Recent Submissions

  • IODE/OBIS-Event-Data Workshop on Animal Tagging and Tracking (ATT), Ostend, Belgium, 23-26 April 2018.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2018)
    The International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) project office of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) held the IODE/OBIS-Event-Data workshop on animal tagging and tracking (ATT) from 23 to 26 April 2018 in Ostend, Belgium, to test the OBIS-ENV-DATA standard through the development of data products for scientific applications. This workshop was attended by 22 participants from 8 countries representing the major animal telemetry networks in Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA. The participants agreed to use the OBIS-ENV-DATA Darwin Core standard to exchange and publish detection data through OBIS (both acoustic and satellite) and work with OBIS and the scientific community to develop data products for the Essential Ocean Variables (EOV) of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), in particular the “Marine turtles, birds, mammals abundance and distribution EOV” and the “Fish abundance and distribution EOV”. The guidelines for the implementation of the OBIS-ENV-DATA standard for tracking data (acoustic and satellite detections) were agreed upon and will be further refined and documented in collaboration with the data standardization working group of the International Bio-logging Society as well as the Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) community which oversees development of Darwin Core. In collaboration with several scientists involved in animal tracking, the OBIS Secretariat is developing a data aggregation tool (which will be available as an R package) to calculate home ranges, migration pathways and movement patterns based on the tracking data in OBIS. It is expected that new public tracking data will be made available to OBIS before mid-2018 and the first products be available early 2019. It was felt important that OBIS provides access to the relevant (aggregated) data used to calculate the scientific products and provide links back to the original (raw) data sources to ensure proper data provenance and allow reproducibility. This was the first workshop of the IODE pilot project entitled OBIS-Event-Data, which aims at seeking early adopters of the OBIS-ENV-DATA standard and develop data products and scientific applications in particular to support the work of the Biological and Ecosystem EOVs of GOOS and the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network of the Group on Earth Observations (GEOBON MBON).
  • 6th International XBT Science Workshop, Ostend, Belgium, 18-20 April 2018.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2018)
    The 6th International XBT (Expendable bathythermograph) Science team workshop took place at the IODE Project Office of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, in Ostend, Belgium from 18 to 20 April 2018 following on from the 5th IODE Steering Group for the International Quality Controlled Ocean Database (SG-IquOD) meeting at the same venue. The workshop was divided in oral presentations and plenary discussions, held with the objective of exchanging ideas on how to proceed with the implementation, maintenance, and enhancement of the XBT network. A total of 19 scientists participated (4 remotely) from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Africa, UK, and the USA. XBTs represent the largest fraction of the temperature profile observations since 1970s until the full implementation of Argo profiling floats in approximately 2005. These historical XBT profiles comprise most of the temperature data base that is used to compute time series of ocean heat content. One focus of the XBT Science team (along with IQuOD) is to improve and understand the accuracy of these historical data so that we can understand the uncertainties in this climatically important time series. The global XBT network is logistically complex and so requires strong collaboration between many organizations and countries (Figure 1). Many of these transects have now been in place for multiple-decades. Today, XBT transects mainly operate in High Density (also referred as High Resolution) and Frequently Repeated modes. High Density transects are occupied at least 4 times per year XBT deployed at approximately 25 km intervals along the ship track. Frequently repeated tracks are occupied at around 18 times per year with XBT deployments at 100 km intervals. The repeat sampling nature of XBT transects along fixed transects makes the XBT profiles our best present observing system for the important boundary current systems (including the Antarctic Circumpolar Current) that convey heat, freshwater and nutrients around the global ocean. XBT observations are currently used mainly to: (i) Monitor the variability of location and transport of key surface and subsurface ocean currents and boundary currents, (ii) Monitor the variability of the meridional heat transport and the Meridional Overturning Circulation across ocean basins, (iii) Provide a significant amount of upper ocean thermal observations, particularly in areas undersampled by other observational platforms, used for global ocean heat content estimates, and (iv) Initialization and validation of numerical ocean forecast models. A strong synergy exists between XBT observations and observations from other platforms, such as altimetry, surface drifters, Argo, etc. the enables more robust scientific analysis.
  • Procedures for proposing and evaluating IODE projects and activities.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2018)
    At its 24thsession the IODE Committee approved the Report of the Inter-sessional Working Group to Propose a Re-structuring of IODEwhich recommended revising the current structure, projects and activities of IODE and decided that the relation between projects (e.g. data flow) should be better communicated within the IODE community but also to the user communities. The Committee agreed that both existing and new IODE projects and activities will benefit from a more effective tracking and oversight process to help ensure that they meet IODE strategic goals and objectives. The Committee adoptedDecision IODE-XXIV.3 IODE (Project and Activity Performance Evaluation). These procedures apply to both existing and new projects and activities.
  • Report on Activities of Regional Education and Research Centre on Oceanography for West Asia (RCOWA) under the auspices of UNESCO.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission; Iranian National Institute of Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2017)
    The establishment of Regional Education and Research Centre on Oceanography for West Asia (RCOWA) was approved by 37th UNESCO General Conference as a Category 2 under the Auspices of UNESCO in the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS) in November 2013 (37 C/18 Part XVII) and the agreement was signed in 2015. The center aims to achieve the objectives of the agreement which are as follows: (a)ensure the harmonious and mutually reinforcing involvement of the members of the region in Ocean studies by organizing joint projects, conferences and training/educational courses; (b)define regional problems, the solution of which requires regional and international cooperation, assist in the identification of training, education, and mutual assistance needs, particularly those related to the Centre programs; (c)assist in identification and meeting national and regional priorities by sharing knowledge and experience through organizing training courses and symposiums; (d)engage the academic and research community, experts from governmental and non-governmental organizations, industry, and decision-makers from the region and abroad in finding ways to solve the challenging economic and social problems facing the region by organizing exchange visits, consultations, etc. This objective will be achieved through the organization of regional forum/network to address the challenges, explore scientific understanding of the impacts and to discuss policies on the use and protection of the sea and coasts in supporting economic development of each country of the region, and the region as the whole;(e)supervise and coordinate the implementation of joint projects in consultation with national and international institutions of the Member States concerned in order to avoid duplication and overlap of efforts by organizing regular meetings with regional partners; (f)promote the standardization of data collection and data analysis methods based on existing protocols and agreements. Advocate open access and free exchange of oceanographic data along the guidelines specified in the IOC/IODE data exchange policy to facilitate scientific progress and improve education and training results. Reanimate IOC/IODE ODIN type program for the region; (g)advice on the application of new knowledge on science and technology to various priority areas at the local/national/regional levels by organizing workshops and briefings; (h)provide general guidance and recommendations, as well as serve as a mechanism for Member States, to formulate, evaluate, and follow-up on proposals for projects aimed at strengthening national and regional capabilities in marine scientific research, education and the establishment of common services and facilities; (i)make the operations of the Centre open and transparent by producing regular newsletters/bulletins to describe the progress of the Canter’s operations, developing the Centre’s web-site and increasing communication flow/exchange of information on activities, in order to discuss common issues and explore opportunities for further collaboration; (j)promote activities of the Centre and UNESCO as well as UNESCO/IOC role in marine and coastal matters; raise public awareness concerning the need for the sustainable management of the sea and coastal areas; and introduce the benefits of national and regional cooperation approach and of the importance of the operation of the sea and coasts by supporting establishment of Marine Protected Areas, through active participation in World Ocean Day and other awareness raising efforts; (k)collect information on the state of the art technology required for the implementation of the maritime program activities, develop an inventory of regional institutions and experts working on marine related issues, as well as catalogues of regional oceanographic data and make this information available to decision-makers and regional/international partners; (l)organize assistance in mobilizing human, financial, and material resources to respond to the needs of the coastal countries of the region in dealing with emergency situations triggered by marine natural disasters; and, (m)make recommendations to the governing bodies of the region on policy matters, and submit proposals on the budgetary and other forms of support required for the successful work of the Centre. Geographical Coverage of the Centre17 countries of the West Asia region are covered by the Centre activities: (Pakistan, Iraq, Oman, Turkey, India, Qatar, Lebanon, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Iran). On case to case basis, neighboring countries to the region are invited to take part in the activities of the Centre.
  • Working Group on Tsunamis and Other Hazards Related to Sea-Level Warning and Mitigation Systems (TOWS-WG). Tenth Meeting Paris, France 23–24 February 2017.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2017)
    The Tenth Meeting of the Working Group on Tsunamis and Other Hazards Related to Sea-Level Warning and Mitigation Systems (TOWS-WG-X) was held in Paris, France, on 23-24 February 2017 under the Chairmanship of Mr Alexander Postnov (IOC Vice-Chair). The meeting evaluated progress in actions and decisions taken by the Governing Bodies through IOC-XXVIII/Dec. 8.2 and IOC EC-XLIX/3.4. The Group reviewed reports by the IOC Intergovernmental Coordination Groups as well as its own Task Teams on Disaster Management and Preparedness and Watch Operations. The Group noted with satisfaction the progress made during the intersessional period, including: - Three exercises carried out (CARIBEWave 2016, IOWAVE 2016, PACWAVE 2017) and regular communication tests - Accreditation of four Tsunami Service Providers in the North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (NEAMTWS) - With regards to Tsunami Evacuation Mapping: a) The PTWS successfully completed a Pilot Tsunami Evacuation Maps, Plans and Procedures (TEMPP) over two years in Honduras with regional participation b) The ITIC, CTWP & IOC-UNESCO programme CARIBE EWS built experience with regards to implementation of the TEMPP and are ready to provide guidance to countries that want to implement similar projects c) The Project identified and references existing best practice evacuation mapping guidelines that countries have developed d) The PTWS will finalise project documentation and make it available to ICGs, noting the interest of IOTWMS and CARIBE-EWS  Tsunami Ready Community based performance recognition program achieved in St. Kitts & Nevis and Cedeño (Honduras)  The progress made by DBCP in developing an educational strategy to address buoy vandalism and endorse the development of the strategy and recommend that each ICG review the strategy The Group recommended the Assembly to encourage Member States to - sustain and increase technical and financial support of the tsunami warning systems in their respective regions - further promote tsunami awareness in communities and among authorities through communication and tsunami wave exercises, training, information, and community preparedness and recognition programmes - share Tsunami source scenario data as well sea level data relevant to tsunami detection and alerts - densify sea level networks particularly nearby tsunamigenic sources - extend exercises to community level and include critical infrastructure in exercises (e.g. hospitals, fire stations, police stations, electric power plants, airports, ports and harbors) The Group recommended the Assembly to instruct ICGs - to consider piloting the CARIBE EWS Tsunami Ready guidelines and report back to the TOWS-XI with a view to develop harmonized consistent global guidelines - to advocate the UN designated World Tsunami Awareness Day (5 November) among member states and advise them of the availability of material from the UNISDR in this regard, and share activities and materials with UNISDR and TICs - to recommend TSPs and NTWCs to also use the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) to facilitate warning messages to be consistently disseminated simultaneously over many warning communication systems to many applications - to recommend TSPs and NTWCs register with international register of alerting authorities through WMO National Permanent Representative - to consider contributing any education or outreach materials related to data buoy vandalism to the DBCP for inclusion in a tool kit of regionally relevant materials to counter vandalism - the ICG/PTWS, in line with the IOC XXVII Assembly decision 8.2, to continue its work on the Key Performance Indicators to cover all aspects of the Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems, aligning as closely as possible with the Sendai Framework, and share it to the other ICGs for consideration by the Member States, and report back to TOWS XI with a view to establish global KPIs - to encourage NTWCs disseminate tsunami bulletins to ports, harbours and other maritime authorities within their countries - to share the results of Tsunami exercises and communication tests with WMO to facilitate improved performance of WMO related communication systems The Group recommended the Assembly to take the following actions - to conduct a symposium in early 2018 in Paris on enhancing existing TSP and NTWC operational tsunami forecasting to further develop warning products and enhancing timely, accurate, reliable and effective decision-making and community response, involving experts from monitoring networks, seismology, tsunami forecast modelling and warning centres, maritime authorities, and national and local emergency management authorities with advice on product requirements - to extend the tenure of TOWS and its Task Teams on (i) Disaster Management and Preparedness and (ii) Tsunami Watch Operations, with ToRs as given in IOC Resolution XXIV-4 [for TOWS-WG] and IOC/TOWS-WG-VI/3 [Annex II; for TTDMP] and ToRs for TTTWO to reflect work related to enhancements to the accuracy and effectiveness of tsunami forecast information for users The Group accepted the reports from the Task Teams on Disaster Management and Preparedness and Watch Operations and instructed the Task Team on Watch Operations - to develop in consultation with WWNWS-SC specific tsunami threat messages for vessels at sea - to consider tsunamis generated by non-seismic sources for integration into Tsunami watch operation The Group noted the information presented by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on the new developments on the WMO Information System and its use for dissemination of Tsunami alerts as well as WIS performance monitoring of messages and particular types of messages. The Group recommended WMO to explore rendering assistance to CARIBE-EWS concerning usage of GTS and WIS for dissemination of tsunami alerts in the Caribbean region. The Group recognized that the current financial situation strongly limits the implementation of the tasks of the Group, ICGs and Inter-ICG Task Teams and recommended that the Member States to increase their extra-budgetary contributions to the IOC to provide the needed resources for the priorities identified by TOWS-WG and ICGs.
  • Regional Working Group for the North West Indian Ocean (WG-NWIO), Second Meeting, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, 27-28 February 2017.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2017)
    Dr Nasser Hadjizadeh Zaker, Director of the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS) and Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS) sub-regional working group for the North West Indian Ocean (WG-NWIO) welcomed all the participants to the meeting. He mentioned that it is very important to pay attention to the risk of tsunami to the countries of the NWIO from the Makran subduction zone. He acknowledged the contribution of the IOC-UNESCO ICG/IOTWMS in reducing tsunami risk in the region and reminded the Terms of Reference of the WG-NWIO. He wished all the participants a very successful meeting and an enjoyable stay in Iran. Dr Juma Al Maskari, Chair of the ICG/IOTWMS WG-NWIO thanked Dr Zaker and the Iranian government for hosting this meeting in Iran, the ICG/IOTWMS Secretariat for making preparations and all the participants for participating this meeting. He recalled that the WG-NWIO has been set up in the ICG/IOTWMS-X session in March 2015. Dr Al Maskari mentioned that this meeting offers a good opportunity to take stock of the progress made in the inter-sessional period and plan future activities. He concluded by welcoming all participants to the meeting. Dr Srinivasa Kumar Tummala, Head of the ICG/IOTWMS Secretariat welcomed all the participants to the meeting. He recalled that the WG-NWIO was established in the ICG/IOTWMS-X session with initial membership comprising India, Iran, Oman, Pakistan and Yemen to enhance tsunami warning system in the Makran region. He mentioned that the recent earthquake and minor tsunami events in September 2013 and February 2017 in Pakistan serve as a strong reminder that we need to closely study the Makran subduction zone to enhance the technical aspects of tsunami warning as well as awareness and preparedness. He listed the progress made in the inter-sessional period and also informed that this meeting offers a great opportunity to identify priorities in the region and develop a funding proposal for submission to United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Dr. Tummala thanked Dr. Zaker and the government of Iran for hosting this important meeting. Dr Mahin Ghazani, Director of Science Department of the Iranian National Commission to UNESCO and Secretary of the Iranian National Committee for Oceanography welcomed all of the participants to the meeting. She informed that the IOC-UNESCO has an overall mandate for ocean science and capacity development in support of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. With strong regional presence, links to other regional bodies and expertise, IOC-UNESCO is rightly placed to support ocean related activities of the 148 Member States. She mentioned that IOC developed strong outreach to support national policy in ocean observations, monitoring ocean health, ocean hazards and emerging ocean issues. Dr. Ghazani listed the contribution of IOC to implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) Agenda 2030. She thanked Dr. Zaker for hosting this important event in Iran and wished the meeting a success.
  • International (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development: towards the ocean we need for the future we want.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2017)
    This document was first circulated for comments to IOC Member States through IOC Circular Letter No 2657 on 2 February 2017. The objectives of this document are to elaborate the idea of, and argue the case for, an international decade on ocean science for sustainable development. The endorsement to pursue further elaboration of the idea followed its initial presentation and discussion at the IOC Executive Council in June 2016. The context is provided by the 2030 Agenda and related UN frameworks, namely the Sendai Framework for Risk Reduction 2015, the SAMOA Pathway for SIDS 2014, the UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties, COP-21 in Paris 2015 and COP-22 in Marrakech 2016, together with previous intergovernmental agreements. The bases include: (i) the conclusions of the First Global World Ocean Assessment, in particular that we are running out of time to effectively protect the world ocean from multiple interactive stressors; and (ii) the finding of the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary General that, of eight Grand Challenges the world community is facing, the most important one is improving ocean science and effective management for the development of sustainable ocean knowledge-based economics. On these foundations, the document addresses a wide and diverse set of marine-related interests, including ocean science, sustained observations, marine environment problems and ocean (blue) economy. A historical analysis of developments over the 50-year period since the International Decade of Ocean Exploration 1971–1980 suggests that governments need to engage and act in partnership with the many different ocean communities in order to achieve focus, cohesiveness, cooperation and coordination of efforts. An International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, potentially under the UN auspices, emerges as the promising path towards “THE OCEAN WE NEED FOR THE FUTURE WE WANT.”
  • Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP): status and trends in primary productivity and chlorophyll from 1996 to 2014 in Large Marine Ecosystems and the Western Pacific Warm Pool, based on data from satellite ocean colour sensors.

    O'Reilly, John E.; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2017)
    This report is an output of the Large Marine Ecosystems component of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP), which was implemented from 2013–2015by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)and co-executed by the following lead agencies for each of the five transboundary water system categories that were assessed: the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for transboundary aquifers including groundwater systems in Small Island Developing States; the International Lake Environment Committee Foundation (ILEC) for lakes and reservoirs; the UNEP-DHI Partnership –Centre on Water and Environment (UNEP-DHI) for river basins; and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO for large marine ecosystems (LMEs) and the open ocean.The objective of the analysis presented in this report was to characterize the status and major trends in primary productivity and chlorophyllafor the world’s LMEsand the Western Pacific Warm Pool from 1996 to 2014, based on data obtained from five satellite ocean colour sensors. The current assessment is an update of the time series (January 1998 through December 2006)presented in The UNEP Large Marine Ecosystem Report: A perspective on changing conditions in LMEs of the world’s Regional Seas. A summary of this report is presented as Chapter 5.1 in:the TWAP LMEsassessment report (IOC-UNESCO and UNEP, 2016. Large Marine Ecosystems: Status and Trends. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi).The author thanks DrKimberly Hyde for providing a comprehensive time series of global SST data and for her assistance in the application of theOPAL productivity model; J.C. Landry for editorial and research assistance; Betsy Petersonfor editing and layout; and Sherry Heileman, Julian Barbière and Kenneth Sherman for their guidance and assistance. The financial support for this work was providedby the Global Environment Facility.
  • IOC Communication and Outreach Strategy for Data and Information Management (2017-2019).

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2017)
    The present Communication and Outreach Strategy for Data and Information Management, also referred to in this document as the “Communication Strategy” was prepared by the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), an intergovernmental programme of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCOestablished in 1961. The purpose of the IODE programme is to enhance marine research, exploitation and development, by facilitating the exchange of ocean data and information between participating Member States, and by meeting the needs of users for data and information products. The IODE vision is informed by the IOC Strategic Plan for Oceanographic Data and Information Management, 2017–2021, which identifies that: To ensure its success, the IOC Strategic Plan for Data and Information Management must achieve strong awareness, involvement, acceptance and recognition within and between IOC programmes, and with IOC partners. Efficient communication and outreach remain key elements of the Strategic Plan.'The recent IODE restructuring exercise has also highlighted that the number of international marine science related organizations is growing and there is often a perception that they have similar or overlapping objectives to IODE. It is therefore increasingly important to state clearly what IODE’s unique role is, how it differs from other organizations, who its stakeholders are and how to prioritize and optimize its communication methods with each of these. IODE must work with Member States, governments, partner organizations, academia and industry, to articulate the global benefits to society and required funding to build and sustain the ocean observing data and information system. IODE must capitalize on the networks, communication outreach, and global visibility of UNESCO’s IOC as its parent organization. IODE has a strong mandate for communication and outreach with a variety of stakeholders, including the general public. IODE needs to communicate regularly with its community as well as having a strategy on how to be engaged in ocean community activities, cooperate and expand its membership. This strategy document outlines a framework for communication and outreach activities for the IODE to address these needs and underpin its ability to achieve its strategic objectives; to ensure that there is recognition of its role as a lead provider in marine data and information management, training and information products; and further enhance both the IOC and IODE profiles. The IOCCommunication and Outreach Strategy for Data and Information was proposed by the IOC Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange at its 24thsession, 24–28 March 2017, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and endorsed by the IOC Assembly at its 29th session, 21–29 June 2017.
  • Plans and procedures for tsunami warning and emergency management.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2017)
    This manual seeks to assist countries participating in the IOC-coordinated regional Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems in strengthening their existing tsunami warning and emergency responses through the development of Tsunami Warning and Emergency Response Plans and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). It relates to tsunami warning authorities (referred to as National Tsunami Warning Centres - NTWCs) and to tsunami emergency management authorities (referred to as Emergency Management Agencies - EMAs), promoting alignment, interoperability and consistency among all stakeholders in the end-to-end tsunami warning system. The Tsunami Warning System (TWS) An end-to-end Tsunami Warning System (TWS) includes the following components: - Knowledge of the hazards and risks to coastal communities from tsunamis and planning for their potential impact - Access to information from the ICG Tsunami Service Providers and/or National Tsunami Warning Centres on the earthquake characteristics, a tsunami assessment and forecast, and tsunami observations - Capability to evaluate the information received in order to determine the threat to their communities - Ability to quickly disseminate and communicate clear, understandable, and actionable warnings to prepared coastal communities in advance of the oncoming tsunami; and - Capacities at national, local and community levels for effective tsunami emergency response. A TWS is best defined in an end-to-end National Tsunami Warning and Emergency Response Plan, with a minimum requirement being the existence of such a document approved at the national level. The main purpose of this guideline is to describe the collective components of the TWS and the allocation (and description) of responsibilities and actions for each component, then designating relevant authorities for each action. The plan may also contain the concepts, thresholds, target times, systems, procedures, and templates used in the tsunami warning chain and a concise description of the tsunami threat for the country (or reference to the relevant documents). In some countries this Plan may need to be split into two plans, a National Tsunami Warning Plan and a Tsunami Emergency Response (TER) Plan, to recognise different functions and responsibilities. In either respect, the overall content and end-to-end processes should be complementary. This guideline describes the TWS and its supporting documents, with a specific focus on tsunami warning plans and SOPs for tsunami warning authorities and emergency response plans and SOPs for key responding agencies. Tsunami warning The NTWC provides warnings of potentially dangerous tsunamis to EMAs and in many cases direct to the communities of the sovereign nation in which it resides and which it serves. It operates on a 24/7 basis to receive earthquake and tsunami information from ICG Tsunami Service Providers (TSPs) of its choice, evaluates the information in terms of the tsunami threat to the country’s coastal communities, and issues warnings about threats. Each country formally nominates a Tsunami Warning Focal Point (TWFP) to the IOC for receipt and national management of tsunami threat information received from TSPs. Some countries have established their own NTWC as the national tsunami warning authority, which have the independent capacity to continuously monitor seismicity in real-time using local and global seismographic networks to locate and determine the magnitude of potentially tsunamigenic earthquakes. This capacity allows them to assess the threat of a tsunami empirically (based mainly on the earthquake magnitude) or through tsunami modelling in the same manner as done by a TSP. Such national assessments may be shared with the TSPs and the NTWCs of other countries. Whether a NTWC has its own in-house seismic processing facility and tsunami monitoring and assessment capability, or whether it relies on the seismic and tsunami threat information contained in notifications from TSPs (and other NTWCs), the next steps are common to all NTWCs. These are the formulation and dissemination of official national warnings to the EMA and other recipients in accordance with the National Tsunami Warning and Emergency Response Plan. A NTWC must respond quickly, be as accurate as possible, and be reliable in order to be effective. In order to achieve this, an NTWC should have regularly exercised and tested SOPs in place for efficiently receiving the earthquake and tsunami information from TSPs (and other NTWCs), or generated by themselves, evaluate and assess the threat to their country before issuing clearly understood threat alerts to national authorities responsible for emergency management and public safety. In some cases NTWCs may issue warnings directly to the public and media, but still in consultation with EMA. This guideline describes the essential functions of a NTWC and the relationship of an NTWC to ICG Tsunami Service Providers (TSPs) and other NTWCs. It is supported by Annexes containing more detail and examples. Tsunami emergency response In association with other authorities, government agencies, and community groups, EMAs must establish and maintain preparedness for an effective tsunami response through hazard risk assessment and the establishment of emergency response plans and accompanying procedures that focus on public awareness, public alerting, and evacuations. These plans and procedures must acknowledge that notifications from a NTWC may provide little response time – a tsunami generated by a local earthquake may impact within minutes, and they can occur at any time of the day or night. In such cases, natural warning signs (e.g. unexpected sudden drop in sea level indicating the pending arrival of the tsunami crest, although not always the case) may be able to provide much more timely warnings than waiting for the seismic information to feasibly reach the sensors, be analysed and tsunami forecasts and warnings generated and issued. During tsunami events EMAs must immediately interpret the warnings issued by the NTWC, and then decide on the appropriate response actions. Accordingly, they must also operate on a 24/7 basis in order to disseminate warnings (if required), instructions and other safety information to agencies at all applicable levels of government, threatened communities, and the media, in accordance with the National Tsunami Warning and Emergency Response Plan. They are also responsible for informing the public of the “All Clear” when the threat is over. Through the activation of Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) at the respective levels of government, EMAs must coordinate an appropriate emergency response amongst all participating agencies. This guideline covers the linkage between the NTWC and the EMA with a description of the procedures to be adopted by the latter as recipients or potential recipients of warnings from their NTWC, and their subsequent response actions. It is supported by Annexes containing more detail and examples.
  • The Data Buoy Cooperation Panel: a retrospective.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission; World Meteorological Organization (UNESCOParis, France, 2016)
    The Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP) is an international organization jointly supported by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. It operates under the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM). The DBCP has functioned effectively since 1985. This Retrospective will review the history of the DBCP, document its successes and accomplishments, highlight its approaches and acknowledge contributions from organizations and individuals. Please refer to the DBCP web site for information on the background, programmes, data and more at
  • Large marine ecosystems: status and trends; summary for policy makers.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission; United Nations Environment Programme (IOC and UNEPKenya, Nairobi, 2016)
    Recognizing the value of large marine ecosystems (LMEs) and other transboundary water systems (open ocean, groundwater aquifers, lakes and reservoirs, and river basins), their continued degradation, the fragmented approach to their management, and the need for better prioritization of interventions, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) embarked on the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP) from 2009 to 2015. TWAP objectives were to undertake global assessments of the five transboundary water systems to assist GEF and other international organizations set priorities for interventions; and develop formal institutional partnerships for periodic assessments of these systems
  • Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Biennial Report 2014-2015.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCOParis, France, 2016)
    Most of the activities described in this Report were conducted under the leadership of Dr Wendy Watson-Wright, the Executive Secretary of IOC during the years 2010-2014. Pending the arrival of the new Executive Secretary, Dr Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Natural Sciences served as Executive Secretary ad interim from 12 January to 28 February 2015. Dr Vladimir Ryabinin started his work as the Executive Secretary on 1 March 2015. He is very grateful to Dr Watson-Wright for very ably leading the IOC during her tenure as well for her support during the transitional period. The smooth continuation of the IOC Secretariat work under the interim leadership of Dr Schlegel is also much appreciated by the IOC Secretariat and Dr Ryabinin. Like UNESCO, IOC continued to work in 2014- 2015 under the significantly reduced spending plan for the approved regular UNESCO 37 C/5 Programme and Budget (2014–2015) and with reduced staff. The Secretariat, guided by the IOC Assembly and adhering to the principles of the IOC Medium Term Strategy 2014-2021, has completed all planned tasks for the period and has achieved all assigned targets at the level corresponding to the available reduced budget
  • Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North-eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (ICG/NEAMTWS), Twelfth session, Dublin, Ireland, 16-18 November 2015.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis,France, 2016)
    The Twelfth Session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (ICG/NEAMTWS) was hosted by Ireland in Dublin, from 16 to 18 November 2015.The ICG welcomedthe continuation of the interim operational phase of the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (NEAMTWS), through the Candidate Tsunami Service Providers (CTSPs) of France, Greece, Turkey, and Italy and the intention of Portugal to start operations as a CTSP in 2016.The ICG further welcomed the progress achieved by the CTSPs and the application by National Observatory of Athens (Greece) for accreditation and the intention expressed by France, Italy and Turkey to also apply for accreditation in the next intersessional period. The ICG adoptedthe document ‘Procedures for the Accreditation of TSP, as included in Annex 6.Notingfurthermore the positive results of the extended communication tests since the Tenth Session and of the second tsunami exercise for the region, NEAMWave14,and the significant increase of the participation of Civil Protection Authorities.The ICG while confirmingthe continuation of the Working Groups, as follows: Working Group 1 on Hazard Assessment and Modelling; Working Group 2 on Seismic and GeophysicalMeasurements; Working Group 3 on Sea Level Data Collection and Exchange, including Offshore Tsunami Detection and Instruments; and Working Group 4 on Public Awareness, Preparedness and Mitigation, decidedto establish a new Task Team on Architecture for ICG/NEAMTWS Governance and reorganisation review.The ICG confirmedthe continuation of regular Communication Test Exercises for the next intersessional period and quarterly Extended Communication Test Exercises based on a scenario event involving Member State Civil Protection Agencies.Decides to organise and conduct a further tsunami exercise in 2017 (NEAMWave17).The ICG confirmedthe continuation of the Steering Committee composed by the Officers and the Co-Chairs of the Working Groups and the Task Teams, and representatives of CTSPs.Recommends:I.To increase the participation of Member States in the ICG activities,II.That each CTSP provide threat level information based on their best practices, including (possibly different) decision matrices, scenario databases or other methods, these methodologies needing to be documented in the NEAMTWS Operational Users Guide),III.That all sea level data should be made available to the CTSPs and NTWCs using bilateral agreements, between NTWCs whenever possible,IV.That all tide gauge stations should transition to operational, real time status,V.To increase the number of seismic and sea level stations available in the North of Africa, and for sea level to reduce sampling and latency to 1 minute or less as far as possible,VI.That Member States should urge the active involvement of their national Civil Protection Authorities (CPAs) in the routine activities of the ICG, with the aim of making the ICG products more suitable for meeting the needs and expectations of those CPAs, VII. That NTWCs, in consultation with their CPAs, evaluate the need to provide enhanced products in the NTWC messages, such as maps, and to present and make proposals for discussion and adoption at the next ICG; The ICG acknowledged the importance of Tsunami Information Centre for the North Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (NEAMTIC, recommended Member States to contribute funding and secondments to its maintenance and development. The Twelfth Session of ICG/NEAMTWS was attended by 46 participants from 16 Member States, and one observer organization. The need for a stronger cooperation with the ICG/CARIBE-EWS was reiterated.
  • International Hydrological Programme (IHP): 22nd session of the Intergovernmental Council (of the) International Hydrological Programme (IHP), Paris, 13-14 and 16-17 June 2016. Final Report.

    Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2016)
    Mr David Korenfeld Federman, the outgoing Chairperson of the IHP Intergovernmental Council, opened the session and welcomed all participants, expressing his wish for fruitful deliberations. He emphasized that water has emerged as one of the key issues on the international agenda due to major global developments such as the adoption of the standalone water goal in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the establishment of the High-level Panel on Water, and the recognition of the importance of water in climate change adaptation during the discussions of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the implementation of UNFCCC (COP 21). As major IHP achievements over the past two years, he highlighted: (a) the technical meeting of the IHP Bureau, held in Mexico in November 2014; (b) the celebration of the 50th anniversary of UNESCO water programmes; and (c) the publication “Water, People and Cooperation: 50 years of water programmes for sustainable development at UNESCO”. Mr Korenfeld, as the Chairperson of the Mexican IHP National Committee, further noted that during his tenure, Mexico has initiated the process for the establishment of a category 2 water centre on water security and published a 50th anniversary commemorative stamp.
  • Contribution to the future of the IOC Executive roadmap. Prepared for Forty-ninth Session of the Executive Council UNESCO, Paris, 7–10 June 2016.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2016)
    This document has been prepared in pursuance of Decision IOC-XXVIII/4 of the IOC Assembly at its 28th session (18-25 June 2015), which decided that the inter-sessional work on this subject should continue under the leadership of the IOC Officers with a view of providing a fully developed document with recommendation to the IOC Executive Council at its 49th session in 2016. Consistent with the decision, the document proposed for the review by the Executive Council results from the discussions at the Joint ‘Think Tank’ Retreat of the IOC Officers and the IOC Management Team, held from 5 to 8 January 2016 in Gilleleje, Denmark. The appendices to the document contain: (i) the draft messages adapted to specific audiences about the societal benefits of IOCs mission, programmes and activities based on the input from the sessional working group and the discussions in plenary; and (ii) a Concept note: A Second International Decade of (Integrated) Ocean Exploration, 2021-2030. Document IOC/INF-1337, ‘Synthesis of IOC development, work and results: opportunities and coincidences 1960–2015’ by Gunnar Kullenberg (past Executive Secretary) completes the documentation for this agenda item. Decision proposed: Full draft decision is presented in para. 173. The Executive Council will be requested to provide its recommendations on the proposed documentation to be used by the Officers in the intersessional period with a view of presenting the final proposal to the IOC Assembly at its 29th session in 2017.
  • Regional Working Group on Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System for the South China Sea Region (SCS-WG), Fifth meeting, Manila, Philippines, 2-3 March 2016.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2016)
    Mr Renato Solidum, Director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology PHIVOLCS delivered the welcome speech on behalf of the Government of Philippines. He recalled that Philippines is a country that is exposed to several natural hazards. He indicated that PHIVOLCS is happy to host the 5th meeting of the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (PTWS) South China Sea Region Working Group (SCS-WG), and emphasized the importance of monitoring real time data from regional and global seismic networks in order to detect and rapidly locate, size, and characterize the source of tsunami, forecast coastal impacts and assess potential hazards. He officially opened the meeting.
  • Manual on Sea-level Measurements and Interpretation, Volume V: Radar Gauges [includes Supplement: Practical Experiences].

    Woodworth, Philip (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2016)
    Therefore, Part 1 of this Volume 5 discusses topics such as how radar gauges can be mounted over the water to measure sea level. It considers how gauges can be calibrated, either in the laboratory before installation or in the field during routine maintenance visits. It describes how radar performs in comparison to other technologies and discusses how the measured radar levels can be biased in the presence of waves and, consequently, what other technologies must be used in parallel. Part 2 of this Volume returns to some topics that have been presented in the previous Volumes 1-4 of the Manual. These are particularly important aspects of tide gauge measurements, and so have been repeated each time, although in different ways. Volume 1 introduced the essential procedures to be followed for maintenance of the datum of the sea level measurements (i.e. the stability of the measurements with respect to benchmarks on the nearby land). Volume 2 described how levelling should be undertaken between a local network of benchmarks and introduced the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers for monitoring vertical land movements. GPS at tide gauges was further discussed in Volumes 3 and 4. These sections were based partly on the insight that had been obtained into the use of GPS in the workshops that led to the two ‘Carter Reports’ (1989 and 1994) and in an important subsequent workshop at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1998).2 By this time, GPS at tide gauges was being undertaken using continuous (rather than episodic or campaign) and dual- (rather than single-) frequency receivers, and further research into their use had begun within the TIde GAuge (TIGA) project of the International GNSS Service. The present Volume 5 contains a similar section on the survey methods and benchmark requirements at tide gauges, including the use of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) equipment, and brings up-to-date the recommendations on the use of GNSS at tide gauge sites. 3 Part 2 of the Volume also has updated sections on how tide gauge operators can ensure that their data find their way to centres where they can be used to the maximum extent possible for practical and scientific purposes. For example, it is now inconceivable that gauges installed in the GLOSS network would be without a real-time reporting capability for storm surge and tsunami warning. On the other hand, the data must be of sufficient quality that ‘delayed-mode’ centres can process them into mean sea level values for use in studies of long-term sea level change. These real-time and delayed mode objectives need not be in competition if care is taken to understand the data that are recorded, essential metadata are compiled, and data are transmitted rapidly to the relevant national and international centres. We suggest that new readers of the volumes would benefit from looking at Volumes 1-4 before reading the present Volume 5. Although the earlier volumes date from many years ago, and technology has evolved considerably in the meantime, much of the previous discussion is educational with regard to how the historical sea level data set has been obtained. There are often dangers in exchanging one measuring system for another, in that different systematic methods can be introduced into a long-term time series, so an appreciation of how methods have changed is essential. It is clear that the same kind of mistakes in changing technologies could be occurring now, as radar systems replace others, so we must make attempts to understand them all as well as we can
  • Sources of Tsunamis in the Caribbean with Possibility to Impact the Southern Coast of the Dominican Republic, Expert meeting, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 6-7 May 2016.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2016)
    The southern coast of Dominican Republic is a very populated region, withseveral important cities including Santo Domingo, its capital. Important activities are rooted in the southern coast including tourism, industry, commercial ports, and, energy facilities, amongothers. According to historical reports, it has been impacted by big earthquakes accompanied by tsunamis as in Azua in 1751 and recently Pedernales in 2010, but their sources are not clearly identified.With partial support of the European Union funded project "Life-Saving Actions: Disaster preparedness and seismic and tsunami risk reduction in the south coast of San Cristóbal province, Dominican Republic» implemented by UNDP, UNESCO and the Assembly of Cooperation for Peace in Dominican Republic (ACPP),UNESCO together with the Seismological Institute of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo,organized the meeting of experts "Sources of tsunamis in the Caribbean with possibility to impact the southern coast of the Dominican Republic", on 6 and 7 May 2016, with invited experts and specialists ofDominican Republic, France, Haiti, Spainand theUnited States.The invited experts analysedin a closed meeting three groups of tsunami sources(tectonic sources, landslides and volcanic eruptions)of which they identified two groups of crediblesources of tsunamis in the Caribbean that could impact the southern coast of the Dominican Republic(tectonic sources and submarine landslides):I. Tectonic Sources: A.Near-field tectonic sources(less than 500 km from impact zone):-Western Muertos Trough (WMT) –Mw 8.0:-Small Muertos Trough 1 (SMT1) –Mw 7.6-Small Muertos Trough 2 (SMT2) –Mw 7.6-Muertos Trough Mega-splay (MS)–Mw 7.7B.Far-field tectonic sources:1. Southern Caribbean:-Northern Panama Deformed Belt (NPDB)–Mw 8.5-West branch of the South Caribbean Deformed Belt (WSCDB)–Mw 8.6-Full South Caribbean Deformed Belt (FSCDB)2. Northeastern Caribbean: Although thefollowing sources are at less than500 km of the impact zone, experts classified them as far-field given its expectedlower impact:-Puerto Rico Trench (PRT) –Mw 8.6-Mona Extension Fault (MEF) –Mw 7.6II. Submarine landslides: Within the different sourcesdiscussed only one was consideredasa potential threat, a potential landslide located ~100 km off the coast of Santo Domingo, denominated Complutense Slump (CS)by Granja et al. (2014).Volume of slump: 224km3.

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