the clearing-house mechanism at the
national, subregional and regional levels, including in the pilot phase.
2. Request the Secretariat to facilitate regional workshops with a view to clearly defining
country and regional-level scientific and technical information needs for the implementation
of the Convention. The workshops could also review ventures of scientific and technical
cooperation furthering the objectives of the Convention to identify the ways in which the
clearing-house mechanism can best facilitate such cooperation. In view of the Conference of Parties budget decision it will be necessary to encourage voluntary contributions to enable the regional workshops.
3. Recognize the key characteristics of the clearing-house mechanism, i.e. that it should be compatible with national capacities, needs-driven,
decentralised in nature, provide access to metadata, provide support to the
decision-making process, and involve the private sector.
4. Recognize that ownership and control of all information remain with the providers,
respecting the rights of countries of origin and of indigenous and local communities.
5. Endorse the proposal of the Secretariat for the publication of a clearing-house
6. Ensure that the clearing-house mechanism is helped in its functioning by an informal
advisory committee, constituted and coordinated by the Executive Secretary in a
transparent manner, which will guide and integrate the development of the pilot phase
activities and ensure that all Parties can participate in the pilot phase of the clearing-house
7. Focus the work of the clearing-house mechanism at the national level on providing
relevant information linkages to the National Focal Points and relevant thematic and
international agencies, in order to facilitate the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits
arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. Linkages to patent offices in each country
for up-to-date information on new patent registrations and patents in the public domain
provide an example of one mechanism.
8. Focus the work of the clearing-house mechanism at the international level on providing
thematic focal points for linking to the activities at the national and regional level.
9. Recognize that close cooperation is needed with other conventions and agreements, and
call for the Secretariat to identify those activities and organizations which could support the
10. Recognize the role of the Secretariat to coordinate the successful implementation of the
clearing-house mechanism, and recommend that the clearing-house mechanism posts
within the Secretariat should be filled as soon as possible.