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Side Event

InforMEA - A Collaborative Approach to Information and Knowledge Management by MEAs and UNEP


Date and Time
19 October 2010 13:15 - 14:45

Tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10)

Twelve MEAs and UNEP are developing a joint portal called "InforMEA" to provide a gateway to MEA knowledge. InforMEA is able to harvest and aggregate information from MEAs and on international environmental law from a variety of different sources. With seed funding, a prototype of the InforMEA portal was developed where decisions and resolutions from MEAs were tagged to terms culled from COP agendas. In this manner, users are able to retrieve relevant decisions and resolutions on technology transfer or indigenous communities in seconds. The system is being extended to other categories of information, including MEA events, national focal points, press releases and official documents. A less visible but equally important achievement is the technical work behind the scenes: making global MEAs information systems interoperable, i.e., able to "speak to one-another", based on mutually agreed to standards. This harmonization of information will facilitate the development of many other knowledge tools, whether among or between conventions. For example, the Convention on Migratory Species and CITES could quickly display the species listed on both of their respective appendices and the Stockholm Convention could display decisions related to endangered migratory sea lions that are threatened by POPs like PcBs. Representatives from CBD, CMS, CITES, ITPGR-FA, UNCCD, and WHC- UNESCO, will present jointly this collaborative initiative. The presentation should be of particular value to those interested in or responsible for issues regarding the development of tools to facilitate more coherent implementation of MEAs.