FAQs | Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House
Knowledge Base

Frequently asked questions (56)

How can I search for information in the Clearing-House?

The Search page is where you will find all information available in the Clearing-House.

On the Search page, records are organized into three categories: “National records”, “Reference records” and “SCBD records”. By default, no filters are set. The search results are separated by record category and displayed under separate tabs. The “All records” tab is displayed by default, but users can select a particular category of interest to view only the associated records. The total number of records that exist in the database for each category of records is indicated inside the black circle next to each tab. 

Records are also colour-coded to reinforce its record category:  

  • Records in blue = National records;
  • Records in orange = Reference records;
  • Records in black = SCBD records - which are managed by the CBD Secretariat.

FILTERS

The Clearing-House offers users a wide variety of filters to facilitate the search for specific information of interest. 

There are two types of filters:

  • Global Filters appear on the top of the Search page, just below the free text search box and consist of 5 pre-defined filters: Record types,  Keywords, Country, Regions and Date.

These filters allow users to search the entire database through all record categories. Records can be searched by selecting a combination of any of the global filters. This gives users the flexibility to retrieve a very wide or a very narrow set of results. 

Free text search also applies to the entire database and can be combined with the global filters. It allows users to search the database by typing any word(s) of your choice. TIP: Change the website to your preferred language before typing the text in that language.

Global Filter options:

Record typesClick here to search by specific National, Reference or SCBD categories of records.
KeywordsClick here to select from a pre-defined list of keywords. 
CountryClick here to filter by a country or countries.
RegionsClick here to filter by region(s) or regional group(s). 
DateClick here to filter by a specific date or date range.

When a filter option is selected, the search will automatically be executed, and the active filter will appear at the top of the Search page. Scroll down to view the results. 

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  • Sub-filters appear when you select a particular option within the Record types global filter.  They are displayed below the global filters, just to the left of the search results. 

For example, in the BCH, if you select Competent National Authority (in the “National records” category), the following sub-filters appear on the left side (scroll down to see them):  

--‘Free Text’,  ‘Administrative functions’, 

--‘Types of organism(s) under its responsibility’. 

You can continue to use these sub-filters to further narrow your search for the Competent National Authority(ies) of interest.

Each record type has its own specific set of sub-filters. The sub-filters, including the Free Text, apply only to the selected record type.  


You can perform your search by using the global or the sub-filters only, or a combination of both.

Please click on “TAKE SEARCH TOUR” to go through the search step-by-step


Important Note

Contacts (CON) are only searchable if they are referenced in other records.

What are Email Alerts?

Account holders can subscribe to receive automatic notifications/updates when records in certain categories, selected by the users, are published in the Clearing-House. 

Users can do so by using the Email Alerts tab accessible through the Submit interface. The Email Alerts tab functions the same way as “My saved searches” feature (in Search). It allows users to store search filter selections to their user profile and receive immediate e-mail notifications when new records that match the specified criteria are published. For example, users may wish to be notified every time a decision or a policy measure record is published by specific countries or regions.


To SET UP your e-mail alerts:

  1. On the Submit page, click on the Email Alerts tab.
  2. From the “Select frequency” drop-down list, select the frequency of email alerts that you wish to receive from the clearing-house: Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Never (this option allows you to stop/pause receiving the alerts that are already preset without deleting them).
  3. In the Overview alerts section, click on the “Email me” check box to add an overview section to your email alert containing a concise summary of all new or updated records published within your selected frequency.
  4. Click on the Add new button.
  5. In the window that opens:

- Type the title of you search.

- In Search, select the Global filters and, if required, Sub-filters of interest.

- Check the“ Send me an email when records relevant to this search are added or updated”

        4. Click on the Save button.


To EDIT your e-mail alerts:

  1. Click on the Edit icon/button of the respective search.
  2. In the window that opens: edit your selections.
  3. Click on the Save button.

How to stop receiving updates by e-mail without deleting them:

  • Select Never from the “Select frequency” drop-down list.  This option allows you to stop/pause receiving the alerts that are already preset without deleting them.  
  • You can deselect “Email me” in the Overview alerts section. As a result, you will continue receiving email alerts but they will not include concise summary of all new or updated records published within your selected frequency.
  • You can deselect “Email me” next to a specific saved alert. As a result, your email notifications will not contain those specified alerts or you will stop receiving notifications altogether.

To DELETE the saved ‘email alerts’, click on the Delete icon.


TIP: If you have already used “My saved searches” feature on the Search page, your saved searches will automatically be displayed on the Email Alerts page. Both, the Email Alerts and “My saved searches”, function the same way and selected filters, once defined and saved, are shown in both places automatically.

How do I save my searches?

“My saved searches” feature, available on the Search page, allows users to store search filter selections to their user preferences and receive immediate e-mail notifications when new records that match the specified criteria are published.

NOTE: Since “My saved searches” are associated with your registered clearing-house account, you first need to sign in in order to be able to use this feature.


To SAVE your search results:

  1. Select your filters (Global and Sub-filters, if required), and then click on the Save this search button.
  2. In the window that opens, type the title of your search.
  3. Optional: check the“ Send me an email when records relevant to this search are added or updated”
  4. Click on the Save button.

To SAVE your search results and select email notification preferences:

  1. On the Search page, click on “My saved searches”. 
  2. From the “Select frequency” drop-down list, select the frequency of email notifications that you wish to receive from the clearing-house: Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Never (this option allows you to stop receiving the notifications that are already preset without deleting them).
  3. In the Overview alerts section, click on the “Email me” check box to add an overview section to your email notifications containing a concise summary of all new or updated records published within your selected frequency.
  4. Click on the Add new button.
  5. In the window that opens:

- Type the title of you search.

- In Search, select the Global filters and, if required, Sub-filters of interest.

- Check the“ Send me an email when records relevant to this search are added or updated”

        4. Click on the Save button.

NOTE: to run and quickly access your saved search, click on the Search icon/button (which you see once you click on "My saved searches”) for the respective saved search .


To EDIT your searches:

  1. On the Search page, click on “My saved searches”.
  2. Click on the Edit icon/button of the respective search.
  3. In the window that opens: edit your selections.
  4. Click on the Save button.

NOTE: to stop receiving updates  by e-mail, you can also simply deselect Email me check box or select Never from the “Select frequency” drop-down list.


 To DELETE the saved searches, click on the Delete icon.


TIP: If you have already used the Email Alerts feature on the Submit page to set up you e-mail notifications, these ‘alerts' will also be displayed in “My saved searches” section on the Search page. Both, the Email Alerts and “My saved searches”, function the same way and selected filters, once defined and saved, are shown in both places automatically.

How do I share search results and published records with others?

The  “Share” feature of the Search page allows users to share search results or a single record with others. There are three ways to share clearing-house records: by URL, by email or by embedding record(s) into another webpage. 

The Share button can be found in two distinct locations:

  1. At the top-right of the main Search page: clicking on the Share button at this location allows you to share the entire search results. All global filters and sub-filters you select will be represented in the URL, email, or embed that you share.
  2. At the top-right of a published record: clicking on the Share button at this location allows you to share this particular record. 

HOW TO SHARE:

Once you click on the Share button, you will be presented with a pop-up box containing three share options: “Link”, “Embed” and “Email”:

  • In the “Link” option, click on the Generate link button. A link will be displayed in the same pop-up box. Click on the Copy button and paste the link where you wish to share the content. 

 

  • In the “Email” option, type the e-mail address(es) of the recipient(s) you wish to receive the record or search results. Click Send. The link will be automatically generated and included in the e-mail message. TIP: Use commas or semi-colons to separate multiple email addresses.

 

  • In the “Embed” option, type the domain where you intend to embed the page and click on Generate code. A script will be generated and displayed in the same pop-up box. Click on the Copy button and paste the script where you wish to embed the content. 

 

How do I create an account and become a registered user?

Any person can have a CBD account which will give her/him access to submit information in all CBD clearing-houses, including the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH), the ABS Clearing-House (ABS CH) and the clearing-house mechanism (CHM) under the Convention. You can register for a CBD account using a valid e-mail address at: https://accounts.cbd.int/signup. Make sure you enter all the information required as instructed on the form and click “Submit”. You will automatically receive an e-mail with a link to confirm your account.

You can access all clearing-houses and the CBD website with the same CBD account.


You can also create an account directly through the Clearing-House website:

  1. Click on SIGN IN on the top-right corner.
  2. In the box that opens, click on “Create an account”.
  3. Enter all the information required on the form and click “Submit”. You will automatically receive an e-mail with a link to confirm your account.
Are Parties required by the Protocol to have a national ABS Clearing-House?

Developing a national ABS Clearing-House is not a requirement of the Protocol. However, if a country decides to build a national ABS Clearing-House, please keep in mind:

  • The ABS Clearing-House is designed to be interoperable with other databases and systems, in particular Parties’ databases, as well as databases of other instruments and organizations.
  • The application programming interface (API), is the main mechanism to implement interoperability,  and is meant to allow the seamless integration of the data and functions of the ABS Clearing-House into other systems in ways that best fit their own needs, workflows and technologies.
  • The API can be used to help avoid duplication in the submission of information to the ABS Clearing-House and, at the same time, create national or regional information systems that are fully compatible and streamlined with the ABS Clearing-House and obligation of the Protocol.
Who is the ABSCH for?

Parties and Non-Parties

By publishing national information on the ABSCH, Parties to the Nagoya Protocol, and other governments, help both users and providers of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. Users can find the information they need to access genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, while providers will find tools to monitor the utilization of these resources. Parties have an obligation to use the ABSCH to share certain information of particular importance to the implementation of the Protocol. Non-Parties to the Protocol are encouraged to share information through the ABSCH under the same conditions as Parties do.

 

Indigenous people and local communities (IPLCs)

IPLCs can use the ABSCH to share information on how to access traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, such as community protocols and procedures, and customary laws. They can also access and contribute to the ABSCH with awareness-raising and capacity-building materials on ABS in their own indigenous languages.

 

Private sector and research institutions

Private sector and research institutions utilizing or seeking access to genetic resources can also benefit from the ABSCH by finding reliable and up-to-date information on how to access genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. They can also use the ABSCH to share information on the model contractual clauses, codes of conduct, guidelines and best practices that they have developed.

 

Organizations involved in capacity-building for the Nagoya Protocol

Organizations involved in capacity-building for the Nagoya Protocol can share capacity-building resources and materials and information on their projects or activities, including lessons learned from their implementation. In exchange, they are able to access information on projects or resources registered by other actors, and therefore, create opportunities for capitalizing best practices and developing coordinated approaches to building and developing capacity.

 

International and non-governmental organizations and others

International and non-governmental organizations and others can raise awareness and promote capacity building on ABS through the ABSCH. The ABSCH offers a space to share materials, general literature, and learning material related to ABS and the Nagoya Protocol. These resources can contribute to promote ratification and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, as well as increase opportunities for collaboration among the ABS community.

How can international and non-governmental organizations and others contribute to the ABS Clearing-House and how is it useful for them?

International and non-governmental organizations and others can raise awareness and promote capacity building on ABS through the ABS Clearing-House. The ABS Clearing-House offers a tool to post a variety of resources, brochures, toolkits, booklets and learning modules related to ABS and the Nagoya Protocol. These resources can contribute to promote ratification and the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

By posting relevant ABS information, organizations and others can contribute to create a community where knowledge, lessons learned and best practices are shared to support the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

How do I nominate / change a National Focal Point ?

In accordance with our rules and procedures, the nomination of, or any change in, the National Focal Point(s) must be communicated to the Secretariat in the form of an official letter addressed to the Executive Secretary of the CBD, indicating the name and complete coordinates of the National Focal Point.  The nomination must be endorsed by the national focal point for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD NFP) or by a direct expression of the Government (i.e. a Minister of State). The letter can be either faxed to the Secretariat at +1 514 288 6588 or scanned and sent as an attachment by email to: secretariat@cbd.int.

Where can I find information on National Reports?

National Reports can be found:

  • On the Search page.

                   --OR--

  • On the National Report Analyzer page. On the top navigation bar, click on Search and then on “National Report Analyzer”. The National Report Analyzer tool allows users to perform various analyses of the information contained in the reports. You can open the report from the National Report Analyzer. To do so:
    1. In “National Report” drop down list, select the report of interest.
    2. In “Geographical areas” drop down list, select “Select countries”.
    3. Click on the country(ies) of interest, and then click on the Close button.
    4. Click on the Analyze button. An analysis report will appear.
    5. In the column to the right, click on the country name and then on the country code (for example: click on Belarus and then on BY). The report will open.

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