G3OS 9 G3OS Sponsors Meeting

9th G3OS Sponsors Meeting
FAO HQ, Rome, Italy, 26 May 2004
Ninth Meeting of the Sponsors Group for the
Global Observing Systems
Major milestones for the Global Climate Observing System during the past year include:
1. Draft “Implementation Plan for the Global Observing Systems for Climate in Support
of the UNFCCC”
A draft Implementation Plan has been prepared in response to decision 11/CP.9, adopted by
the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) at its ninth session, held in Milan, Italy (December 2003). This decision
specifically requested GCOS, inter alia, “to coordinate the development of a phased 5- to 10year implementation plan for the integrated global observing systems for climate, using a mix of
high-quality satellite and in situ measurements, dedicated infrastructure and targeted capacitybuilding”. This decision followed submission by GCOS of the Second Report on the Adequacy
of the Global Observing Systems for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC (Second Adequacy
Report) to the COP through its Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice
The Plan has been developed by a group of authors under the leadership of GCOS and in
cooperation with its partners. The draft plan is being made available for open review by
governments and scientists through direct notification and through the GCOS Homepage at:
www.wmo.ch/web/gcos. The period for open review and comment will last from 14 May to 9
July 2004. This Implementation Plan will be submitted to the SBSTA at its 21st session in
Buenos Aires in December 2004.
2. Second Report on the Adequacy of the Global Observing Systems for Climate in
support of the UNFCCC (Second Adequacy Report)
The Second Adequacy Report, available at www.wmo.int/web/gcos, provides the climate
community with a timely, useful, concise and balanced statement of the needs and priorities for
furthering its efforts to implement improvements to climate observing systems globally. Major
requirements identified in the Report include:
 Free and unrestricted exchange of data for generating products (datasets, predictions,
assessments, etc.) to respond to global and regional societal issues. The Report identifies a
set of essential climate variables;
 Routinely available integrated global climate quality products from satellite and in situ
observations or from the re-analysis of homogeneous historical data.
Adherence to the GCOS Climate Monitoring Principles, which were endorsed by the 14th
WMO Congress and the 9th session of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties;
Capacity-building and system improvements in developing countries for having a truly global
observing system, including the establishment of a voluntary funding mechanism;
Improved observing standards for datasets and products, especially for the terrestrial
domain for observation of long-term change. Concerted by nations in association with the
relevant international organizations, e.g., FAO, WMO, is needed.
The major conclusions from the Report were endorsed by the WMO Congress as well as to
assist other Members in their implementation to the extent possible” and by the UNFCCC
Conference of Parties (COP-9) through adoption of decision 11/CP.9.
3. UNFCCC decision 11/CP.9 on global observing systems for climate
Decision 11/CP.9, adopted by the UNFCCC Conference of Parties at its 9th session held in
Milan, Italy (December 2003), included additional guidance besides that on the Second
Adequacy Report and development of an implementation plan, including:
Inviting the sponsoring agencies of the GCOS, and in particular those of the GTOS, in
consultation with other international or intergovernmental agencies, as appropriate, to
develop a framework for the preparation of guidance materials, standards and reporting
guidelines for terrestrial observing systems for climate, and associated data and products,
taking into consideration possible models, such as those of the WMO/IOC Joint Commission
for Oceanographic and Marine Meteorology, and to submit a progress report on this issue to
the COP at its 11th session;
Inviting the GCOS secretariat, in conjunction with the GOOS secretariat, “to provide
information to the SBSTA, at its 22nd session, on progress made towards implementing the
initial ocean climate observing system”;
Requests the “Subsidiary Body for Implementation, when next reviewing the guidelines for
the preparation of national communications:
a) To incorporate into the guidelines the supplementary reporting format developed by
a group of Parties and made available to the SBSTA at its 13th session;
b) To replace the Climate Monitoring Principles, annexed to decision 4/CP.5, with the
modified set agreed by the WMO at its 14th Congress and approved by the CEOS at
its 17th plenary, to better reflect the needs and capabilities of the in situ and satellite
monitoring communities;
Encourages all Parties to provide reports on systematic observation in accordance with the
agreed reporting guidelines, in recognition of the importance of accurate, credible and
comprehensive information on global observing systems for climate as a basis for planning
and implementing priority improvements;
4. Interactions with UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The GCOS Secretariat continued its interaction with the UNFCCC/Conference of Parties (COP)
and its Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) through participation
in, and reporting to, the 18th and 19th sessions of SBSTA, the latter held in conjunction with
COP-9 in Milan, Italy. SBSTA-18 held a pre-sessional meeting with the Parties to discuss the
conclusions and issues arising from the Second Adequacy Report and noted that the report
“provides an opportunity to build momentum among governments to improve the global
observing systems for climate” with GCOS.
GCOS completed regional workshops, and initiated regional action plans, for Western & Central
Africa and for South America during 2003. These were the 5th and 6th of ten planned workshops
in the GCOS Regional Workshop Programme. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is
providing significant support to the Programme as a part of the UNDP-GEF National
Communications Support Programme. Additional support is being sought from individual donor
countries and international organisations on a workshop-by-workshop basis. During 2004,
workshops are planned for the countries of Central Asia and for those in South and Southwest
5. Resource Mobilization
A GCOS Cooperation Mechanism (GCM), aimed at addressing priority improvements in
atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial observing systems for climate, especially in developing
countries was established through the common action of a number of donor countries. The
mechanism is intended to complement and work in cooperation with other funding and
implementation mechanisms, especially the WMO VCP, in order to identify and make the most
effective use of resources available for improving global observing systems for climate in
developing countries. The Terms of Reference were finalized at a high-level meeting of
potential donors hosted by the USA/NOAA in October 2003.
UNFCCC Conference of Parties took two actions with respect to resource mobilization:
 Urged Parties in a position to do so to contribute to the GCM to support the priority needs
identified in the Second Adequacy Report and regional action plans, especially in the least
developed countries.
 Invited the GEF to give appropriate consideration to addressing the priority needs identified
by non-Annex I Parties in their Region Action Plans.
Further the GCOS Secretariat, working with the WMO World Weather Watch and TCO, has
established a number of station improvement projects initially aimed at the GCOS Upper Air
Network (GUAN). Two new upper air stations are being installed to eliminate coverage gaps in
the network, replacement hydrogen generators are being provided to several stations where
these units have failed, and radiosondes are being supplied to several stations that could no
longer afford to operate. Further, actions have been initiated to renovate some stations in Africa
and on small Pacific islands. Additionally, many station surveys have already been completed,
so that future station enhancements can be effectively incorporated into Regional Action Plans
as specific projects. Several new projects will be initiated in 2004.