Four clearing-house mechanism regional workshops and two expert meetings were held in 1997 and 1998. The regional workshops were held in October 1997 in Colombia, for the Latin American and Caribbean region; in October 1997, in Hungary, for the Central and Eastern European region, in December 1997, in Malaysia for the Asian region; and in March 1998, in Kenya for the African region. The expert meetings were held in June 1997 in Germany and in July 1998 in Italy. Their purpose was to attain a clear definition of national and regional-level scientific and technical information needs and priorities, as well as modalities to deliver information and evaluate national capacities for the implementation of the Convention. Their main recommendation was that the CHM required a global strategic plan for the implementation of the clearing-house mechanism immediately. This was considered by the fifth meeting of SBSTTA.
Two clearing-house mechanism regional workshops were held in 2001, the first being the African regional meeting on the Biosafety Clearing-House and the Clearing-House Mechanism held in Nairobi, Kenya on 26-28 February, 2001. The Latin America and Caribbean regional meeting on the Clearing-House Mechanism held in Lima, Peru on 7 September 2001 constituted the second regional workshop. An additional Southern Africa regional training workshop on the Commonwealth knowledge network/Clearing-House Mechanism was held in Zomba, Malawi on 26 to 30 November 2001.
COP 6 urged the Executive Secretary to convene additional capacity-building workshops at the national, subregional and regional levels referred to in (decision V/14, decision VI/18, paragraph 4). In support of the above, three clearing-house mechanism workshops were held in 2003, two of which were jointly sponsored. The African regional meeting on the Clearing-House Mechanism was held in Nairobi, Kenya on 31 March to 2 April 2003. The Joint Latin America and Caribbean regional meeting on the Clearing-House Mechanism and the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network was held in Cancun, Mexico on 12-14 August 2003. Finally, the Convention on Biological Diversity Clearing-House Mechanism and European Community Clearing-House Mechanism joint regional meeting for Central and Eastern Europe was held in Prague, the Czech Republic on 9 to 11 September 2003. Also, some workshops on other thematic areas have had a CHM component. Such a CHM component has also been included in the series of workshops on National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs).