The joint clearing-house mechanism, being a multi-stakeholder global system to facilitate the exchange of information and expertise, is fed by information provided by a global network of users and institutions working to implement the conventions.
The information providers are selected based on information quality criteria, relevance to the conventions’ implementation as well as on partnerships established by the conventions. The user community of the joint clearing-house mechanism is widely open, since most of the information exchanged through the joint clearing-house mechanism is public. The global joint clearing-house mechanism community consists of individuals from the following stakeholders’ groups: Parties to the conventions, the conventions’ Secretariat, United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, regional centres, states non-Parties to the conventions, environmental non-governmental organizations, industry and private sector associations, funding agencies and mechanisms and other donors, researchers, universities and related initiatives, workers' unions and national local authorities.
Each Party to the conventions have designated official contacts. They form a global network of individuals that play a key role in disseminating and transmitting information related to the implementation of the conventions to the relevant stakeholders through the joint clearing-house mechanism.
Parties have nominated experts to support the work of the conventions' subsidiary bodies and different working groups. They form a global network of individuals that play a key role in providing scientific and technical expertise in various processes of the conventions. Information about their work and expertise is accessible from the joint roster of experts.
Different national experts groups are also contributing and sharing information through the Secretariat's online collaboration platform (BRS Social). Forinstance, the BAT and BEP and Toolkit group and the group for the Toolkit for Identification and Quantification of Dioxin and Furan Releases are particularly active.
Basel and Stockholm conventions regional centres
The Secretariat has explored options for exchanging information through the regional centres of the Basel and Stockholm conventions, including at the annual joint meeting of the directors of the regional centres, held in Geneva in October 2015, and at a regional workshop for the Arab countries on the environmentally sound management of chemicals and hazardous wastes and the joint clearing-house mechanism held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in December 2015.
More specifically, the Secretariat is working with the regional centre in Brazil hosted by the Companhia Ambiental do Estado de Sao Paulo (CETESB) to implement the first joint clearing-house mechanism regional node to automatically exchange information based on the technologies and standards outlined in the guidance document for Parties and other stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of the joint clearing-house mechanism at the national and regional levels (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.2/INF/19). With such an approach, the content will be automatically synchronized between the Secretariat's mechanism and the node in Brazil, reducing administrative burden and costs. It will also ensure compatibility with the InforMEA portal.
Other Multilateral Environmental Agreements
The Secretariat is a strong contributor to the MEA Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) Initiative that brings together a number of international and regional legally binding instruments from 19 Secretariats hosted by four UN organizations and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Initiative invites and welcomes the participation of observers involved with MEA data and information. The initiative aims at developing harmonized and inter-operable information systems for the benefit of Parties and the environment community at large. The Initiative is facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme. The InforMEA portal is the first project established by this Initiative. InforMEA harvests COP decisions and resolutions, news, events, MEA membership, national focal points, national reports and implementation plans from MEA secretariats and organizes this information around a set of agreed terms. Additionally, the Secretariat is hosting the InforMEA portal and underlying systems.
The Secretariat also work in close collaboration with the interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on mercury, in particular to share meeting information through its joint calendar and also provides hosting services for the www.mercuryconvention.org website.
Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
The Secretariat is working with the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) in the area of information exchange, especially to share meeting information through its joint calendar and also provides hosting services for the www.saicm.org website.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
The Secretariat is exploring ways to the exchange of information on pesticides with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This exchange of information could add significant value to the joint chemical profiles.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
The Secretariat became an observer to the steering group for the development of the global portal to information on chemical substances (eChem Portal) and contributed to its meeting in 2016. Now that the Secretariat's chemical profile prototype has been published, concrete information exchange activities are explored to avoid duplication of efforts and mutual enhancements of both chemicals information repositories.
Global Alliance for Alternatives to DDT
The Global Alliance for Alternatives to DDT promotes a global partnership on the development and deployment of alternative products, methods and strategies to DDT for disease vector control. The Alliance is now lead by the chemicals branch of UN Environment. The Secretariat provides hosting services to the Alliance web pages under the Stockholm Convention website. The Alliance also contribute and benefits from the Secretariat online collaborative platform (BRS Social) to support its thematic group activities.
PCB Elimination Network (PEN)
The PCB Elimination Network (PEN) is established to promote and encourage the environmentally sound management of PCB. The Secretariat provides hosting services to the network web pages under the Stockholm Convention website. The network also contribute and benefits from the Secretariat online collaborative platform (BRS Social) to support its thematic group activities.