Revised Summary:

First Meeting of the
Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS)
Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS)
Strategic Implementation Team (SIT)
6-7 February 1997
Irvine, California

In accordance with direction from the 10th CEOS Plenary NASA and NOAA hosted the first meeting of the CEOS IGOS SIT, under the chairmanship of Dr. Brian Embleton, CSIRO. The rationale for the meeting was: to continue development of the concept of an IGOS; to examine how CEOS could contribute to the space component of such a strategy; and to agree on some early implementation activities. All CEOS members, affiliates, and observers were invited to participate by sending senior representatives who had the authority to commit their organizations to the approachs and actions developed. The International Group of Funding Agencies (IGFA) was invited because of its interests and role in bringing together funding agencies for international global change research programs.

The turnout was excellent, with senior representatives from agencies including NASA, NOAA, ESA, EUMETSAT, DARA, CNES, ASI, BNSC, STA, NASDA, JMA, CSA, INPE, ISRO, CSIRO, as well as the CEOS WGISS, EC, WMO, GCOS, GOOS, CCRS, and IGFA. After opening remarks and a review of the agenda, the members of the SIT organizing committee presented papers on the vision of IGOS, the comparative advantages of an integrated strategic approach, and how CEOS relates to other organizations also involved in global observing systems. Attendees representing international organizations and programs (e.g., Affiliates) were invited to present lessons learned from their experience. In this area, presentations were given from WMO, the IGFA, GCOS, and IGBP.

In discussion among the participants, representatives of international organizations noted that while they did not necessarily have formal authority to commit their agencies in this forum, they welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the discussion. There was reasonable consensus on the goals of an IGOS, which are to provide on one level a strategic framework within which agencies can work to develop specific systems embracing both in-situ and space-based observations, and the need to ensure that value was added, being mindful to avoid increased bureaucracy and complex processes. The process should concentrate on specific improvements that could best be achieved through integrated planning and a strategic approach. It was recognized that some work might begin on a more regional basis and build up to a global capability. Participants expressed views on the criteria to evaluate potential CEOS IGOS-related activities or projects to achieve these goals. These require further refinement at a next meeting. An overriding consideration is the need to have a clearly spelled out user requirement for any area of activity.

A range of proposals was presented and attendees agreed on an initial set of projects for early attention. For each project, a lead user entity and a lead CEOS agency were identified and these were tasked to define a specific implementation plan. Because not all the user leads were present, the CEOS lead agreed to make early contact to confirm their endorsement and commitment to the effort. Without this specific endorsement, no real progress can be made. Among the considerations in selecting the initial project areas was the degree of political and societal importance, the feasibility of early and tangible accomplishments, the clear need for an integrated global strategic approach, and the existence of a CEOS agency and a sponsor/user agency willing to work together in a lead partnership.

The initial projects are briefly summarized below. A two-page description for each project will be developed by the User Agency/CEOS lead team by the end of February 1997. A brief scope paper on the IGOS concept will also be prepared. These papers will be circulated to all user organizations potentially interested in participating with CEOS in the development of an integrated strategy along with a letter from the CEOS Chairman to solicit their input and comments. The CEOS Chairman, along with the chairman of IGFA, in coordination with WMO, will contact the sponsoring agencies of the three Global Observing Systems (ICSU, WMO, IOC, FAO, and UNEP) to propose that CEOS make a presentation on activities and thinking to date at one of their meetings. A senior level IGOS "partners" meeting later this year or early next year was suggested as a potentially useful step in this direction. They will also propose an informal, planning meeting with representatives of these organizations, tentatively in May in Europe to consider how best to move ahead together to address the broader IGOS development to ensure that it is appropriately user driven

The CEOS Analysis Group (AG) was represented in the meeting by its leader, Mr. Haruyama, and the Affiliate "focal point," Mr. Morgan. The AG draft work plan was presented and comments provided by the SIT members. The draft AG work plan includes three meetings: the first in March in Germany, hosted by EUMETSAT; the second in July in Japan, hosted by STA/NASDA, along with an intensive workshop for analysis jointly with GOSSP; and the third in September in the U.S., hosted by NASA/NOAA. The outcome of the AG analysis will be coordinated with the SIT before the CEOS Plenary. The AG draft work plan was endorsed by the SIT members. It was agreed that each IGOS project should define a link to the AG to facilitate the AG's contributions. The AG draft work plan will be modified before the first AG meeting to focus attention on the areas identified for early SIT action. The AG may also take on other tasks as appropriate.

The agreed initial projects are listed below. Lead agencies are underlined and in italics with the point of contact designated; other agencies expressing their interest in participation are also identified.

  Proposed Initial IGOS Implementation Projects
Ocean Data Assimilation, including ocean surface winds, and operationalization of TOGA/TAO network & integration with geostationary metsats GOOS/GCOS OOPC (N. Smith), EC (tbc)  CNES (P. Courtier), ESA, NASA, EUMETSAT, NOAA, NASDA Recommended for phased implementation starting on a regional basis
Upper Air Measurements including Upper Air Network & Tropospheric Winds from Space  WMO (R. Landis tbc), EC (tbc) NOAA (P. Menzel), ESA, NASA, CNES, EUMETSAT WMO workshops already planned on Upper Air Networks 
Continuity of stratospheric ozone observations WMO/ IPCC (D. Albritton; R. Watson) (tbc),  ESA (C. Readings), NASA (J.Kaye); EUMETSAT, CNES, NOAA, NASDA, ASI, CSA/AES  
Global Observation of Forest Cover GCOS/CTOS TOPC (J. Cihlar), IGBP LULC (D. Skole), EC, FAO  CSA/CCRS (G. Lindberg, F. Guertin tbc), INPE, ESA, NASA, CNES, EUMETSAT, ASI NASDA, NOAA   
Long-term ocean color measurements  GOOS (O. Brown), IOC (J. Withrow), EC NASDA (Y. Haruyama) (tbc), NASA, CSA, ESA, NOAA, CNES, WGISS, WGCV   
Disaster Monitoring and Management Support TBD: initial effort to focus on defining project and appropriate user interfaces  NOAA (H. Wood), EC, ESA, BNSC, ASI, STA/NASDA, NASA, CSA, CNES, WGISS  To be handled somewhat differently than others given early stage of definition & user interfaces 

The SIT plans to meet once again in the Autumn prior to the 1997 CEOS Plenary. A representative of the SIT will participate in the three scheduled meetings of the CEOS Analysis Group to ensure good coordination. BNSC offered to host the next SIT meeting, and consideration is being given to exact dates in light of other meetings already scheduled in Europe, particularly the GCOS JSTC and IAF, to optimize travel requirements on prospective attendees.


1. Lead CEOS agency for each implementation project to contact User lead to confirm commitment and support, designate points of contact and liaison to CEOS AG, and provide to the CEOS Chair and SIT Organizing Committee a brief (no more than 2 pages) description of the project concept (endorsed by the User and CEOS leads) by the end of February.

2. SIT Chairman to produce a brief (no more than 2 page) Scope Paper on the IGOS concept and implementation approach by the end of February. This paper will draw on the background papers presented to the SIT and the discussion of those papers during the meeting.

3. CEOS Chair, in coordination with WMO, to draft a letter to G3OS sponsors and other user organizations to forward Scope Paper and project summaries. Letter to go out in early March soliciting feedback.

4. NOAA/B. Smith to draft one-page summary on proposed interagency consultation between CEOS, IGFA, and the G3OS sponsors.

5. CEOS Chair and IGFA Chair, in coordination with WMO, and using the interagency paper developed in Action Item 4 above, to contact senior officials of the G3OS sponsor organizations to invite representation in an informal planning meeting in May in Europe with the objective to consider how best to move ahead together and to discuss the possible organization of a senior-level IGOS "partners" meeting later this year or early next year.

6. CEOS Chair and Organizing Committee to use appropriate opportunities to meet individually with user organizations (attending a G3OS Sponsors' Group meeting if schedules are convenient) and to report on CEOS activities and promote closer interaction and partnerships in IGOS development.

7. NASA/Shaffer to work with GCOS/JSTC and BNSC to confirm dates and time for Fall 1997 SIT meeting.

IGOS Homepage  Earthwatch Homepage

Maintained for IGOS by UN System-wide Earthwatch Coordination, UNEP Geneva