What is the CBD and a CHM?

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a legally binding international agreement with three objectives:

  • ‘the conservation of biological diversity’.
  • ’the sustainable use of… [the] components [of biological diversity].
  • ‘the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources’.

The CBD came into force in 1993 and, as of 2024, 196 nations are Parties to the Convention including the UK. 

The concept of a Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) has existed under the CBD since its inception in 1993, being referenced in Articles 17 and 18 of the Convention text. The CHM was envisioned as the primary global cooperation and information network on biodiversity. Its purpose has evolved over the decades alongside technological development and changing needs around Knowledge Management and Technical and Scientific Cooperation

Presently, the CBD’s CHM is a multi-level platform designed to promote and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation (TSC) within and between countries; develop a global mechanism for exchanging and integrating information on biodiversity; and develop the necessary human and technological network for implementing biodiversity-related targets.

The central CHM for the CBD is hosted on the CBD website. Following Article 17 of the CBD a global network of national CHMs has also been created.

This website represents the UK's national CBD Clearing House Mechanism.

Implementation of the CBD in the UK is undertaken by a variety of bodies of all four governments of the UK. The UK CHM does not detail their work on this website but, rather, signposts to where further information on this work can be found.

image of a silver studded blue butterfly sitting on a flower
Silver Studded Blue - Michael Hammett - ©Natural England