This term refers to the need to foster interactions and synergies between those involved in biodiversity (technical experts, scientists, land managers, policy makers, etc.). Launching a joint research project between several institutions, solving an environmental problem common to several countries or the joint study of solutions to a conflict related to the use of natural resources are examples of such cooperation.
Many international environmental agreements emphasize cooperation as one of the most important mechanisms to ensure their effective implementation. Biodiversity is not an exception: the five international Conventions related to biodiversity recognize this need.
In the case of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Article 5 (Cooperation) and 18 (Scientific and Technical Cooperation), cooperation is mentioned..
Article 5: Cooperation Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate, cooperate with other Contracting Parties, directly or, where appropriate, through competent international organizations, in areas not under the national jurisdiction and in other areas of mutual interest for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Article 18 requires member countries to promote technical and scientific cooperation in all fields of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Article 18: Technical and Scientific Cooperation
The Contracting Parties shall promote international technical and scientific cooperation in the field of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, if necessary through competent national and international institutions.
Each Contracting Party shall promote technical and scientific cooperation with other Contracting Parties, particularly developing countries, for the purposes of this Convention, including the development and implementation of national policies. In promoting such cooperation, it is worth granting special attention to development to and strengthening national capacity through the development of human resources and institutional building.
The Conference of the Parties (COP), at its first meeting, determines how to establish a clearinghouse to encourage and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation.
Contracting Parties shall encourage and develop methods of cooperation for the development and use of technologies, including indigenous and traditional technologies, in accordance with the objectives and legislation of the Convention and with national policies. To this end, the Contracting Parties shall also promote cooperation in staff training and exchange of experts.
Contracting Parties shall encourage, subject to mutual agreement, the establishment of joint research programs and joint ventures for the development of technologies relevant to the objectives of this Convention.
North-north, south-south and north-south cooperation are all part of the process. Capacity building is particularly important, since there is a crucial need for partnerships between developing countries and other countries.
The Clearing House Mechanism
The main tool for cooperation in the CBD is the mechanism called 'Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM). This somewhat complicated expression refers to a global process that focuses on three main issues: information exchange, technical and scientific cooperation improvement, and the development of networks of experts.