What is the CBD-CHM KOREA?

The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, at its eighth meeting (COP 8) held in Brazil in March 2006, adopted the strategic plan of the clearing-house mechanism for the period of 2005-2010, one of which goals is that all Parties have established and are further developing clearing-house mechanisms (CHM) by 2010.

At its ninth meeting (COP 9) held in Germany in May 2008, the Conference of the Parties encouraged the Parties to create a national CHM website, prepare a national implementation strategy for the CHM and establish an inter-institutional steering committee with participation of relevant biodiversity-related organizations.
In response, the Ministry of Environment, as Korea’s national focal point for the CHM, built the CBD-CHM KOREA website to make available information about Korea’s biodiversity, including ecosystems, species, biodiversity surveys, relevant legislation and activities.

The CHM for biodiversity, in a broader sense, refers to a system that facilitates the exchange of biodiversity information available in a given country among stakeholders, including government organizations, research institutes, universities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In a narrower sense, it is a website that provides comprehensive information about biodiversity in a given country.
The CBD-CHM Korea was created as part of the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The website is intended not only to make available information about Korea’s biodiversity to the Korean public and but also to facilitate information exchange with other countries.

For the CHM Korea, broad participation and easy access is a top priority. Therefore, its database is designed to allow access through both traditional (e.g. paper publications and reports) and electronic means.

National focal point

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity requests the Parties to designate a national focal point for the CHM management. In the case of Korea, the Ministry of Environment has been designated as national focal points. In an effort to strengthen the role of national focal points, the Parties are encouraging the participation of NGOs and other institutions working on biodiversity and establishing national,regional,subregional and thematic clearing-house focal points.

Resources and activities

The CHM aims to assist the Convention’s thematic and cross-cutting programmes of work by promoting cooperation in six key areas: tools for decision-making, training and capacity-building, research, funding, technology transfer, and the repatriation of information.

The primary goal of the CHM is to ensure universal access to the Convention’s official records. By making available relevant information to experts from various fields, it also facilitates technical and scientific cooperation. In addition, it helps improve public understanding of the Convention’s programmes and projects. The mechanism is creating an online system to ensure increased cooperation among countries through education and training projects, research cooperation, funding opportunities, access to and transfer of technology, and exchange of information. The CHM enables a network of experts to come together and carry out joint work programmes. For example, it works with the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) and the Convention's scientific body to develop a joint scientific initiative on invasive alien species.

The mechanism is designed to facilitate comprehensive and coordinated global efforts toward biodiversity conservation by sharing information about biodiversity with stakeholders around the world. Through this platform, a country's capacity and technologies can contribute to the global efforts to conserve biodiversity.