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  • 1. The Biosafety Clearing-House of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Tutorial – BCH Resources
  • 2. The Biosafety Clearing-House of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Welcome to this tutorial module on the Resources section of the Biosafety Clearing-House. The resources in this section are designed to help you better use and understand the BCH.
  • 3. The main page of the Resources section sets out the categories of resources available with a brief introduction followed by a link to the resource page to be selected. Links to these categories of resources also appear in the left-hand menu.
  • 4. Common formats are standard forms which provide the format in which each category of information is made available in the BCH. From this page, MS Word common formats are available for download for all categories of information.
  • 5. The common formats are offline copies of the online registration forms and are designed to assist BCH users to gather and organize information prior to submission to the Secretariat. Users with limited internet access may also submit them, duly signed, to the Secretariat via email.
  • 6. The common formats are divided into two categories: National Records and Reference Records. The submission of National Records is restricted to BCH National Focal Points and National Authorized Users while reference records may be submitted by all registered BCH users.
  • 7. Click on the category of record you wish to create a record from. For example, this is what the common format for a Competent National Authority looks like.
  • 8. Another resource is made available from the page named “Solutions for National Participation”
  • 9. All Parties have an obligation to submit to the BCH the information enumerated under Article 20 of the Cartagena Protocol. However, many countries are also developing their own national BCH node where the main focus is on national biosafety resources.
  • 10. To facilitate the interaction of national BCH nodes with the BCH Central Portal maintained by the Secretariat, two software applications have been developed by the Secretariat: Hermes and the Ajax Plug-In. This page provides manuals for both applications.
  • 11. Hermes is an online Content Management System which provides the building blocks for a national BCH and is interoperable with the BCH Central Portal. Hermes based websites are hosted on the Secretariat’s servers.
  • 12. The BCH Ajax Plug-In is a client side application that can be easily integrated with any existing website. It provides a dynamic display of information from the BCH through interoperability. The BCH Ajax Plug-In does not require any specific IT knowledge, works on all server platforms and does not require any software installation. For further information on these two solutions please contact the Secretariat.
  • 13. From the link “Training Site of the BCH”, registered BCH users can log on to the Training Site with their regular email address and password.
  • 14. The BCH Training Site is a mirror copy of the official BCH and has been made available to help BCH users familiarize themselves with the functioning of the BCH’s Management Center. The information registered on the Training Site does not affect the official BCH site and the information that is registered in it is not made publicly available.
  • 15. The BCH Glossary provides a list of definitions of common terms, acronyms and expressions used throughout the BCH Central Portal. For example if you want to look up Living Modified Organism, click on the letter ‘L’ and scroll the page down until you reach “Living Modified Organism”.
  • 16. The Thesaurus is a pre-defined list of terms and related synonyms, or “controlled vocabulary”, used in a specific context. These terms are used to register and search for information in the BCH databases.
  • 17. The thesaurus also defines the “preferred use term” in the controlled vocabulary. A “preferred use term” is one that is selected from among synonyms and is used for indexing and retrieval purposes in the BCH. For example, maize is the “preferred use term” over corn.
  • 18. The Site Map page provides a representation of the architecture of BCH
  • 19. On the page “Downloadable files” you can find a wide variety of files to download.
  • 20. The categories of files available are as follows:
  • 21. The BCH makes available ongoing online forums and collaborative portals in order to facilitate sharing information on and experience with Living Modified Organisms. Archived forums are also available here.
  • 22. Some forums and most of the collaborative portals have limited access to specialized categories of BCH user. If you fall into one of these categories, and would like to have access to one of these restricted platforms, please contact the Secretariat.
  • 23. Interoperability refers to the sharing of data between a country’s national BCH node and the BCH Central Portal maintained by the Secretariat. The documentation made available on this page provides technical information on the BCH’s interoperability services. It includes information on the BCH Web Service, XML Schemas and Controlled Vocabularies. It also provides Quick Starts in VBA, C#, VB.NET, JAVA, PYTHON and PERL and relevant articles.
  • 24. From the Mailing List page, BCH account holders can subscribe to listservers (also known as electronic mailing lists) that send out information on BCH updates.
  • 25. To subscribe to a mailing list you must be a registered BCH user. For this reason, there are two links at the bottom of the page: the first allows BCH users who already have a BCH account to subscribe; the second is a link to sign up for a BCH account prior to subscribing.
  • 26. The Biosafety Clearing-House of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety End of the tutorial on BCH Resources