Biodiversity Compensation Mechanism (CHM)

“For a biodiversity knowledge network for scientific and technical cooperation”

Clearing-House Mechanism, originally referred to a financial establishment where checks and bills are exchanged between member banks, so that only net balances have to be settled in cash. Currently, its meaning has been broadened to include any agency that brings together those who seek and those who provide goods, services or information, thus matching demand to supply.

Biological diversity is the variety of life on Earth, from the simplest bacterial gene to the vast and complex rainforests. Human beings are an integral part of this diversity, as are the food, medicine, clothing and other biological resources that sustain us. Recognizing the importance of biodiversity to our everyday lives and the pressure that human activities are putting on our living world, 150 governments adopted the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992 as a framework for action to conserve this diversity. Scientific knowledge and technological know-how have a vital role to play in this mission. However, information and technology management skills vary enormously from country to country. For this reason, the Convention established a "Compensation Mechanism" to ensure that all governments have access to the information and technologies they need for their work on biodiversity".

MissionThe Offsetting Mechanisms (CHM) of the Convention on Biological Diversity was created pursuant to the paragraph 3 of article 18of the Convention. According to the decision X/15, its mission is to contribute significantly to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020through effective information services and other appropriate means, in order to promote and facilitate scientific and technical cooperation, knowledge sharing and information exchange, and establish a fully operational network of Parties and partners.

This mission is articulated around three main objectives:

  1. The central exchange mechanism provides effective global information services to facilitate the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
  2. National information exchange mechanisms provide effective information services to facilitate the implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans.
  3. Partners significantly expand the exchange engine's network and services.

Principle/ Philosophy

The compensation mechanism is based on the philosophy that broad participation and easy access should be a top priority. Their information and expertise must be easily accessible and widely shared in order to contribute to the implementation of the Convention.

CHM's mission includes:

  • Promote and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation within and between countries;
  • Develop a global mechanism for exchanging and integrating information on biodiversity;
  • Develop the necessary human and technological network.

The CHM is coordinated by the Executive Secretary and supervised and guided by an Informal Advisory Committee (IAC) created by the Parties to the Convention. The committee works transparently and cooperatively to raise awareness of the multiple needs and concerns of different communities, countries and regions.

In addition, a network of national focal points for the mechanism is being set up to deal with issues related to technical and scientific cooperation. The Parties underlined the need to strengthen the role of these focal points. The creation of a network of non-governmental organizations and other institutions that work with biodiversity could contribute to this objective. The establishment of national, regional, subregional-regional and thematic focal points for specific topics could also help.

 CHM seeks to support the CBD's Thematic and Transversal Work Programs by promoting cooperation in six key areas:

  • Decision making tools;
  • Training and qualification;
  • Search;
  • Financing;
  • Technology transfer; It is
  • Information repatriation.

The CHM also seeks to raise public awareness of CBD programs and issues. An Internet system is being established to promote greater collaboration between countries through education and training projects, research cooperation, funding opportunities, access to and transfer of technology, and repatriation of information.

An important initiative was the creation of a section dedicated to CHM in Biosafety ( Biosafety Clearing House ) to support the Cartagena Protocol. With this, it will be possible to facilitate the exchange of information and scientific, technical, environmental and legal experiences related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The Convention Secretariat is promoting the CHM through seminars on the technical and scientific information needs of developing countries. These seminars prioritize issues identified by the countries themselves, such as training to implement the CBD, improving access to new information technologies and strengthening Public Awareness and Education.

For more information, visit the website of Clearing-House Mechanism da CBD

Important link:


São Tomé, 26 de Julho de 2023