What does it refer to?
The expression refers to the need to increase interactions and synergies between people involved with biodiversity issues. These persons are essentially technical experts and scientists, but they can also be field managers, policy makers, etc. Some examples of cooperation: undertaking a joint research project; solving environmental problems accross borders; pooling forces to solve conflits linked to the use of natural resources.
Many environmental agreements highlight cooperation as one of the most important mechanism for ensuring their efficient implementation. Biodiversity makes no exception to that rule. All five international biodiversity-related conventions recognise the need for cooperation.
In the case of the Convention on Biological Diversity, this reflected both in Article 5 (Cooperation) and Article 18 (Technical and scientific cooperation).
While Article 5 highlights general principles, Article 18 requires Parties to promote technical and scientific cooperation in all areas of conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
North-South, North-North and South-South cooperation are all part of the process. Capacity building is also important, since there is a special need for partnerships between developing countries and other countries.
The Clearing-House Mechanism
The main tool for cooperation under the CBD is called the 'Clearing-House Mechanism' (CHM). This somewhat difficult term refers to a international process dealing with three issues: the exchange of information, how to increase technical and scientific cooperation and how to develop efficient networks of experts.
The CHM builds on new information technologies such as the web, since no other technology can reach so many people, in so many different regions at so low a cost. The CHM network is composed of interconnected international, thematic and national websites (such as this one).
This section serves as an entrance point to Belgium's activities in the field cooperation for biodiversity. For the moment, it focuses on research cooperation at national level, as well as North-South cooperation under the framework of the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM cooperation) and the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI cooperation).