The objectives of the pilot phase of the ABS Clearing-house are to:
(a)Establish an information-sharing mechanism pursuant to Article 14 that is simple, user friendly, efficient, secure, flexible and functional;
(b)Provide an opportunity to elicit feedback on the development of the ABS Clearing house; and
(c)Prepare for the later inclusion of additional information that will be relevant to implementation of the Protocol.
Information to be incorporated in the pilot phase of the ABS Clearing-house
The following mandatory information should be incorporated on a priority basis in accordance with Article 14, paragraph 2:
(a)Legislative, administrative and policy measures on access and benefit-sharing;
(b)Information on the national focal point and competent national authority or authorities; and
(c)Permits or their equivalent issued at the time of access as evidence of the decision to grant prior informed consent and of the establishment of mutually agreed terms.
The following additional information could also be incorporated, in accordance with Article 14, paragraph 3 while also noting Article 12, paragraph 1:
(a)Relevant competent authorities of indigenous and local communities, and information as so decided;
(b)Model contractual clauses;
(c)Methods and tools developed to monitor genetic resources; and
(d)Codes of conduct and best practices.
Other information that has been identified as particularly valuable to provide where available during the pilot phase through the ABS Clearing-house includes:
(a)Explanatory information about the legislative measures, such as explanatory memoranda, or flow charts that describe the national access and benefit-sharing processes;
(b)Information about any checkpoints established under Article 17 of the Protocol;
(c)Capacity-building measures and activities;
(d)Information currently available in the Convention on Biological Diversity's Access and Benefit-sharing measures database;
(e)Provision for information on the contribution made by access and benefit-sharing measures to sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity, poverty alleviation, and the Millennium Development Goals;
(f)Information on third party transfer arrangements where it is available to be incorporated into the internationally recognized certificate of compliance;
(g)Affiliation of Parties to other agreements with regard to genetic resources at the sectoral, regional or subregional level.
Information management, including submissions and updates
The pilot phase of the ABS Clearing-house should make use of:
(a)An Internet-based centralized portal to provide access to information;
(b)A mechanism for non-electronic or non-Internet information for those countries that indicate their need to access such a mechanism, similar to the non-Internet mechanism currently used by the Biosafety Clearing-house;
(c)Common formats to submit information; and
(d)Controlled vocabularies within the framework of the Nagoya Protocol to facilitate entry and retrieval of the information being submitted.
Information in the ABS Clearing house should be managed according to the following language considerations:
(a)The pilot phase of the ABS Clearing-house should initially be developed in English;
(b)The ABS Clearing-house should be designed to support the six official United Nations languages at a later stage;
(c)Primary data, being the substantive content of the ABS Clearing-house (e.g. a legislative measure), may be submitted in the original language;
(d)The metadata, which describes the primary data (e.g. the type of legislative measure typically chosen from a controlled vocabulary built into the ABS Clearing-house), should be provided in a language supported by the ABS Clearing-house.
In order to manage information in the ABS Clearing-house, a number of roles and responsibilities have been identified, including:
(a)Communicating with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity on issues related to the ABS Clearing-house;
(b)Making information available to the ABS Clearing-house; and
(c)Facilitating networking and the building of capacity between competent national authorities, indigenous and local communities and other stakeholders that would make information available to the ABS Clearing-house.
8.Duties of the ABS national focal point designated in accordance with Article 13, paragraph 1, could be expanded to incorporate the roles and responsibilities identified in paragraph 7, or a dedicated ABS Clearing-house contact could be appointed;
9.Duties of the competent national authorities designated in accordance with Article 13, paragraph 2, could be expanded to include making information available on permits or their equivalent issued to the ABS Clearing-house, where appropriate and inform their ABS national focal point.
10.In accordance with Article 12, each Party, as appropriate, could consider establishing indigenous and local community contact points for the ABS Clearing-house to facilitate effective participation of the indigenous and local communities.
11.The ABS Clearing-house should allow Parties to amend or update submitted information in a way that preserves legal certainty, clarity and transparency in accordance with the Protocol, particularly in the case of a permit or its equivalent, if necessary and if mutually agreed, to reflect new circumstances relating to the utilization of the genetic resource. In such instances, the original permit or its equivalent should be retained in archived form.