WHAT IS IGOS?
What is IGOS?
Why an IGOS?
What does IGOS do?
Who are the users?
Who are the IGOS Partners?
How is IGOS implemented?
The Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) unites the major satellite and surface-based systems for global environmental observations of the atmosphere, oceans and land.
IGOS is a strategic planning process, involving a number of partners, that links research, long-term monitoring and operational programmes, as well as data producers and users, in a structure that helps determine observation gaps and identify the resources to fill observation needs.
IGOS is a framework for decisions and resource allocation by individual funding agencies, providing governments with improved understanding of the need for global observations through the presentation of an overarching view of current sustem capabilities and limitations - thereby helping to reduce unnecessary duplication of observations.
IGOS focusses primarily on the observing aspects of the process of providing environmental information for decision-making.
IGOS is intended to cover all forms of data collection concerning the physical, chemical, biological and human environment including the associated impacts.
IGOS is based on the recognition that data collection must be user driven, leading to results which will increase scientific understanding and guide early warning, policy-setting and decision-making for sustainable development and environmental protection.
IGOS provides opportunities for capacity building and assisting countries to obtain maximum benefit from the total set of observations.
The range of global observations needed to understand and monitor Earth processes, and to assess human impacts, exceeds the capability of any one country. Cooperation is therefore necessary to address priorities without duplication or omission. Satellite missions and in situ networks require many years of planning. Observations of the state of and trends in planetary processes cut across land, water, air and oceans. National programmes need to fit into larger international frameworks, since the environment does not stop at national boundaries. Such complex activities require integration at many levels. IGOS provides both a strategic framework and a planning process to bring together remotely-sensed and in situ observations, from both research and operational programmes.
Through IGOS, data suppliers can respond to requirements that have been set by users. Deficiencies are determined, resources identified, and observational programmes improved to ensure that observations are turned into useful products.
The components of IGOS have considerable
strategic importance, cutting across all observing activities. Major
thrusts of IGOS as it proceeds will include:
encourages dialogue with the principal user groups and institutions
to determine the needs for global environmental information for decision-making,
IGOS is developed by a Partnership including
The First IGOS Partners Meeting was held in June 1998, and meetings continue twice a year in association with CEOS Plenary sessions and meetings of the Sponsors Group for the Global Observing Systems.
IGOS encourages the use of modular approaches to strategies for specific components that need to be integrated. The CEOS Strategic Implementation Team is taking the lead in developing the space component of an IGOS, while the G3OS and their sponsors are preparing an in situ component. These nested processes of strategic planning at different levels of integration are an important part of the IGOS process, allowing each subsidiary group to work out the specifics at its own level. IGOS itself helps to cap and interrelate these sub-components.
The IGOS partners have adopted a thematic approach with joint planning activities to address particular categories, cross-cutting themes or domains of observations, such as oceans, disaster management, or carbon storage and cycling.
Most environmental observations come from national activities contributed by national governments through their agencies and research programmes. Their commitment is essential to the effective implementation of IGOS. Building support for and participation in observing processes at the national level is a major activity for IGOS.
demonstration projects have shown the benefits of an
integrated strategic approach:
Identification of gaps to be filled and activities to be strengthened is another continuing function of IGOS. The Global Observing Systems Space Panel (GOSSP) assists this process.
The IGOS process promotes awareness of the value of implementing IGOS and hence the need for resources to be made available at a relevant level. It demonstrates the benefits from integrated global observations in contributing to meeting the political objectives that have been set to improve the way we understand and manage the Earth.