Policy context and objectives
During COP12 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Decision XII/2 paragraph 15-17 called up on parties to further develop their national Clearing House Mechanisms (CHMs) and assistance from other parties to developing country Parties. This has been reiterated in Decision XIV/25 paragraph 3. These decisions work towards AICHI Target 19 (By 2020, knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss, are improved, widely shared and transferred, and applied). Furthermore, the development of the CHMs contributes also to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In order to implement CEBioS programme of work for 2019-2023 as well as COP Decision XIV/25, the Belgian CHM partnership within the CEBioS programme of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), financed by the Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD) has decided to launch a call for proposals to support its partner countries boost their national CHM networks. One of the objectives of the initiative is to develop websites:
- officially endorsed by the national authorities
- operational both in terms of format and content
- updated with the relevant information and data
- which contain comprehensive information and national documents
- which promotes the follow up of the implementation of National Biosafety Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs)
- which make links with other relevant websites at national and international level.
Technical background and needs of the South-CHMs
The digital world has considerably evolved since the early days of the Belgian CHM partnership. Web-based tools are different, as well as the use of the Internet by society. Focal points around the world have adapt to these changes in order to take the best possible advantage of the emerging technologies for their work on the CHM.
Since 1999, the Belgian CHM partnership has promoted national CHMs in developing countries. From 2006 to 2018, partner CHMs were trained in the use of the CHM Portal Toolkit (PTK). As of 2019, CHM trainings will use the new CMS ‘Bioland’ tool. This easy-to-use and open-access tool is developed by the CBD Secretariat. It enables the integration of data from the CBD and its Protocols as well as other relevant data providers for national CHMs. Various users can contribute to the website content through a web interface (the only requirement is to have a login and password).
Through several meetings held with its partners over time (2007 in Brussels, 2012 in Cotonou, 2013 in Marrakesh) CHM partners identified their constraints in the implementation of their tasks at a national level. These meetings enabled CHM partners to share best practices to overcome these constraints. The main identified constraints are: insufficient time for managing the websites, irregular and problematic Internet connections, lack of computer expertise of several actors supposed to contribute to the websites, interaction with the national focal point and other stakeholders not well institutionalised as well as lack of ownership by the government due to lack of budget allocations.
This call for project proposals does not aim to tackle all constraints identified by CHM focal points. The focus of the present call is in order of importance:
Moving information from a PTK tool site to the new Bioland tool and further developing the site.
South-South cooperation to promote the national CHMs of former partner countries to move information from a PTK tool site to the new Bioland tool and further developing the site.
Organisation of meetings of the CHM steering committees (Only if a national CHM Strategy exists or if there is mention of the CHM and the committee in the national biodiversity Strategy, can be funded for maximum 2 years)
Reaching out to policy makers and to other stakeholders (on the subject of technical and scientific cooperation and the CHM website)
A combination of the following:
- data collection and acquisition (data mining)
- assistance for the digitisation of important documents or data
- establishment of special thematic sections, such as a kids’ section, a section on ABS and the Nagoya Protocol, a section on water or waste, a section on eco-tourism, etc.
- translation into local language(s)
Activities which are not eligible:
- Training by the Belgian tutors (such as continuous training at national level or the training of new national collaborators)
- Workshops, if their objectives are not directly related to the improvement of the CHM website
- Publication and printing of documents other than CHM brochures and flyers.
The deliverables are:
- A project implemented according to the terms of the contract
- Implemented project and narrative report, including indicators as requested by CEBioS
- Financial report following the template provided by CEBioS (Excel)
- CHM up-to-date, functional and officially recognised by the country
Eligible countries and partners
- CHM National Focal Points of partner countries of Belgium: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, D.R. Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Palestine State, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda.
- Countries through South-South cooperation with one of the above countries as promotor: Algeria, Central African Republic, Comoros, Gabon, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Syria,
Important notice: partners who did not provide reports and/or supporting documents in due time for their projects in 2021 are not eligible to this call .
Duration of the project
For this call projects can be supported for maximum 7 months (end of project 15 December 2023).
Type of support
RBINS will finance the selected projects up to 90% of their estimated costs. The remaining 10% will have to be co-financed by the local partner.
The maximum amount funded by the Belgian CHM NFP is 8,000 euros per project.
The distribution of financing will be the following:
80% of the requested budget at the beginning of the project and 20% after the end of the project This last payment will only be made after reception of justification of expenses (scanned receipts and supporting documents). The financial report must be handed in the latest on 15 January 2023. When exceeding the foreseen budget there won’t be reimbursement of the extra costs.
Estimated number of projects
10-12 projects will be financed. This number will depend on the type, size and quality of proposed projects.
Project promoter and partners
The official project promoter is the CHM National Focal Point of the submitting country, in agreement with the supervisory authority. An approval letter of the supervisory authority must be joined to the application file.
South-South cooperation is eligible under this call, however it should be clear which activities will be undertaken in which country. The Promotor should come from one of the eligible countries mentioned above.
Collaboration or subcontracting with a local partner is possible. In this case, such collaboration or subcontracting must clearly be indicated in the application.
Preparation of a proposal and submission instructions
Projects must be submitted to RBINS by 19 Mars 2023 at the latest, at the electronic address cbd-chm [at] naturalsciences.be.
Projects must be submitted using the following template.
To prepare the budget you have to use the model for budget (budget template) and read carefully the vademecum. The budget should be included in the proposal but also be sent as a separate Excel file.
A report of activities and a financial report must be submitted to RBINS at the end of the project.
Scans of all original supporting documents and justification of expenses will be asked, in order to conform to the requirements of the Belgian Development Cooperation following the guidelines of the Vademecum. Any expenses that cannot be justified will not be considered and will have to be supported by the partner. All original justifications of expenses have to be kept by the partner for a duration of 10 years, in case CEBioS or DGD might need them for an audit.
You will need to report on the indicators of CEBioS that you can find here.
Shipping costs of these reports, the supporting documents and/or original expense justification in case of an audit will have to be foreseen in advance in the budget.
The deadline for reporting for the projects is 1 February 2024.
Financial reports must be submitted using the financial report template.
Indicative dates for the examination of proposals and for the execution of the projects
1 February 2023
Distribution of the call for proposals through the Belgian CHM website
19 March 2023
Deadline for the submission of proposals
28 March 2023
Successful project beneficiaries are contacted
6 April - 15 December 2023
1 February 2024
Activities and financial reports are required
The following persons will be in charge of the evaluation and follow-up of projects, with the support of experts (DGD and others):
- Han de Koeijer, Belgian National focal point for the CHM
- Pierre Huybrechts, Responsable GTI and public awareness, CEBioS
- Frederic Vogel, Knowledge Management officer at the CBD
In order for each of these persons to be informed at all times of the status of the application, it is asked to use only the generic e-mail cbd-chm [at] naturalsciences.be. If you didn’t receive a confirmation email that your project has been received, you can contact Han de Koeijer directly.
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Rue Vautier 29
Email: cbd-chm [at] naturalsciences.be