Tag Article | Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House

What is the relationship between the ABSCH and the clearing-house mechanism of the CBD?

  31 May 2018

The ABS-CH is established as part of the clearing-house mechanism (CHM) of the Convention. The CHM (http://chm.cbd.int) has been developed as a single and unified platform which also supports the dedicated clearing-houses of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (BCH) and the Nagoya Protocol (ABS-CH). You can access all clearing-houses with the same CBD account that you can get from (http://accounts.cbd.int).

However, each of the clearing-houses has a dedicated portal for searching and registering information in order to respond to the specific needs of the Parties with regards to implementation of the different treaties.

The CHM of the Convention was established in accordance with Article 18(3) of the Convention to promote and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation on all biodiversity issues. The ABS-CH, on the other hand, was established under Article 14 of the Nagoya Protocol with a special focus on the information that must be exchanged under the Protocol. The ABS-CH plays a key role in supporting implementation of the Protocol by contributing to transparency and certainty on procedures for access and monitoring of the utilization of genetic resources. Because of this role, the ABS-CH has some characteristics, features and functions which are specific to this portal.

Another major difference between the CHM and the ABS-CH is that, with regards to the latter, Article 14 of the Protocol enumerates a variety of categories of information which Parties to the Protocol are legally obliged to provide through the ABS-CH. There are no such legal requirements for Parties to the Convention to make information available through the CHM.

Common formats and rules of operation need to be compatible and, where possible, harmonized across the clearing-houses. The common formats developed for the ABS Clearing-House make use, as much as possible, of predefined text or controlled vocabularies that are compatible with the controlled vocabularies of the CHM and the BCH.