Originally used in the business sector, a "clearing-house" is a service which facilitates and simplifies transactions among multiple parties.
Developed as a key service tool for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) is an information sharing mechanism set up to promote and facilitate the scientific and technical cooperation in relation to the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. CHM also plays an important role in developing public awareness on those three objectives.
The CHM operates mainly, but not exclusively, via the Internet and is built up as a structurally decentralised and distributed network of partners working together to facilitate the implementation of their agreed-upon tasks. It can provide a variety of on-line data, thematic programmes and cross-cutting issues as well as a direct access to numerous regional, national and supra-national web sites.
The main tasks of the Landscape-CHM are to:
- Provide extensive information on the European Landscape Convention and its implementation in the Signatory Country;
- Provide extensive information on the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy, specifically on Action Theme 4 on European Landscapes and its implementation;
- Present information on the status of landscapes at national level, with special emphasis on the development of indicators and monitoring devices;
- Provide European information and data in support of regional and national activities;Assist the implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans;
- Promote scientific and technical cooperation, as well as capacity building among Members of LANDSCAPE EUROPE;
- Raise and promote public awareness and education on landscape issues of European dimension;
- Serve as a switchboard for information exchange on landscapesbetween national and international institutes.