What is the joint clearing-house mechanism?
The joint clearing-house mechanism is a multi-stakeholder global system that facilitate the exchange of information and expertise relevant for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. To achieve such an objective the Secretariat has developed, and is continuously enhancing, a global knowledge base made of information and tools, fed and used by all members of the clearing-house community.
This knowledge base aims at empowering community members with the means to contribute and access up-to-date, quality information related to the work of the conventions, in a transparent, neutral, efficient, and user friendly manner and with strong emphasis on regional delivery. In order to develop and nurture such a knowledge base, the joint clearing-house mechanism programme facilitates or undertakes the identification, collection, management, distribution and exchange of information and expertise to support parties and other stakeholders in the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.
As most of the information exchanges initiatives, the joint clearing-house mechanism embraces the open data principles and particularly contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals:
- Goal 12 to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (target 12.8);
- Goal 16 to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (target 16.10) ; and
- Goal 17 to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development (targets 17.6 and 17.8).
How the joint clearing-house mechanism operates?
The joint clearing-house mechanism is structured by the following three major components:
- Information, or the content of information exchanged through the joint clearing-house mechanism by its members and users;
- Community, or the global network of information providers, users and institutions working to implement the conventions and formally contributing to and using the joint clearing‑house mechanism;
- Tools, or the set of information tools, processes and services necessary to identify, collect, catalog, package, enhance and further disseminate information provided by community members to other users.
Access to information
The scope of information covered by the joint clearing-house mechanism is mainly focused on the following broad categories:
- scientific information;
- regulatory information;
- capacity building information; and
- information on the status of implementation of the conventions.
At their meetings in 2015, the Conferences of the Parties decided to focus on providing access to information on eleven priority areas for the biennium 2016-2017. Those priority areas are outlined in decision BC-12/20 RC-7/11 SC-7/29.
Thanks to the generous financial support from the European Union, the implementation of the joint clearing-house mechanism activities for this biennium 2016–2017 is focusing mainly on providing access to thematic information on the following priority areas, namely to provide enhanced access to regulatory and technical information collected through country notifications, to Stockholm Convention national implementation plans and Rotterdam Convention national action plans, and to scientific and technical publications. Fundraising efforts for the remaining priority areas are ongoing. Concepts notes for voluntary funded information exchange activities are available on the resource mobilization section of our website.
More specifically, the Secretariat is in the process of developing, the following information tools: joint chemical profiles prototype; a prototype for a joint library of legislation and other measures adopted by Parties to implement the conventions; a prototype for a joint library of national implementation plans and national action plans; and an enhanced library of scientific and technical publications. Furthermore, a final regulatory action evaluation toolkit for the Rotterdam Convention has been included in the joint clearing-house mechanism.
Joint clearing-house mechanism presentation