Having ratified to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1995, Jamaica accepted national responsibility for developing an information gathering & distribution network in support of national biodiversity conservation. A Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) was subsequently established. This a national network of organizations and individuals primarily collating, distributing and exchanging public information on biodiversity and its conservation. The Natural History Museum of Jamaica, Institute of Jamaica is responsible for coordinating the Jamaica Clearing-House Mechanism and has been designated the National Focal Point for the CHM in Jamaica. The primary contact person is the Senior Research Officer – CHM..
The CHM in accordance with Article 18 (3), has been set up to promote and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation in support of the CBD and its three objectives:
1). the conservation of biological diversity,
2). the sustainable use of its components, and
3). the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
The CHM has three goals, all of which are necessary for achieving the goals of the Convention:
1. Cooperation. Promotion and facilitation of scientific and technical cooperation.
2. Information Exchange. Development of a global mechanism for exchanging and integrating
information on biodiversity.
3. Network Development. Development of the CHM Focal Points and their partners.
The CHM facilitates access to and the exchange of biodiversity information around the world. The CHM is being developed to meet the genuine needs of its users by learning from their experience and using available resources. It depends on a decentralized process to gather and organize the data that its users need. Driving this process are networks or focal points which encourage networking among government agencies, non-governmental organizations and private enterprise at all levels.