Clearing-House Mechanism


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM)?

The term "clearing-house" originally referred to a financial establishment where checks and bills are exchanged among member banks so that only the net balances need to be settled in cash. Today, its meaning has been extended to include any agency that brings together seekers and providers of goods, services or information, thus matching demand with supply.

What is the role of a CHM Nation Focal Point?

Acting as a one of the communication channels between the national and regional levels and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CHM National Focal Points (NFP) promote and facilitate activities in support of technical and scientific cooperation.

What is a National CHM?

Simply put, a National Clearing-House Mechanism (or National CHM) is a website that provides relevant information on the Convention on Biological Diversity in a particular country.

Why establish a National CHM Website?

The use of new information technologies in support of activities by national CHMs offers many benefits. Among these new information technologies, those making use of the World Wide Web (WWW) are the most popular and widespread. Indeed, no other technology can reach so many people, in so many different regions at so low a cost. Moreover, no other technology is able to integrate so many other technologies in such a flexible and easy to use manner.

Although a large number of Parties have established national CHMs, and an equally significant number have access to email, very few have established national CHM Websites. The purpose of this module is to assist Parties to develop national CHM Websites, and to offer guidance in the organization of information accessible through these websites.

What information should a National CHM Website provide?

Generally, a national CHM website should contain all national biodiversity-related information that is required to assist policy makers and interested stakeholders to meet obligations under the Convention and to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity. There are almost an infinite number of ways to organize this information and to make it easily accessible. Normally, categories to organize information may include the Convention, national CHM Services, National Contribution, Partnerships, Links and News.

How to build a National CHM Website?

To build a good national CHM website, an integrated approach is needed to plan not only the technical components of the future website, but also to how the content will be provided and updated.