WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS)
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Governace by Congress and the Council

Congress governance (Cg-XVI, 2011)

The Sixteenth World Meteorological Congress decided that the enhanced integration of the WMO observing systems should be pursued as a strategic objective of WMO and identified this as a major expected result of the WMO Strategic Plan.

Congress agreed with the WIGOS vision that calls for an integrated, coordinated and comprehensive observing system to satisfy, in a cost-effective and sustained manner, the evolving observing requirements of Members in delivering their weather, climate, water and related environmental services. WIGOS will enhance the coordination of WMO observing systems with those of partner organizations for the benefit of society. Furthermore, WIGOS will provide a framework for enabling the integration and optimized evolution of WMO observing systems, and of WMO’s contribution to co-sponsored systems. Together with the WMO Information System (WIS), this will allow continuous and reliable access to an expanded set of environmental data and products, and associated metadata, resulting in increased knowledge and enhanced services across all WMO Programmes.

Congress further decided that the WIGOS implementation be undertaken in an active and prudent manner in the sixteenth financial period and will focus on a framework for improved governance, management, integration and optimization of the multiple observing systems coordinated by WMO, so as to achieve a smooth transition, and no effort should be spared to make WIGOS operational by 2016.

Congress emphasized that the implementation of WIGOS should build upon and add value to the existing WMO observing systems with emphasis on integration of surface- and space-based observations in an evolutionary process to satisfy requirements of WMO and WMO co‑sponsored Programmes. Congress noted that, since all WMO Programmes would benefit, each should actively participate and contribute its own expertise and resources in implementing WIGOS.

Congress agreed that in implementing WIGOS, it is imperative that the current management, governance and support activities be reviewed and aligned with WMO priorities. This alignment would promote cooperation and coordination at the technical, operational and administrative levels.

Congress reaffirmed the importance of integrated satellite systems as a unique source of observational data for monitoring of weather, climate and the environment. It stressed the importance of further advancing instrument intercalibration, data exchange, data management standardization, user information and training, in order to take full advantage of space-based capabilities in the context of the WMO Integrated Global Observing Systems (WIGOS).

Congress underlined that WIGOS will be essential for the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), aviation meteorological services, disaster risk reduction, and capacity development as WMO priorities. It will also ensure a coordinated WMO contribution to the co-sponsored GCOS, GOOS, GTOS, and to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

For a detailed information, reference is made to Sixteenth World Meteorological Congress (2011) (WMO-No. 1077) Part I.

Congress governance (Cg-XV, 2007)

The Fifteenth World Meteorological Congress stressed that enhanced integration between the WMO observing systems was expected to generate important benefits for Members, their National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and for the Organization as a whole. It would also be an important element in the efforts towards a cross-cutting approach on topics of interest to the Organization. With reference to Expected Results 4 (Integration of WMO observing systems) and 5 (Development and implementation of the new WMO Information System) given in the WMO Strategic Plan, Congress agreed to refer to that initiative by the acronym WIGOS (WMO Integrated Global Observing System). It placed a high priority on the endeavour and adopted Resolution 30 (Cg-XV) – Towards enhanced integration between WMO observing systems.

The integration process should ensure the continued partnership and participation of the bodies responsible for those observing systems, including the World Data Centres, as they became part of an integrated system of systems with sustained sense of ownership.

For a detailed description, reference is made to Fifteenth World Meteorological Congress (2007) (WMO-No. 1026), part Towards enhanced integration between WMO observing systems and Resolution 30 (Cg-XV).

EC guidance

EC-66 agreed that the overall issue of WIGOS Data Management needs focus and attention. This covers issues such as storage and archival methods and responsibilities, reprocessing, discoverability and data access. This should be considered in the broader WMO context and should, in due course, be adequately reflected in the WMO Technical Regulations (WMO-No. 49), Vol. I, with clearly defined areas of responsibilities of all concerned (WIGOS, WIS, DPFS, etc.). Close collaboration and cooperation of all relevant technical commissions is needed. The Executive Council requested further guidance to the Members on how to address this matter and referred it to CCl and CBS for further study.

The Council agreed that the implementation of the WIGOS Framework is approaching a point of maturity where WIGOS is now enabling the development and deployment of its components. With the key initial building blocks of the WIGOS Framework in place by Cg-17, the prerequisites are available for a Preoperational Phase of WIGOS from 2016 to 2019.

The Council noted that the development of the WMO Technical Regulations (WMO-No. 49), Vol. I, Part I – WIGOS, as requested by EC-64, was proceeding ahead of the Parts II – VI of this Volume. The Council requested the technical commissions to accelerate the development of the other Parts of Vol. I to ensure a comprehensive approach leading to all parts being consistent with each other. The Council agreed that the Vol. I, Part I – WIGOS could be approved and promulgated effectively by Cg-17. (WMO-No. 1136)

EC-65 noted that, in accordance with Resolution 10 (EC-64) – WIGOS Framework Implementation Plan (WIP), urgent steps have been taken to progress the implementation of the WIGOS Framework by the Inter-commission Coordination Group on WIGOS (ICG-WIGOS), technical commissions, regional associations and the Secretariat. All technical commissions recognized the need to build activities in support of the WIGOS Framework implementation into their workplans and structures. The Council appreciated that ICG-WIGOS had identified many opportunities for all technical commissions to collaborate more closely on WIGOS Framework implementation, including through shared experts, alignment of activities and reduced duplication of effort and especially through active participation in its task teams.

The Council appreciated that the Regional WIGOS Implementation Plans (R-WIP) are well advanced in all Regions. It noted that R-WIPs are taking into account regional and subregional needs, requirements and priorities. In this regard, the Council emphasized that commitment by Members to WIGOS is essential and urged Members to support implementation of WIGOS in their Region, including providing sufficient resources.

The Council also noted that volunteered experts are needed, especially for the development of WIGOS regulatory material which will form essential guidance for Members in the implementation of WIGOS on the country level. It requested technical commissions and Members to identify suitable experts and make appropriate arrangements through the ICG-WIGOS or through secondments to the WIGOS Project Office. The Council agreed that WIGOS implementation activities should be appropriately resourced and requested the ICG-WIGOS and the Secretariat to continue to monitor progress and to keep the Council well informed about accomplishments achieved and resources used.

The Council adopted the updated version of WIP as given in Annex IV to the present report. The Council recalled that the four previously agreed WIGOS component observing systems: (a) the Global Observing System (GOS); (b) the observing component of the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW); (c) the observing component of the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW); and (d) the World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS), did not reflect fully the WMO contributions to hydrological observations. It therefore agreed with ICG-WIGOS to widen the scope of the component observing systems to replace WHYCOS by the WMO Hydrological Observing System (including WHYCOS), as now captured in the updated WIP. More details are available in the Abridged Final report from the session (WMO-No. 1118).

EC-LXIV noted that in the light of Resolution 50 (Cg-XVI) – Implementation of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS), the Inter-Commission Coordination Group on WIGOS (ICG-WIGOS) had started activities to coordinate the implementation of WIGOS. The Council noted with appreciation that the WIGOS framework Implementation Plan (WIP) developed by ICG-WIGOS and its Task Team addresses the key implementation activities which can be accomplished in the financial period.  The Council underlined the importance of close linkages between the WIP and resources needed for the realization of its various elements. It stressed that WMO Programmes should be properly aligned with the WIP to ensure its effective implementation and achievement of the desired outcomes. The Council accordingly adopted Resolution 4.4/1 (EC-64) and its Annex (WIP).

EC-LXIII established the Inter-Commission Coordination Group on WIGOS (ICG-WIGOS) with a view to providing technical guidance and assistance for the planning, implementation and further development of the WIGOS components. Progress on implementation of WIGOS will be reported to subsequent sessions of EC. The Council designated the president of CBS as chairperson of ICG-WIGOS.

EC-LXII noted with appreciation the updated versions of the WIGOS Development and Implementation Plan (WDIP) and the WIGOS Concept of Operations (CONOPS), respectively, with the understanding that they might be further refined in view of the lesson learned from the WIGOS Test of Concept Phase. It was noted that the current version of CONOPS more adequately covered operational aspects of WIGOS and therefore, more fully met user expectations.

The Council endorsed the WIGOS Development and Implementation Strategy (WDIS). WDIS is based on the WMO Strategic Plan, taking into account lessons learned from WIGOS projects and other activities carried out during the WIGOS Test of Concept phase. It describes the steps to be followed by WMO to improve governance, management, and integration of observing systems. WDIS also includes capacity building requirements and specifies responsibilities across the WMO system for the further development and implementation of WIGOS, while addressing coordination and technical challenges of the implementation process.

The Council noted the significance of active cooperation and enhanced coordination among the technical commissions, regional associations, and WMO partner organizations. It underlined that integration activities be included in the work programmes and implementation plans of these entities.

Further details can be found in the Abridged Final Report with Resolutions of the Sixty-second Session of the Executive Council (WMO-No. 1059), the section of "WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS)", paragraphs 3.4.66 - 3.4.90.

EC-LXI adopted the refined version of the WIGOS Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and the updated WIGOS Development and Implementation Plan (WDIP); the Council formulated its guidance and recommendations for the future development of WIGOS, including WIGOS demonstration and pilot projects and QMF in the WIGOS context.

The Council underlined the need for a comprehensive costed development and implementation strategy for taking WIGOS from a concept to reality; this strategy should address, inter alia, the technical and coordination challenges and the associated roles and responsibilities; the process for capturing the lessons learned from WIGOS projects and other activities; capacity building requirements to ensure that WIGOS benefits reach all Members; and designation of clear responsibilities across the WMO system for the further development of WIGOS.

For a detailed description, reference is made to:

EC-LX agreed with recommendations of the first session of the EC Working Group on WIGOS and WIS including planning and implementation phases, pilot and demonstration projects, WIGOS levels of integration and the WIGOS Concept of Operations (CONOPS). The Council adopted the draft WIGOS Development and Implementation Plan V.1.1 and urged Members, regional associations and technical commissions to collaborate actively in the implementation of WDIP.The Council also agreed that CONOPS and WDIP should be kept up-to-date (on an annual basis) through a "rolling review" mechanism. The Council also stressed the need to prepare a standardized description of all observational networks contributing to WIGOS, including information on the owners of the WIGOS components and generated data.

For a detailed description, reference is made to EC-LX Report (WMO-No. 1032).

EC-LIX considering the request expressed in Resolution 30 (Cg-XV) for the Executive Council to:

  • Establish a mechanism to steer and monitor the activity and to achieve the broadest possible collaboration and cooperation,
  • Ensure the active participation and representation of the principal bodies concerned and also the participation, as appropriate, of technical experts and representatives of agencies undertaking co-sponsored observing initiatives,
  • Ensure that this mechanism is closely coordinated with the institutional arrangements for planning and overseeing the WMO Information System,
  • Submit a comprehensive report on the integration between the WMO observing systems to Sixteenth Congress,

adopted Resolutions 3 (EC-LIX) Executive Council Working Group on the WMO Integrated Global Observing System and the WMO Information System.

 
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