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SBSTTA Recommendation

. Pilot phase of the clearing-house mechanism

Pilot phase of the clearing-house mechanism

The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

1. Acknowledges the contributions and valuable role that have been provided by the Informal Advisory Committee in the formulation of the independent review of the pilot phase of the clearing-house mechanism (), its strategic plan (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/5/INF/2) and longer-term programme of work (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/5/INF/3);

2. Acknowledges the progress made in developing the clearing-house mechanism in its pilot phase, and calls for the continued engagement and support of the Executive Secretary in the further development of the clearing-house mechanism;

3. Recommends that the Conference of the Parties at its fifth meeting:

(a) Notes with appreciation the report of the independent review of the pilot phase of the clearing-house mechanism, as contained in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/5/INF/1;

(b) Endorses the immediate implementation of the strategic plan for the clearing-house mechanism, as contained in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/5/INF/2, and takes into consideration that it would form part of an overall strategic planning of the Convention on Biological Diversity;

(c) Also endorses the longer-term programme of work for the clearing-house mechanism, as contained in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/5/INF/3, while recognizing that the role of the Informal Advisory Committee is limited to advising the Executive Secretary;

(d) As priorities for the biennium 2001-2002, recommends Parties and Governments, subject to availability of resources and relevance, to:

(i) Establish a national directory of scientific institutions and experts working on specific thematic areas of the Convention on Biological Diversity and make it available through the clearing-house mechanism;

(ii) Conduct a survey to establish a national baseline of existing scientific and technical cooperation initiatives relevant to the implementation of the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity;

(iii) Establish, through the national clearing-house mechanism focal points, links to non-governmental organizations and other institutions holding important relevant databases or undertaking significant work on biodiversity;

(iv) Establish regional or subregional clearing-house mechanism focal points;

(v) Establish national, regional and subregional clearing-house mechanism thematic focal points;

(vi) Further develop the clearing-house mechanism to assist developing countries in gaining access to information in the field of scientific and technical cooperation, in particular on:

a. Funding opportunities;

b. Access to and transfer of technologies;

c. Research cooperation facilities;

d. Repatriation of information;

e. Training opportunities; and

f. Promoting and facilitating contact with relevant institutions, organizations, and the private sector, providing such services;

(vii) Consider information providers as primary partners to ensure that a critical mass of scientific and technical information is made available;

(viii) Consider the general public as an important target audience of users of the clearing-house mechanism;

(ix) Develop initiatives to make information available through the clearing-house mechanism more useful for researchers and decision makers;

(x) Develop, provide and share services and tools for the purposes of enhancing and facilitating the implementation of the clearing-house mechanism and further improving synergies with the biodiversity-related and Rio conventions;

(xi) Undertake cost-efectiveness analyses regarding the effective implementation of the clearing-house mechanism, taking into account investments related to institutional, human, financial, technological and informational resources;

(e) Requests the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the Informal Advisory Committee and other relevant bodies, to:

(i) Develop ways and means to ensure a broader understanding of the role of, and value added by, the clearing-house mechanism;

(ii) Further develop non-Internet-based tools to assist Parties in their national implementation efforts;

(iii) Identify and establish cooperative arrangements with international thematic focal points, which can provide relevant and appropriate thematic information, using the following criteria:

a. Expertise on themes directly relevant to the Convention on Biological Diversity;

b. Experience and expertise at the international level;

c. Endorsement of proposed thematic focal points by at least three national focal points;

d. Designation of a specific theme and a defined period of time;

e. Selection between one or more thematic focal points for each theme;

f. Ability to leverage infrastructure;

g. Provision of relevant content;

h. Experience with specific issues;

i. Ability to advance the clearing-house mechanism's objectives;

j. Ability to advance partner's objectives;

k. Provision of open access to information;

l. Allowance for the custodianship to remain with the provider of information, as well as the provision of metadata in the public domain;

(iv) Convene regional workshops to support capacity-building for clearing-house mechanism activities, training and awareness, with a focus on cooperation in biodiversity information related to the implementation and management of the clearing-house mechanism at the national, subregional, bio-geographic and regional levels, as appropriate;

(v) Develop a pilot initiative for supporting the thematic issues directly linked to the work programme of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, including:

a. Identification of national institutions and experts working on that specific theme by national focal points, including through inter-linkages with the rosters of experts in the relevant fields of the Convention on Biological Diversity;

b. Provision of particular information to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice by national focal points;

c. Use of the clearing-house mechanism to facilitate a consultation process for relevant assessments;

d. Identification of needs for scientific and technical cooperation at the national level to ensure the implementation of pilot initiatives;

(vi) Propose options for improving the means for facilitating access to and transfer of technology by the clearing-house mechanism;

(vii) Develop a list of best practices and identify potential functions recommended for implementation by clearing-house mechanism national focal points;

(viii) Identify possible formats, protocols and standards for the improved exchange of biodiversity-related data, information and knowledge, including national reports, biodiversity assessments and Global Biodiversity Outlook reports, and convene an informal meeting on this issue;

(ix) Identify options and explore cooperative arrangements to overcome language barriers as regards the use of the clearing-house mechanism, including the development or consolidation of tools and services;

(x) Develop a global electronic platform for scientific and technical cooperation in biodiversity on the Internet to match the demands and needs of Parties with respect to Article 18 of the Convention, as a transparent, open and publicly accessible forum;

(xi) Encourage the establishment and maintenance of mirror sites of the Secretariat's website, within the other United Nations regions, as appropriate, in order to expedite access to Internet-based information.