The clearinghouse mechanism, part of the ASEAN Regional Diagnostic Network (ARDN), will initially encompass:
- the agriculture, domestic horticulture, forestry and amenity sectors
- 'pests' in the broad sense i.e. arthropods, molluscs, nematodes, plant pathogens, and weeds (incl. weed seeds), pre- and post-harvest, established and exotic
For the present, the Network will not attempt to cover all biodiversity and will have limited capacity to deal with beneficial organisms encountered in agricultural and forest systems.
Clients would forward unknown samples to the Clearinghouse based in Serdang, Malaysia. The clearinghouse would make an initial identification, record specimens and consign them to experts drawn from a diagnostic expertise register. In due course, the samples and identification would be returned to the Clearinghouse and thence to the client.
The clearinghouse wil be operated on a confidential basis, allowing samples that may have commercial sensitivity to be sent and tested and only made public once the client decides to publish the record.
The identity of diagnosticians, who may wish to limit demands on their own resources, can be kept confidential by the clearinghouse mechanism.
Operations & Procedures
The Clearinghouse would be managed and staffed by the non-government organisation, ASEANET and would be located within the regional laboratories of the agricultural research agency, CAB International. The Clearing House would be subject to Malaysian laws and regulations, but would be independent of the Malaysian Government.
The Clearing House would be managed and led by an experienced scientist-manager (or Director) supported by a small number of technical staff, laboratory manager and administrative support.
The Clearing House will report to an Advisory Committee, comprising senior representatives of ASEAN member countries and other stakeholders. The Advisory Committee would provide technical and strategic oversight of the Network and include members with the capacity to influence external funding.
Import / export protocols for specimens
The regulatory requirements regarding the movement of specimens and samples in and out of each ASEAN country differs, recognising that specimens may be subject to regulations relating to quarantine, CITES, national heritage, or the movement of 'cultural' objects.
Protocols that need to be developed by the network:
- Submission protocol (including the definition of the role of the NPPO)
- Protocol for handling specimens and samples
- Protocol for the tasks performed by specialists and confirmatory diagnosticians
- Protocol for receiving and reporting diagnosis
- Mechanism for obtaining data on network performance
- A set of alternatives for submitting plant disease diagnoses to the network (e.g. dried herbarium specimens, slide mounts, DNA extracts, digital images)
Protocols for specimen preparation and sending
Clearinghouse, Asean Regional Diagnostic Network (ARDN),
Building A19, MARDI,