As part of its first medium-term programme of work, the COP decided to consider the CHM as a standing item on its agenda (decision I/9). COP 1 decided that a CHM should be established to promote and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation. It also decided that the activities of the CHM should be funded through the regular budget of the Convention as well as from voluntary contributions. (decision I/3, paragraph 6)

COP 2 decided that establishment of the CHM should start with a pilot phase for 1996-97, the implementation of which would be reviewed at COP 3 (decision II/3 paragraph 4). The COP subsequently decided (decision III/4 paragraph 1) to extend the pilot phase until December 1998. The COP has given certain specific guidance as to the nature and content of the CHM (decision II/3 paragraph 4; decision III/4 paragraphs 6, 7; decision IV/2 paragraphs 5, 6, 7) and decided that the Secretariat should act as a focal point (decision II/3 paragraph 5; decision IV/2 paragraph 10(b)).

 Informal Advisory Committee

The CHM is assisted in its functioning by an Informal Advisory Committee, constituted and co-ordinated by the Executive Secretary. The committee is to guide and integrate the development of pilot phase activities and endeavour to ensure that all Parties can participate in the CHM (decision III/4 paragraph 10; decision IV/2 paragraph 10(c)).

COP 5 clarified the objectives of the Informal Advisory Committee (decision V/14 paragraph 7) The continuation and mandate of the Informal Advisory Committee, as well as operational procedures, were reviewed at COP 7 (decision V/14paragraph 9). COP 7 decided to extend the mandate of the Informal Advisory Committee (decision VII/23, paragraph 1) and to review the said continuation and mandate at COP 9.

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