The aim of DaRT

The “Data Reporting Tool for MEAs – DaRT” provides private and secure national working spaces for Parties to effectively use synergies in the field of knowledge and information management for national reporting to biodiversity-related conventions. The national working spaces support Parties to:

  • Collect and organize knowledge, information and /or documents relevant for national reporting to biodiversity-related conventions and MEAs;
  • Store this knowledge in a secure place for the use on a long-term, and
  • Share the knowledge among national experts and collaborators, according to national needs.

DaRT provides Parties with a framework of interrelated global and regional goals and targets adopted by biodiversity-related conventions (see strategy section) to which NBSAPs are mapped. Once the national working space is completed with information on the implementation of commitments and recommendations under the biodiversity-related conventions, this framework in addition to the preparation of national reports supports Parties to, among others:

  • Monitor and verify progress in national implementation;
  • Development of joint communications across conventions;
  • Conduct a gap analysis of relevant implementation actions; and
  • Support revising or updating related strategies and action plans.

How DaRT works

DaRT builds on global and national strategies, goals and targets to provide Parties a framework to organize, collect and share their information for national reporting purposes. Global strategies are included for use in the national working spaces and ready to be mapped with your NBSAPs. This done, national information tagged to your NBSAPs becomes easily retrievable for the multiple reporting purposes. 

Animated overview on how DaRT works

1. The DaRT national working spaces are built on the InforMEA knowledge base (grey box).

2. Your national working space is automatically prefilled with (green boxes):

  •    The national reports your country submitted to MEAs;
  •    The strategic plans of Biodiversity-related Conventions and the SDGs;
  •    Regional strategies can be displayed in DaRT, e.g. the AEWA Strategic Plan 2019-2027 or the European Biodiversity Strategy.

3. As a first step in using DaRT, you need to

  •    Request a national working space to be established for your country (see point 4 of the User Guide), 
  •    Establish a national "DaRT Committee" composed of e.g. National Focal Points and experts involved in national reporting, and
  •    Designate a DaRT Country manager, who will manage the users of your working space.

4. In a second step, you need to include your NBSAPs into DaRT and map your national goals and targets to the global ones (orange boxes and arrows).

5. Now you can start adding information/knowledge into the working space and relate it to your NBSAPs. The information/knowledge can be added in form of text snippets, indicators, links or in terms of documents and images. 

6. Once the information is included into DaRT and mapped to your NBSAPs, you can retrieve it for multiple reporting purposes according to the different global goals and targets. 

With all information being collected, organized and stored in one single place, you will be able to:

  •    Easily and rapidly find information you need for your report(s),
  •    Find more comprehensive information provided by your peers implementing another Convention or working in different Ministries,
  •    Find texts and information, which you can re-use.

DaRT Concept


The benefits of using DaRT

By engaging in a cycle of collecting, structuring, sharing and auditing knowledge relevant for implementing MEAs by using Dart, the efficiency in developing and the effectivity in using national reports is increased at several levels:

Experts compiling national reports benefit from:

  • Searching an information base built-up across processes and Ministries; 
  • Finding texts and information (almost) ready for re-use;
  • Easy and rapid retrieval of information for a specific report;

Parties benefit from:

  • Systematically building-up institutional knowledge required for reporting on the implementation of MEAs;
  • Increasing the level of communication and collaboration across ministries, administrations, experts, etc.;
  • Securing that knowledge remains within the institutions when key people leave their position;
  • Facilitating the transition from one national/regional/global strategic plan to its successor; 
  • Facilitating the onboarding and training of new collaborators.

Secretariats benefit from:

  • Increased quality of national reports;
  • More coherent national reports.


The development of DaRT

DaRT builds on the experiences gained with the use of its precursor tool - the Target Cross-linking Tool TCT - a tool developed by the European Union. The following section provides a brief overview of the evolution and the major achievements of both DaRT and TCT.

The development of the Target Cross-linking Tool TCT (2012 - 2017)


The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences starts a project to streamline the Belgian national reporting under the European Biodiversity Strategy and the global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets.



The result of the project is presented to and tested by the European Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) Network. The European CHM Network recommends that an ad-hoc BISE-CHM working group is set up to explore options for “Sharing information on implementation of national strategies and reporting on progress towards biodiversity targets between global, regional and national levels”.

The working group particularly aims to avoid duplicate reporting at the global and EU levels, by encouraging the re-use of country information for assessing progress towards the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the CBD and the Aichi Targets. National biodiversity policies may also set out national requirements for monitoring and internal reporting on progress. The working group decided that the most appropriate way to harmonize these three layers of reporting would be to look at targets.



A trial of a Biodiversity 2020 Target Cross-Linking Tool, in short TCT, has been developed to respond to the recommendation and rolled-out for the European CHM

The CHM Network recommends to further improve the TCT to allow countries to see the inter-linkages between the Aichi Targets, the EU Biodiversity Strategy and any national strategy, in terms of the thematic content of implementation and the reporting requirements.



A case study on the TCT is published in the “Sourcebook of opportunities for enhancing cooperation among the Biodiversity-related Conventions at national and regional levels” (UNEP (2015). United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi, Kenya).



The TCT is further developed, taking into account the recommendations of a workshop on synergies among the biodiversity-related conventions was held in February 2016 in Switzerland (UNEP/CBD/SBI/1/INF/21). 

Work is ongoing in collaboration between SCBD and the European Environment Agency (EEA) to interconnect the Target Cross-linking Tool (TCT) to the CBD online reporting tool with an API (UNEP/CBD/COP/13/INF/15).

During the side event “Towards a modular approach to reporting against the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and SDGs”, the vision to make a global “Data Reporting Tool for MEAs - DaRT” available to all Parties” was discussed. 

For further information see tab below.



A practical training for the TCT and an introduction to the concept of DaRT is provided during the Meeting of the Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) network of Europe on “Sharing information, experience and tools in support of the preparation of the 6th National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)” in Brussels (Belgium, 18. -19. September 2017).

Establishing a partnership for the development of DaRT (2016 - 2017)


CBD COP-13, Cancun, Mexico, 4 - 17 December 2016


Towards a Modular Approach to Reporting Against the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development Goals from IISD Reporting Services / ENV on Vimeo.



CBD SBSTTA Bureau Meeting (13.04.2017).

  • Presentation of the vision and a concept for the DaRT.


8th InforMEA Initiative Steering Committee, Montreux, Switzerland, 20-23 June 2017

  • The concept of and a project proposal is presented during the 8th InforMEA Initiative Steering Committee (20-23 June 2017 in Montreux, Switzerland).

The InforMEA Steering Committee requests the working group to explore and test “DaRT” ... and as it further takes shape during the intersessional period including the pilot integration of data from on-line reporting tools such as the ORS.


Meeting of the Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) network of Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 18. - 19. September 2017 

A practical training for the TCT and an introduction to the concept of DaRT is provided during the Meeting of the Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) network of Europe on “Sharing information, experience and tools in support of the preparation of the 6th National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)”.

DaRT Phase I: Development of a first version of DaRT (2018)


9th InforMEA Initiative Steering Committee, Montreux, Switzerland, 5-8 June 2018 

  • The “DART – collaborative spaces for national reporters” including mock-ups for DaRT are introduced and discussed.

DaRT is as follows reflected in the recommendations of the Steering Committee:

  • requests the working group to propose solutions to respond to the evolving requirements of DART; and 
  • to ensure that national reports and goals/plans have the metadata to enable them to be automatically exposed on DART.
  • Welcomes the further development of the DART initiative and recommends the InforMEA team to take this as a possible first use-case for the SDG mapping.
  • Making NBSAP spatial data available in DART and ensure cross-linkages between NBSAP forum and DART as the DART is being developed.


GEF-UN Environment - Information project inception & planning workshop, Amman, Jordan, 15-18 October 2018

  • Presentation: Project ‘realizing synergies for biodiversity’ - The data reporting tool DART


Ramsar COP-13, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 21-29 October 2018

  • Side event on “Realizing Synergies for Biodiversity” (23 October 2018).


CBD COP-14, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17 - 29 November 2018

  • Side event on “Tools to enhance synergies for biodiversity” (20 November 2018).

DaRT is reflected in CBD COP decisions as follows:

Decision 14/25.    Knowledge management under the Convention and its Protocols

  • 4d: Requests the Executive Secretary, subject to the availability of resources: To contribute to the development and testing of the Data and Reporting Tool, in collaboration with the InforMEA Initiative, with a view to learning from Parties’ experiences in delivering their sixth national reports to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and facilitating its use in reporting processes across the biodiversity-related conventions, as appropriate;
  • 4g: To use the experience gained from relevant knowledge management initiatives, such as InforMEA, the Data and Reporting Tool, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas and the Knowledge Hub of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, to inform the elaboration of the knowledge management component referred to above;

​​​​Decision 14/27.    Process for aligning national reporting, assessment and review

  • Also emphasizing the value of enhanced synergies among the biodiversity-related conventions and the Rio conventions, and noting the progress made thus far in this respect, including the activities of the Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions and the Joint Liaison Group of the Rio Conventions, as well as relevant initiatives such as the development of the Data and Reporting Tool under InforMEA,
  • 3g: (g)    To contribute to the development, testing and promotion of the Data and Reporting Tool, in collaboration with the InforMEA Initiative, taking into account the experiences of Parties in preparing their sixth national reports to the Convention, with a view to facilitating the use of the Data and Reporting Tool across the biodiversity-related conventions, as appropriate;
DaRT Phase II: Testing and improving DaRT (2019 - 2020)


Consultation workshop of biodiversity related Conventions on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, Bern (Switzerland), 10-12 June 2019


CITES COP-18, Geneva, Switzerland, 17 - 28 August 2019

  • Side event on “Enhancing cooperation among biodiversity Conventions on post-2020" (17.08.2019).


Expert Workshop on the Data Reporting Tool (DaRT) - Roll-out for African countries, Nairobi, Kenia, 29 - 30 October 2019


CBD SBSTTA-23, Montreal, Canada, 25 - 29 November 2019

  • Side event on “Integrated Reporting Tools for Biodiversity Knowledge Management Supporting the Post-2020 Evidence Base” (28 November 2019).
  • DaRT Helpdesk during CBD SBSTTA-23.



CMS COP-13, Gandhinagar, India, 15 - 22 February 2020

  • Side event on “Integrated Reporting Tools for Biodiversity Knowledge Management Supporting the Post-2020 Evidence Base” (17.02.2020)
  • DaRT Helpdesk during CMS COP-13.

DaRT is reflected in CMS COP decisions as follows:

  • Resolution 11.10 (Rev.COP13): Synergies and Partnerships
  • Para 25: CMS COP Urges Parties to establish close collaboration at the national level between the focal point of the CMS and the focal points of other relevant conventions in order for governments to develop coherent and synergistic approaches across the conventions and increase effectiveness of national efforts, for example, by developing national biodiversity working groups to coordinate the work of focal points of relevant MEAs and other stakeholders inter alia through relevant measures in NBSAPs, harmonized knowledge management and national reporting by making use of the Data Reporting tool (DaRT) developed by the United Nations Environment Programme as well as through adoption of coherent national positions in respect of each MEA.
DaRT Phase III: Increasing interoperability with other tools (2020 -     )

In its current state, DaRT provides fully functional national working spaces to Parties. The existing functionalities will be further developed in cooperation with DaRT users during DaRT Phase III.

The main focus of DaRT Phase III lays in developing the interoperability between DaRT and other tools. So far, DaRT is interoperable with the InforMEA knowledge base. This means, that as soon as a Party submitted a national report to a Secretariat of a biodiversity-related convention and the Secretariat published it on its own web-site, your national report is automatically harvested by InforMEA, displayed in your InforMEA country profile, and from there automatically re-directed into your national DaRT working space. 

Such automated data flows are considered e.g. between DaRT and the

  • Online Reporting System ORS used among others by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the CMS Family, the ITPGRFA and regional conventions;
  • CBD Bioland Clearing House Mechanism;
  • UN Biodiversity Lab;
  • Data and information provided by the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership and the Target Tracker Tool which is being developed as a response to the new post-2020 goals and targets.

The aim of developing such automated data flows is to provide Parties with simple access to data (where available) in a single point of entry - their national working spaces.


Status of Tools
Source: Overview descriptions of ORS, DaRT and Target Tracker and interlinkages (2020)



Frequently asked questions

Is DaRT an additional reporting obligation?

DaRT is not an additional reporting obligation, but a tool aiming at supporting Parties to MEAs in managing, organizing and storing and sharing their knowledge and information relevant for national reporting across conventions and the SDGs.

The objective of DaRT is to offer Parties a single national working space to facilitate the update and re-use of information for national reporting in the spirit of "enter once, re-use several times".

Is there an obligation for Parties to use DaRT?

No, there is no obligation to use DaRT.

DaRT aims at supporting Parties to organize their knowledge in a way to avoid duplication of work when reporting the same kind of information to biodiversity-related conventions.

Is the functioning of DaRT secured in the long-term?

Yes, the functioning of the DaRT is secured on the long run.

DaRT has been adopted by and developed in cooperation with InforMEA and the Multilateral Environment Agreement Information and Knowledge Management (MEA IKM) initiative, who seeks to develop harmonized and interoperable information systems in support of knowledge management activities among MEAs for the benefit of Parties and the environment community at large. 

The IT components of DaRT and their maintenance are secured in the framework of the MEA IKM on a UN server in Geneva (Switzerland). 

What does a "private and secure working space" mean?

A "private working space" means that the content of a working space is under full control of the Parties. It is the user-country who decides who can access its working space and with whom or which tool information shall be shared. The information stored in the DaRT working spaced is not publicly accessible in the web and is not shared with other entities.

A "secured working space" refers to the DaRT IT infrastructure being maintained according to the UN standards to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the information stored in a national working space as well as the data between the user's computer and the site. 

What kind of knowledge can be managed in the national DaRT working space?

DaRT is designed in a way to accommodate the management of all kind of knowledge with a focus on policy-based information related to the implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs). This includes information on/targets of national strategies, policies, the underlying legal frameworks as well as on indicators for monitoring the implementation, success stories, documents relevant for implementation, links to online databases or to images/figures that can be used in the reports.

Should I wait until the post2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is approved to start using DaRT?

The decision whether to use DaRT for managing national knowledge related to the implementation of MEAs or not, should not be based on the date of renewal of a strategic plan, strategies or similar frameworks. Indeed, as shown in the figure below, the strategic plans of MEAs are not aligned in time.

Please consider that DaRT can significantly facilitate the transition from one strategic plan to its successor, as the information stored in DaRT can simply be updated by mapping the information to the new goals and targets. The burden of rearranging and restructuring your information is therewith omitted.

Overview MEA strategic plans
Source: CBD/POST2020/WS/2019/6/INF/2


Who is implementing DaRT?

The DaRT project is anchored with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Law Division and implemented as part of and within the governance structure of the two Global Public Goods and Challenges projects, namely InforMEA phase II” for the development of DART, and the “Environmental Treaties Programme - realizing synergies for biodiversity” for the roll out of the tool. 

DaRT is financially supported by the European Union and Switzerland.

The project management team Includes:

  • Diane Klaimi, programme officer DaRT, UNEP
  • Kazuhiko Seriu, project support, UNEP
  • Eva Duer, teamleader InforMEA, UNEP
  • Eric Wiedmer, user support, NatureConsult