Clearing-house mechanism

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From the report of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee, 31/07/17 :

The text would set out modalities to facilitate the exchange of information relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction for the implementation of the instrument. It would make provision for mechanisms such as data repositories or a clearing-house mechanism. Possible functions of a clearing-house mechanism could include:

  • dissemination of information, data and knowledge resulting from research relating to marine genetic resources of areas beyond national jurisdiction, information on traditional knowledge associated with marine genetic resources of areas beyond national jurisdiction, as well as other relevant information related to marine genetic resources;
  • dissemination of information relating to area-based management tools, including marine protected areas, such as scientific data, follow-up reports and related decisions taken by competent bodies;
  • dissemination of information on environmental impact assessments, such as by providing a central repository for reports of environmental impact assessments, traditional knowledge, best environmental management practices and cumulative impacts; and
  • dissemination of information relating to capacity-building and transfer of marine technology, including facilitation of technical and scientific cooperation; information on research programmes, projects and initiatives; information on needs related to capacity-building and transfer of marine technology and available opportunities; and information on funding opportunities.


Suggestion 1: New clearing house for implementing agreement, or international network of clearing houses

A Clearing-House mechanism could be established to assist Parties to implement the agreement by:

  • providing a platform for coordination
  • promoting capacity building
  • providing access to information made publicly available relevant to the implementation of the agreement

References: Cartagena Protocol Art 20, Nagoya Protocol Art 14 (Clearing House), Aarhus Clearing House, Rotterdam Convention Art 14; ABS Clearing House

Suggestion 2: Build on existing institutions

Expand mandate of International Seabed Authority or other existing institutions to support information sharing with respect to the agreement and opportunities for collaboration between States.

References: UNCLOS Section 4. The Authority, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Suggestion 3: Promote exchange of information and data

Exchange of information and data would be promoted between States as well as relevant regional, sectoral and global organizations (similar to article 17 of CBD). References: CBD Art 17

Suggestion 4: Provide access to information in order to make it available to stakeholders

Suggestions for providing access to information:

  • Provide clear information and establishing principles to allow meeting papers, meeting reports, decisions, annual reports and results of any performance monitoring of the organization to be made available in a timely manner to Parties, civil society and outside institution.
  • Include in the instrument an article on transparency, taking a similar approach as in article 18 of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Resources of the South Pacific Ocean. Alternatively, requirements to promote/ensure transparency could be integrated throughout the instrument.
  • Call for States and subregional or regional biological diversity management organizations and arrangements to give due publicity to conservation and sustainable management measures and ensure that laws, regulations and other legal rules governing their implementation would be effectively disseminated.

References: Article 18 of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Resources of the South Pacific Ocean

Suggestion 5: Possible functions of the clearing-house mechanism

  • Promoting and facilitating the sharing of information, knowledge and data.
  • Promoting and facilitating technical and scientific cooperation.
  • Maintaining a network of experts and practitioners among Parties and partners.
  • Gathering information on: Marine genetic resources and the data deposited by entities that obtain permits to access said resources; Benefit-sharing in its monetary and non-monetary forms,possibly including payments and financial resources; Scientific data regarding Area-Based Management Tools and Environmental Impact Assessment, as well as follow-up reports and related decisions taken by competent bodies; Capacity-building and transfer of marine technology opportunities and offers.
  • Linking to regional and national clearing-house mechanisms.

Suggestion 6: Create a new ABS-specific clearing house and/or international network of clearing-houses

Establish a new ABS Clearing House to serve as a means for making available any ABS monitoring and compliance related information required by this agreement.

References: Nagoya Protocol Art 14 (Clearing House), ABS Clearing House

Also see: